Friday, February 27, 2015

Cartoon Network Goes Big: 'Adventure Time' Film Enters Development

Cartoon Network's highly successful show is hitting the big screen pretty soon...

That's right, a movie based on Adventure Time is in development at Warner Bros. Deadline reports that Robot Chicken and The Lego Movie's Chris McKay will produce the film alongside Roy Lee, who has exec produced several films over the years.

I'll admit that I'm not an avid watcher of the show, I've seen episodes from time to time and I do like it. It's very creative and despite what the more nostalgic folk might think, I believe it's worthy of Cartoon Network's golden age shows. I like its storytelling and the fact that it treads some dark waters. I also love Regular Show, and I hope that gets a film some day as well.

This also comes on the heels of Cartoon Network's big slate announcement from weeks ago, which revealed that an Adventure Time mini-series is coming soon. (Over the Garden Wall worked some real magic, didn't it?)

No word on what format it'll be done in though, which begs the question: IS IT 2D???

I would certainly hope so. I think an Adventure Time film, if advertised carefully and done right, could be a big blockbuster regardless of the fact that audiences can watch it on TV for free, if you know what I mean. We're about five years into the show's existence, so they're probably striking at the right time. I reckon it'll still be big by the end of the decade, but again, that whole "why pay to see this when we can watch it for free" mentality is the thing the film has to jump.

But again, will it be 2D? I say it better be! When will it come out? Well, WB has a ton of animated projects in development. Three Lego flicks - Ninjago, The Lego Batman Movie, and The Lego Movie Sequel - are on the horizon, and will open in 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. There are three slots reserved for untitled WB Animation, and right now the studio/group is developing The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Bone, Smallfoot, and Scooby-Doo. I reckon Adventure Time would be one of those untitled pics, so I'd expect it to hit sometime between early 2017 and mid-2019.

I also bet that WB greenlit this after seeing The SpongeBob Movie take off, as that did say, "Yes, a film based on a current hit animated series CAN do well!" Supposedly Cartoon Network was really shaken by how badly The Powerpuff Girls Movie did back in 2002, and that they would never try this again. (An exception was made for Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but that film - like the show - was extremely low budget and only got a small release.) But times have changed and that all-too-common "conventional wisdom" isn't always right. I was hoping that SpongeBob Movie's success would open the door for more of these kinds of films... And now it looks like it's happening!


  1. But what would an Adventure Time film be rated? The show isn't exactly appropriate for little kids, and it's not strictly for adults either. This is going to be a hard sell.
    But if they keep the budget low enough (similar to the $60 million figure for the LEGO movie) they should be able to at least make a profit.

    1. Now, that's just nitpicking. Adventure Time has an appeal to both kids and adults. It is appropriate for kids; just because it has dark stuff doesn't mean it's bad (Disney made animated films with dark stuff, too). Adults are attracted to its stories and characters.

  2. I'm very happy to see Cartoon Network making theatrical animated movies again. I hope they make a spiritual successor to The Powerpuff Girls Movie and a Codename: Kids Next Door theatrical animated film.