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10 Video Game Characters that Could Anchor a Family Film

Buzz is very good for Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, the arcade/video game-inspired animated film that enters theaters this Friday. Considering the film markets a number of cameos from popular video game character, If it does really well at the box office, perhaps studios will see family-friendly gaming properties as valuable film adaptation property.

At Entertainment Fuse, we’re all about the combined potential of the movie and video game universes, so we’ve put together a list of 10 video game characters that would be great focal points for a CGI-animated feature film from a major studio.

10. Ratchet and Clank

Ratchet and Clank are a pretty solid duo, but they belong at No. 10 just because sci-fi animated films have a bad reputation and a Ratchet and Clank movie would likely be a tough sell. It helps that Ratchet is a Lombax/has fuzzy animal appeal. At the same time, the best movie version of this series would probably look something like the movie 9 with all the crazy weapons. Ratchet and Clank with a steam-punk space vibe could be interesting.

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 9. Angry Birds

I’m bashing my head in repeatedly as I type this, in part because I’m including the Angry Birds on this list and in part because Rovio is developing a movie arm to actually make this happen. With the built-in audience, all it would take is some clever writing to develop lovable personalities for the different types of Angry Birds and then some choice casting to bring those personalities to life with any semblance of quality. A child-appropriate revenge story about reclaiming stolen eggs would work easily.

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8. Ness

Even if you only know Ness from Super Smash Bros. and not from EarthBound, you can understand how a cute kid with psychic powers would make for a pretty classic family movie. Of all the characters on this list, Ness is the most grounded in reality, so a simple story about a misunderstood young boy discovering extraordinary powers would be easy to pull off. Unfortunately for Ness, he has little recognition among youngsters/the younger end of the kid demographic, which makes him a tough sell.

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7. Spyro

If How to Train Your Dragon could be a crazy success, what’s to stop one of Sony’s most recognizable game characters from stepping it up to the big screen? The stories in the early days of Spyro weren’t so great, so an original concept would need to be in place. A medieval fantasy backdrop works great for stories of runts who go on to save their world against all odds and get to rub it in the faces of all their naysayers. He would essentially be the little purple dragon that could.

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6. Crash Bandicoot

By now you understand the top of my list is reserved for Nintendo’s strongest characters, but to Sony’s credit, the Crash Bandicoot series did well for itself. Crash is essentially a ripoff of Sonic the Hedgehog, but some would argue it more of a “playful homage.” The story, however, works, as at its core it’s about redemption. Crash was just a sweet little bandicoot until the evil Dr. Neo Cortex used him for his nefarious plans and then separated him from his love. Eventually Crash comes to and realizes what must be done. It’s a pretty serious hero’s journey story, and Hollywood loves to find new exotic locales to re-create with CGI — Australia would be perfect.

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5. Fox McCloud

Personally, a Star Fox movie would be No. 1 on this list. The characters in the Star Fox universe are rich and entertaining, and it’s not just Fox McCloud, but the whole gang. The entire aesthetic of Star Fox is essentially Star Wars for kids, and it would be so cool to see Fox, Falco, Skippy and Peppy on the big screen chasing the ephemeral Andross. There’s also a lot of the “universe” Fox lives in that we don’t know about. You could create a rather interesting back story for him and the rest of the team.

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4. Yoshi

Of all the characters in the Super Mario world, Yoshi stands the best chance at having a movie franchise. The Super Mario Bros. just don’t translate well to narrative storytelling and they’re really kind of — weird. Yoshi, on the other hand, comes from the land of smiling stars where everyone and everything poops rainbows. The ridiculously cute animal/creature that overeats is always good for a laugh. But it all boils down to this: if the minions from Despicable Me can have their own movie, surely a ton of Yoshis would be a big hit.

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3. Donkey Kong

Ok, maybe less Donkey Kong and more like all the denizens of Donkey Kong Country as a whole. It’s tough to go wrong with any family movie set in the jungle, so long as you don’t make it about DK having to save the jungle from the humans that want to tear it down it should be good. Maybe having everyone’s favorite tie-wearing ape be the focus would be a refreshing change. This type of story would almost certainly involve the overprotective parent sheltering his child, but putting the focus on Donkey Kong rather than Diddy or whoever else would be a nice shift in perspective. The whole world of Donkey Kong Country doesn’t really have restrictions, so the story could go in a wildly different direction, maybe even a modern-day family version of King Kong.

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2. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic had himself a good run on television, but I’d see a Sonic the Hedgehog movie going in a different direction. Perhaps that direction is dark, and my nostalgic geek voice is simply taking control at the thought of the possibility, but with the right backstory to develop the relationship between Sonic and Dr. Robotnik (or Eggman or whatever he’s supposed to be called these days), this movie franchise could appeal to all ages. Also, Tails is a must. He’s too adored by many to be left out of the mix. A trilogy would also definitely involve Knuckles.

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1. Kirby

In Dreamland, anything is possible. Kirby is the perfect character to take to the big screen, mostly because Dreamland can be anything the writers adapting it want it to be. As a pink puffball who plays coy but can then sock it to you, Kirby has huge comic appeal and would crossover to a young girls demographic far better than any of the other characters on this list (how many girls have you played in Super Smash Bros. that didn’t pick Kirby or Pikachu?). The movie world has not seen anything like Dreamland and it would be a lot of fun to work on as an animator. It’s hard to picture a Kirby movie that wouldn’t be loads of fun.

 

 

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