When Hollywood makes a film it turns out one of five ways:
- the film is incredible
- the film is not so incredible
- the film is awful
- it’s an adaptation a TV show, book or other film from our childhood (and is actually OK).
The fifth variety is a film so bad, it leaves you and your inner child a sobbing, traumatized mess.
Here’s a list of the top 5 times Hollywood ruined our childhood:
The Last Airbender (2010)
This wound is still fresh.
Chances are that if you watched Nickelodeon, you would have seen at least one episode of the show this film was based on, Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Three seasons, 61 episodes and winner of more than 12 awards including three Annie Awards and one Emmy, this show would seem like the perfect thing to adapt, no?
The film received horrendous reviews, earned a 6 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and received five Golden Razzie Awards in 2011 (including worst picture). Since then, Shyamalan has announced a sequel is in the works, which we A:TLA fans can only hope will redeem the first film.
But when he talked about changing even more themes in the story? We’re not holding our breath…
Though the film boasted fantastic cinematic effects and a fairly original story, it was Michael Bay’s obsession with explosions and needless desire to objectify female characters that ruined the film. If that wasn’t enough, the cringe-worthy protagonist, Sam Witwicky (played by the multi-talented Shia LeBeouf) was an insult to his predecessors, particularly the brave teens from the Transformers cartoons and the Mini-Con serializations.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Another Michael Bay produced film makes the list. This film doesn’t have ass-kicking robots, objectified car-thiefs and exploding buildings. Instead, it has ass-kicking turtles, objectified journalists and exploding science facilities. Totally different.
To some millennials, the TMNT animated series from the early 2000’s was almost pivotal to their upbringing, so seeing Michael Bay and James Liebesman turn our beloved ninja turtles into gigantic, ogre wannabes? That was enough to make us cry.
The plot was altered to predictable faults, giving April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and the turtles needlessly connected origin stories. The battles were unrealistic, with ninjas trained through a drowned book beating people with assault rifles and years of traditional training. And finally, the aforementioned objectification that no Michael Bay produced film would be seen without.
April O’Neill needs to help a ninja turtle out by reaching into the back of a truck? Instead of focusing on the turtle’s situation, how about a mid-close range shot of Megan Fox’s behind? Why not put her in skinny jeans for the sake of the scene? Despite her being in a chilly, mountain environment? Tasteless, Michael Bay…
Dragonball Evolution (2009)
Mention the word ‘anime’ and people will think of Dragonball first. But mention ‘cinematic genius’ and they will think of Dragonball Evolution last.
Despite some decent choreography and a cast of acting heavyweights such as Buffy‘s James Marsters, Emmy Rossum and Chow Yun-fat, this adaption of the classic anime/manga was a critical and commercial failure.
If the predictable plot wasn’t enough, the film removed favourite characters like Krillin, turned the heroic, lone wolf Goku into a bored high school student and turned the villainous Piccolo into a leather-clad, dominatrix-like villain with the voice of Bale Batman.
This travesty was a kamehameha to the hearts and feelings of every Dragonball fan…
In 2014, Disney released a live-action film devoted to the evil fairy herself, Maleficent, with Angelina Jolie in the starring role. This film portrayed Maleficent in a new light, painting her as a tragic hero who was only evil because her side of the story was not told. Betrayed by her love? Mutilated? Filled with vengeance? This would make anyone look evil.
Imagine how we all felt! Throwing so much hate towards a woman we barely knew anything about, with nothing but the semi-propagandist perspective of three, arguing fairies to go on?
Not only did this film ruin our childhood and fill us with guilt, but it taught us a lesson: Never judge a person unless you know the whole story.
(Dishonorable Mention) Power Rangers (2017)
To be fair, we have only seen a trailer of the upcoming Power Rangers film and news of the casting (Bryan Cranston as a head in a giant jar?), so we can’t judge the film at all just yet. But with comparisons like “breakfast club with superheroes” and the previous ‘adaptions’ on this list, some fans have become worried…
Did these films ruin your childhood too? Or is there another flop that should be on this list? Be sure to comment below!