Live-action comic book adaptations are still all the rage, but as Big Hero 6 proved with its recent Oscar win, there’s room to expand. Big, exciting animated features are a perfect place to adapt comic books’ wild, far-fetched ideas. Unlike their live-action counterparts, cartoons don’t have to look or even feel real. Most importantly, animated movies cover the all-important all-ages sector of the marketplace, an area that is sorely lacking in the world of big-budget superhero blockbusters.
Here are just a few of the all-ages friendly comic books that are ripe for the animated treatment.
Amelia Cole (Monkeybrain Comics)
Everybody loves magic. You want to tap into that Harry Potter audience? Then start with Amelia Cole. It’s big, fantastical fun and would make for a great feature film. Amelia is a hero that both kids and adults can relate to, the perfect character to throw up on the big screen. Adam Knave, DJ Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire have created a truly magical world that deserves more attention than it gets. The world could always use more wizards.
Mouse Guard (Archaia Entertainment)
This one is an easy sell. A bunch of adorable mice, armed with swords and spears and axes. It’s a fantasy adventure starring animals. Not anthropomorphic creatures, but straight up adorable little animals. It’s a gorgeously illustrated book that would translate wonderfully into a richly animated film. We all still love Secret of NIMH and this would scratch that itch for a whole new generation.
Super Dinosaur (Skybound/Image Comics)
The fact that Super Dinosaur has not been adapted into a feature film is kinda of shocking. It’s the work of Robert Kirkman (you know, The Walking Dead guy) and Jason Howard. It features a T-Rex who plays video games and operates a mech-type suit that gives him giant robot arms, laser cannons, and missiles. In other words, it’s a merchandiser’s dream come true. Remember how awesome those Dino Riders toys were? Plus, it’s also a ton of fun and filled with high-octane action.
Lumberjanes (BOOM! Studios)
Summer camps have a long, rich tradition in film. One of our favorite comics of 2014, Lumberjanes is book about summer, friendship, adventure, and battling mythical creatures. It’s got more heart on its pages than most movies, books, and TV shows. It’s fun with a capital F, frequently laugh out loud funny, and the kind of comic that is just begging to be adapted. The characters are so vivid, they practically leap off the page. If you haven’t read this series, correct that mistake right freaking now. We’ll wait.
Kamandi (DC Comics)
Jack Kirby created or co-created like ninety percent of the superheroes that are currently filling the multiplexes across the world. One of his greatest creations hasn’t made the jump yet, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work perfectly too. A big, animated Kamandi film is the kind of thing that keeps us up at night. It’s too perfect. A post-apocalyptic future where humans are dominated by intelligent animals? Come on! We need this in our lives, guys. Get on it, Warner Brothers.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, obviously. What comic do you think should be adapted into a big budget animated feature? Let us know in the comments!