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WTF news: Peeps, Barbie, and It's A Small World ride being made into movies

04.23.2014

Man, what the shit? The business of Hollywood is in full swing as the attempts to replicate the success of such brands as TRANSFORMERS, GI JOE, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and LEGO are now trickling out into more venues, including candy, dolls, and yet another theme park ride. The sugary marshmallow treats known as PEEPS, the soaked-in-pink doll factory known as BARBIE, and the source of nightmares for all parents who visit the Magic Kingdom, IT'S A SMALL WORLD, are all being developed as not only feature films, but as franchises that will just. keep. coming. I've broken this down into sections in the same article, so you can get all depressed in one place, rather than throughout the day.

PEEPS:

Director Adam Rifkin (DETROIT ROCK CITY) has optioned film and TV rights to the PEEPS marshmallow candies with plans of making a full-length family feature in the vein of THE LEGO MOVIE. The Peeps company sells about 2 billion of the diabetes inducers and has ponied up for Rifkin's pitch, which is described as a "Lego Movie-esque family epic set the night before a Peeps diorama contest, when a wayward Peep gets misplaced and must adventure through the fantasy lands of different-themed dioramas before the contest’s judging begins."

Apparently, Rifkin was inspired to do the project after seeing a series of contest dioramas that feature PEEPS, including one that recreates the Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have a dream" speech. Now, I can see this as a half-hour kids show or something, but a feature film? C'mon now. The problem is that it feels like franchise-hunting, not the product of a genius idea that people will love. It's a one-two sucker punch against parents, combining candy and animation into one giant package deal. Have fun at those screenings.

BARBIE:

With JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS currently filming for director John M. Chu, it looks like Sony is hitting the ground running to get their own female empowered protagonist based on a toy/cartoon to the big screen with BARBIE. Now, I'm hardly the demographic for a BARBIE film and I won't begrudge female audiences something they may/may not want, but the problem with BARBIE is that she's kind of a shallow representation of female empowerment. She wears fashionable clothes, drives speedy cars, accessorizes, and chases Ken. Not exactly something you'd call "ripe" for translation to the big screen. However, they have a solution to that and it's...Mary Poppins?

"It allows the character Barbie to use her personal and professional skills to step into the lives of others and improve them, almost like a modern-day Mary Poppins. That storyline allows for the discovery of a young actress to play the title character, and young cast to play Ken and Barbie’s best friend, putting stars around them that can change in subsequent movies."

So, a super hot blonde giving dating advice and helping to put together a killer outfit for the club? I jest, but...wait, do I? All of that will probably happen. So, perhaps they'll pull it off and make something out of the franchise. It'll be interesting to see how they cast Barbie as well, seeing as her physical image is seemingly always a source of outrage

“We’ve always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever, and truly funny concept. It captures everything that has made Barbie a classic for generation after generation while also standing on its own, establishing Barbie as a truly original screen character," says Sony Production President Hannah Minghella. 

I think I've already found the lead for this as well. You're welcome, Sony.

IT'S A SMALL WORLD:

And now we can top this bout of WTF news with yet another theme park ride movie, only this one is without pirates. Director Jon Turteltaub (NATIONAL TREASURE) is set to direct an adaptation of the ride IT'S A SMALL WORLD, which is Disneyland ride featuring "over 300 brightly costumed audio-animatronic dolls in the style of children of the world, frolicking in a spirit of international unity and singing the attraction's title song, which has a theme of global peace."  Also known as "torture" to most people over the age of five.

There's no specific details on how they plan to adapt this, only the threat that they're doing it and planning it as a franchise. That's right, you can bank on it. At this juncture, the business model is franchise and/or trilogy and/or spinoff and/or all of the above. Here, I have a challenge for you, just in case you've never been or never heard of IT'S A SMALL WORLD. Let's see if you can make it to the end:

So, there it all is. Candy, dolls, and theme park rides are coming to a theater near you. Eating them, playing with them, or riding them isn't good enough anymore, so get ready to take your food, toys, and ride attractions to the next level. I'm sure the next evolution of this is fast-food movies? Ronald McDonald and the Big Mac Attack? Taco Bell: Run For The Border? Burger King: The Search for the Flame Broiled Dragon. I could do this all day. But, I won't.

All right. Let's hear it...

Extra Tidbit: If you had to see one of these films, which would you choose right now?
Source: DeadlineDeadline

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