First Legos, Now What? Other Toys That Deserve Their Own Movies

| March 4, 2014
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Photo: Warner Bros.

Photo: Warner Bros.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the pitch meeting for The Lego Movie. I imagine it went something like this:

Pitchee: Remember Legos?

Big Important Executive: Those little building block toys that hurt for days if you accidentally step on one your kid leaves embedded in the carpet?

Pitchee: Those are the ones! Let’s give them a feature film!

Big Important Executive: Sold.

$183,015,455 in box office later and you can be sure this is only the first in a series of films that tie Gen X and Millennial nostalgia to family-friendly entertainment. If there’s one thing Hollywood is great at doing, it’s sucking the life out of an idea until the last dollar has been exsanguinated from even the most original concept. Since more toy-inspired fun is inevitably on the way, we decided to pitch some of our favorite possibilities, from the totally plausible (Candy Land starring any television actress in one of Katy Perry’s old “California Gurls” costumes) to the abstract (Jon Hamm and Jennifer Lawrence questioning the social constructs of Ant Farm) to the incredibly niche toy remembrances (Cherry Merry Muffins directed by Lars Von Trier, obviously). Coming to a theater near you?

Candy Land

An action adventure rom/com starring any blond actress from a sitcom (I’m looking at you, Kaley Cuoco!) as Princess Lolly and a male SNL alum between the 2002-2012 casts as the treacherous Lord Licorice.

Princess Lolly is just a career girl trying to make it work in the Peppermint Forest, but her terrible co-worker Lord Licorice is always getting her down in the Cherry Pits. What happens when the two opposites get stranded in the Molasses Swamp after a business trip gone awry? Featuring a cameo appearance by Academy Award ™ Winner Jane Fonda as Gramma Nutt, a free spirited lady in a peanut brittle house who tells the pair to “go for it!”

Jem and the Holograms

A behind-the-music look at the price of rock ‘n’ roll superstardom and living double lives with Miley Cyrus revisiting her Hannah Montana duality in the title role of Jem/Jerrica and Rose McGowan as her hologram mentor Synergy.

Jerrica Benton is on the verge of a breakdown: how much longer can she juggle her lives as a record company heiress/music executive and the pink-haired rock star Jem? A gritty, documentary feel pervades this film as Jerrica slowly is consumed by the Jem persona and spirals into an out-of-control meltdown only her hologram mentor Synergy (Rose McGowan, perfectly cast as a computer generated being) can cure her of. Comes with a cassette tape of Jem’s dance remix of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.”

Stretch Armstrong

A working father (Leonardo DiCaprio) tries to have it all: career, kids, wife, but finds he can only extend himself so far in this modern day retelling of the O. Henry short story.

“I don’t know how he does it!” everyone around Stanley Armstrong exclaims, when they watch the way he “stretches” himself to accommodate family life, a successful career in the elastic business and romance. Like the toy that inspired the film, Stanley learns he can only be stretched to a point before he’s a permanently distended freak. Anthony Lane of the New Yorker will say it’s “definitely a movie” and that “all the actors spoke very clearly.”

Creepy Crawlers

An inside look at small town politics directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.

The candidates for town council in the sleepy hamlet of Debeaux, Alaska will stop at nothing to get a chance to influence traffic ordinances in this in-depth examination of the dangers of keeping secrets. In a bid to win the prize, one candidate (Amy Adams in a Palin updo) hires James Crawlers (a.k.a. “Creepy”, played by John Goodman) to get the dirt on her fellow contenders in this action packed race to the finish. Johnny Depp allegedly based his performance of “Bright Green Scorpion” on the late American writer Norman Mailer, who he spent several months with prior to the film.

Play-Doh

What happens when an uptight plastic surgeon (Michael Cera) and a carefree bohemian (Kathy Bates) inherit an Italian restaurant from their grandpa? Hilarity, that’s what!

“What are we going to feed all these people?” Dr. Michael Cera (let’s call it what it is: Cera usually just plays variations on his persona film to film) asks his free-spirited cousin, Starflower (Bates with her “American Horror Story: Coven” hairdo still intact). The answer may surprise you. As Play-Doh cuisine sweeps foodies off their feet, the pair learn a valuable lesson about the power of friendship and utter the catchphrase “Mamma Mia! Atsa my a meatball!” thirty-seven times in this 95 minute indie gem from the team that brought you Magnolia and Liar, Liar.

He-Man

A bad real estate deal over Castle Grayskull leaves childhood buddies He-Man (Andy Samberg’s head superimposed over any Calvin Klein model from 1993) and Skeletor (Jonah Hill) at odds in this home improvement comedy.

“By the power of Grayskull, I AM HE-MAN!” Our titular character exclaims, tearing down dry rot with the sword of power. Pals He-Man and Skeletor have sunk every dime they have into restoring the old fortress and turning it into a boutique hotel, but when a real estate developer wants to buy the property for six times what the pair paid to build luxury apartments, Skeletor is hot to sell while He-Man wants to save the architectural gem. A battle of fraternity-style pranks ensues between the frenemies unlike any seen since their days at Eternia State. Featuring a cameo appearance by Academy Award ™ Winner Jane Fonda as the all-knowing Sorceress who tells the pair to “go for it!”

Ant Farm

Jon Hamm and Jennifer Lawrence question everything, while carrying triple their body mass in this Oscar bait due next Christmas.

Tired of carrying grains of dirt and building tunnels all day, two ants sit in mute protest of the unfair conditions in their plantation-style work place. Instead of causing a riot, they cause a revolution. A heartbreaking story about overcoming adversity, bi-polar acceptance and missed chances, Ant Farm is David O. Russell’s bravest work yet, where the actors are so vulnerable their skeletons are actually exposed.

Nerf

Think fast! Johnny Knoxville and the gang bring you Nerf in 3-D!

Tired of getting pummeled, beaten, stung, burned, shocked and all other manner of tortured for your entertainment, Johnny Knoxville and the guys from Jackass have instead opted for self preservation in their new film, Nerf. Is it as funny? Not really. Are you relieved no one is endangering their lives? Absolutely.

She-Ra

Tina Fey is He-Man’s lovable yet clumsy sister, She-Ra, who is obsessed with bad food choices and is secretly kind of sexy when she takes her glasses off.

Think a woman can’t be a superhero? She-Ra is here to prove you wrong, media! Watch as Tina Fey fights evil, leads the rebellion and battles her cravings for artificial off-brand cheese snacks. Instead of just defeating her enemies, she gives them long lectures on cultural depictions of women that leave everyone changed. Alec Baldwin plays She-Ra’s friend/will-they-or-won’t-they love interest Bo and Jack McBrayer provides the voice of the Princess of Power’s horse Spirit/Swift Wind.

Cherry Merry Muffins

From the unforgivingly avant-garde mind of Lars von Trier comes the long awaited adaptation of the delicious smelling dolls.

Cherry Merry Muffin (Nicole Kidman, with a small mustache) is isolated from the world in her cottage (just a bare stage with tape outlines) where she contemplates what it means to be American. When friends Betty Berry (Patricia Clarkson) and Choc O. Latti (Diane Keaton) come for a visit to bake muffins and speak in symbolism, they discover the world is ending, but not before Bjork performs a musical number only in her mind. Featuring a cameo appearance by Academy Award ™ Winner Jane Fonda as a liberated Easy Bake Oven who tells Cherry Merry to “go for it!”

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About the Author ()

Tony Bravo is a San Francisco freelancer covering fashion, menswear, lifestyle and entertainment stories. He is a regular contributor to The Bold Italic and the San Francisco Chronicle's Style section.

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