It’s a fact: cartoons should stay cartoons. We just can’t replicate some of the things that we see in cartoons, and that’s okay. There’s no need to try and replace an animated cast with humans—it only results in a completely inaccurate representation of every character.
The following movies are the absolute worst-of-the-worst. Make sure you avoid these live-action remakes at all costs, and if you’ve already watched some them, I hope your eyeballs are still intact.
1. Death Note
Death Note is one of the best anime of all time, and Netflix decided to smear mud over the entire show with its awful live-action remake. It attempts to cram the entire series into one rushed film that does no justice to the original anime and manga.
Netflix’s remake turns Light Yagami, the diabolical main character, into a whiny teenager. To make matters worse, the movie (oddly) takes place in Seattle, and also features a CGI chimera of William Dafoe and Ryuk.
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
This movie hasn’t been released yet, but just look at the trailer. Sonic looks like some sort of humanoid hedgehog, and since when did Dr. Eggman resemble Jim Carey?
As if Sonic’s reputation couldn’t get any worse, it just did, and the movie isn’t even out yet. After backlash from Sonic fans, Paramount Pictures has promised to change Sonic’s look. I’m still not going to get my hopes up for an “improved” Sonic.
3. Dragon Ball Evolution
If you’ve seen Dragon Ball Evolution, you already know that it belongs on this list. The director of this movie made one of the same mistakes as the director of Death Note: he decided to include actors that look nothing like the original characters.
Dragon Ball Evolution‘s director definitely took creative liberty with the Dragon Ball series. For example, he turns, Piccolo, the diabolical Namekian, into a laughable character with an abnormally large, green head.
4. Alice in Wonderland
The Alice in Wonderland remake wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for Johnny Depp. I love Johnny Depp as an actor, but he took his role as the Mad Hatter way too far, making his character way too odd in the process.
Johnny Depp obviously doesn’t look like the original Mad Hatter either—Tim Burton (the director) replaces the white-haired character with a man that resembles Ronald McDonald more than anyone else. Let’s not forget about Johnny Depp’s dreadful dancing scene where he basically turns into a walking spaghetti noodle.
5. Christopher Robin
Next up on the list is Christopher Robin, a movie that turns the loveable creatures of Hundred Acre Wood into something from a nightmare. I’m sorry, but if I saw that raggedy Winnie the Pooh in the wild, I’d run in the opposite direction as fast as I can. The same goes for the beady-eyed Piglet and Tigger too.
The overall story of the movie might not be too bad, but I just can’t stand the CGI.
6. The Last Airbender
I still remember seeing this movie in theaters on the day that it came out. The disappointment that followed was unreal. I’m a diehard Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, and I quickly learned that this series should remain a cartoon.
M. Night Shyamalan works his (nonexistent) magic to create a catastrophe of a movie, both in the looks of the characters, and in the plot. It doesn’t stay true to the series at all and seems to make up its own version of Avatar as it goes along.
7. Super Mario Bros.
This movie is an epic failure on several levels, and is known as one of the worst films of all time. It portrays the classic Mario and Luigi brothers as Italian-American plumbers living in Brooklyn, New York.
Since that’s just not weird enough, the directors decided to enlist an animatronic dinosaur as Yoshi, and a man with spiky blonde hair as Bowser. Don’t get me started on the Goombas—their reptilian bodies look so bizarre that I can’t even explain it. Overall, the directors did an outright terrible job recreating the Mario Bros. universe.
8. Detective Pikachu
Pokemon fan or not, everyone was excited for Detective Pikachu—unfortunately, it didn’t meet most viewers’ expectations. Detective Pikachu turned out to be the type of film that you either love or hate.
If you’re used to the adorable high-pitched voice of Pikachu, you’ll find it hard to imagine a Pikachu with the sassy voice of Ryan Reynolds. The lifelike, CGI Pokemon didn’t turn out too bad, but the storyline failed to captivate its audience.
Why Can’t We Just Keep Cartoons, Cartoons?
There’s nothing wrong with cartoons, and they’re not just for kids. Animation allows us to have things that we can’t create in real life, and it should stay that way. We don’t have the technology yet to make the most accurate representation of cartoons—even then, cartoons on their own are still just as charming.
Right now, Hollywood is obsessed with live-action remakes. With several live-action movies such as The Lion King and Dora and the Lost City of Gold set for release this year, the trend doesn’t seem to be ending. At this point, I think everyone’s getting tired of imperfect live-action remakes.