10 Worst Live-Action Adaptations Of Cartoons


Every generation delivers a set of cartoons for young audiences to enjoy. While they vary in quality, they’ve generally done well to cement themselves as nostalgic childhood memories. Even years after these cartoons have ended, fanbases keep the memories alive and the love flying high.



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As a result, Hollywood has capitalized on audiences’ nostalgic feelings by making live-action movie adaptations for beloved cartoons. Unfortunately, many of these movies fail to satisfy the fandoms. Several factors contribute to the movies’ failures, but it often comes down to the creators making meaningless deviations from, or misunderstanding the source material.

10 Even Bill Murray Regretted Garfield

The comic strip and animated TV shows involving the cat, Garfield, have been widely praised due to their vibrant characters and atmosphere. At the center of it all is the titular character, whose cynicism and laziness connect with several viewers.

Garfield (2004) fails to embody these aspects as little to none of the characters look or act like their original counterparts. The CGI, especially on Garfield, leaves something to be desired. While Bill Murray isn’t necessarily a poor choice to voice Garfield, the movie’s writing doesn’t allow him to shine. Murray would amusingly express regret about this film five years later in Zombieland.

9 The Smurfs Stepped Too Far Outside Their Realm

While the 1981 smurfs TV series wasn’t the most iconic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, it still held some level of appeal. All the Smurfs were lovable characters, and the stories took place in an enchanting village. Despite the over-merchandising of the property, the show was lively for everyone.

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The Smurfs (2011) mostly forgoes these elements and settles for something less spectacular, taking place in the state of New York. The human actors and the Smurfs’ voice actors have done spectacular work in the past but can’t breathe the necessary life into this film. Its only bright spot is Hank Azaria as the villain, Gargamel, a performance few other adaptations have topped.

8 Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Began A Slippery Slope

while Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen wasn’t the franchise’s worst, it paved the road for multiple problems that only grew more rampant in the future. Despite the shortcomings of its predecessor, the film was salvaged due to its solid portrayal of the titular robots.

sorry, Revenge of the Fallen furthered the first movie’s problems by dedicating too much time to human characters, whose dilemmas and comedy weren’t very engaging. The film’s action proved somewhat strenuous to make out. Additionally, the erratic pacing padding out the movie would continue through three more installations.

7 Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010) Had But A Fraction Of The Show’s Heart

The original Avatar: The Last Airbender series created by Nickelodeon was fun, compelling, and delivered beautiful imagery. It packed a great deal of heart in developing its world, character arcs, and dynamics, some of which remain beloved by viewers and unable to be topped even today.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010) either ignores or merely glosses over these aspects. The characters and their relationships lack personality and charm. The film’s look and feel share little in common with the show, and the narrative lacks weight, making it impossible to get invested in the characters’ plights.

6 Inspector Gadget (1999) Played Up Its Cartoon Factor

the Inspector Gadget series was relatively standard but still engaging for children. Its protagonists were endearing, and its villain, Dr. Claw, was enjoyably intimidating, despite his face never being shown.

Unfortunately, these aspects didn’t translate into the 1999 movie, which explored the character’s origin story. The casting choices were odd to say the least. Few characters captured their cartoon counterpart’s essence, and the same applied to the story’s setup. As the cherry on top, the movie was packed to the brim with cartoon sound effects that didn’t match the movie or show’s tone.


5 The Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas Failed To Satisfy Fans Of The Show Or The Previous Movie

The original Flintstones movie back in 1994 wasn’t the most riveting, but it was a decent kids’ movie. It had a stellar cast who did their best to bring the iconic characters to life. Six years later, audiences received a prequel about how the characters first met.

The Flintstones at Viva Rock Vegas had almost none of the original movie’s cast. Its CGI, particularly on The Great Gazoo, was somewhat off-putting. Much like the original movie, the story wasn’t the most intriguing. On top of that, while the new cast members gave decent impressions, the characters’ personalities and humor were a sharp contrast to the show.


4 Jem And The Holograms Was A Generic Adaptation Of A Unique Cartoon

Although the original Jem and the Holograms series didn’t define its era, it was a fun show for its demographic. Any audience could enjoy the science fiction elements and the girls’ dangerous journeys. That same couldn’t be said of its live-action film.

Jem and the Holograms (2015) tossed all of these elements out the window for another plot about teenage girls being pop stars. Not only had this theme been overdone by this point, but several movies and TV shows had better executed it. The subplot about the computer Synergy proved uninteresting, and most changes made removed the very things that gave the original series its unique style.


3 Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Is Aptly Named

Despite the Alvin and The Chipmunks movies being critically panned, they made enough money to spawn three sequels. None of the films had high quality, but the third movie was where the franchise’s value started to wear thin.

Most of Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was devoid of charm. The cash-in attempts on whatever was popular at the time were more blatant than ever. The movie offered little to nothing new for any of the characters. David Cross as the villain, Ian Hawke, made an honest effort, but even he considered his role a chore.

2 Beauty And The Beast (2017) Looks Familiar But Feels Inferior

Beauty and the Beast (1991) was the first-ever animated film to be nominated for Best Picture, and not without good reason. It was a beautiful movie on all fronts, including its story, characters, music, and animation. Beauty and the Beast (2017) utilizes these same aspects but fails to comprehend what made them so enchanting.

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Several crucial scenes that developed Belle and the Beast’s characters and their relationship remained in the live-action movie, but they were rushed, omitting the emotional weight behind them. While the animated film was shorter, it dedicated more time to the characters’ subtlety. The live-action remake was longer but spent more time on details that didn’t strengthen the film’s heart.


1 Dragon Ball: Evolution Remains The Biggest Mistake Of The Dragon Ball Z Franchise

the Dragon Ball Z franchise has had its fair share of ups and downs but remains widely loved to this day. However, even fans of the series weren’t happy about the live-action adaptation, Dragon Ball: Evolution. From the characters’ looks and personalities to the premise, everything about the room felt alien from the series.

Every change and choice only leaves viewers asking why the creators made it in the first place. The original Dragon Ball Z isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is always a part of the franchise that has some extent of enjoyment to offer, which is more than what Dragon Ball: Evolution can say.

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