Do you remember the cartoon series Denver the Last Dinosaur? This was a show that I used to watch when I was younger, about a group of teenagers that found a dinosaur egg that hatched, and the dinosaur that came from it became their friend and they had many adventures with him. The show was highly acclaimed as being a very educational series as well.
World Events Productions, the company that holds the rights to this and Voltron, as well as created this series is currently at work on a new series as well as a potential film version. They’re doing the same with Voltron, with Voltron: Panthera Force (now under the production title: Voltron Force) premiering this fall, and a live-action movie in active development. It should have come as no surprise that they would also be interested in exploring a rejuvenation of another one of their properties. Especially considering that the original series was recommended by the National Education Association for its engaging, non-violent storylines.
At its 2010 annual upfront presentation which featured top talent across the worlds of television, music and film, Nickelodeon today announced a slate of new programming that will be added to the network’s 2010-11 schedule. Among the announcements are two shows that I am interested in. Voltron Panthera Force and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are both going to premiere on the Nicktoons network, which I am not sure that I have. No big deal, though, as the internet can deliver just about anything that you find on TV. Especially properties as popular as these.
I’m going to start writing a bit about some of my favorite properties when I was young, that I think would make excellent films. Especially if the properties are handled correctly.
Now, some of us know that Voltron and ThunderCats are both being developed for the big screen. If you didn’t: Voltron is going to be live-action, set on our earth, and each of the five space-explorers are now from different walks of life. ThunderCats is going to be half CG and half live-action, apparently.
There was also a new TMNT film in the last few years, with more to come. G.I. Joe is coming to the big screen next summer in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. He-Man is constantly having production problems that are holding things up.
The primary properties that I am going to talk about here are two of my favorites that very few of you probably know about: M.A.S.K. and Dino-Riders.
M.A.S.K. stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. The cartoon was basically a mixture of G.I. Joe and Transformers. It involved human characters with special armor that could each do various special things. They also each had various vehicles that doubled as other vehicle forms. One, for example, was a motorcycle that could turn into a mini-helicopter mid-motion. There could be some incredible chase sequences with transforming vehicles like the ones in this cartoon.
Dino-Riders was a cartoon that appealed to me for a number of reasons. First, I loved Dinosaurs, so this had a natural draw in that regard. Second, it had heroes and villains putting armor on the dinosaurs, along with laser beams. What more could you really ask for? The main story of Dino-Riders involved a war between the Valorians, who were under attack by the Rulon Empire. About 400 of them were on board a ship that was under heavy fire from the Rulon leaders, who were close behind. The Valorians activated the “S.T.E.P. Crystal” and travelled back in time to when Dinosaurs walked the earth.
I would love to develop both of these properties for the big screen. Both would be pretty expensive films, but both of them capture the imagination of the youth and would draw crowds. I would be the first in line for both.