Internet, welcome to a day where will boldly embark on a new adventure!! A quest to boldly go to several different web pages and find information that someone else has already gathered!! A quest to make arbitrary judgements without necessarily having all the facts. A quest to crown the greatest movie based on a comic strip ever!!
That’s right, we’ve talked a lot about comic book movies on this blog, but with the recent release of the Charlie Brown movie I sat down and thought to myself, ‘I wonder what the greatest comic strip movie ever made was??’ And I found that myself had no answer, no words of wisdom, and no pants… though that was admittedly a separate issue.
So anywhere here is my search for the greatest comic strip movie ever presented in Alphabetical order by this weeks sponsor, Alphabet soup, for when your children’s soup to be terrible AND accidentally teach them new swear words.
The Addams Family – Not gonna lie, I had no idea this was a comic strip originally. But sure enough, America’s fourth or fifth favorite family was originally put to paper in comic strip form way back in 1938. American’s enjoyed the mis-adventures of Uncle Fester, Morticia, that one guy who was a hand… maybe, and whoever else was in this show. Of course the strip was most famously a TV show featuring a lot of theme song related clapping, but it also made its way into cinemas several times in efforts that ranged from ‘uninspired but fine’ to ‘really terrible’ to ‘direct to dvd.’ So while the Addams family is more or less fine, it’s cinematic struggles definitely remove it from contention for greatest comic strip movie ever… probably. Not gonna lie, I have no idea what’s coming next on this thing.
Blondie – Okay so between 1938 and 1950 there were 28 different Blondie movies released. Goodness America in the 1940’s… you REALLY liked this guy didn’t you?? I mean I read Blondie when I was a kid but let’s bear in mind that the comic strip basically just boiled down to Blondie repeatedly running into the mailman and then eating large sandwiches. And before anyone corrects me yes I know Blondie is actually the wife’s name and Dagwood is the husbands name but that’s basically like the Zelda franchise being named not after that guy with the sword who you spend the entire game playing as, but after the Princess who gets kidnapped at the beginning and is never seen again till the very end. I’m just saying, Dagwood made all the money… also his last name was Boopadoop so… I’ll just leave you to think about that.
Dick Tracy – Legendary detective Dick Tracy is known mostly for wearing a yellow overcoat and a fedora… so he’s basically your weird uncle at this point. I mean if he traded in his Tommy gun and Madonna and got a monkey he’d all the sudden become the man in the Yellow Hat. Though I’d totally trade Madonna straight up for a monkey. That’s a win-win right there.
Garfield – Points to Garfield for perfectly casting Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield. I mean, that’s some clutch casting right there, minus ALL the points though for not knowing when to stop, I mean not only did they make Garfield 2: A Tale of Two Kitties (pretty sure just typing that dropped my IQ significantly) but they also direct to video released such cinematic hairballs as: Garfield Gets Real, Garfield’s Fun Fest, and Garfield’s Pet Force. I mean come on guys… no means no.
Palooka – Yeah, I just think it’s worth mentioning that between 1934 and 1951 somebody felt the need to make 11 movies heavily featuring ‘Joe Palooka.’ A good natured boxer who— I don’t even know what he did. One would assume, ya know, boxing but… can you really make 11 movies about a good natured boxer? I mean they’ve only made six Rockey movies and at least 2 of those are secretly kind of terrible.
Little Orphan Annie – Yup, everyones favorite red headed stepless, step-child got her start as a comic strip way back in 1924. It famously was made into a movie starring Carol Burnett and Young Tim Curry and then was somewhat infamously made into a really really bland and unnecessary movie in 2014. Still though that 1982 movie is probably our first real contender for the top spot.
Peanuts – The impetus for this whole article peanuts has had 4 full length movies made out of it (I’m not counting the Christmas/great pumpkin which were technically TV movies.) Probably the best of the bunch here is Snoopy, Come Home but it’s hard to go wrong with any of these. They all do a great job of capturing the feel of Peanuts and don’t fall into the trap of casting real people as the characters, something a lot of comic strips do, and almost none of them do well. Speaking of which…
The Phantom: There was a 1996 the Phantom movie that was just… just so weird… and bad. But somehow mesmerizing. If you ever feel like fully experiencing the 90s while also watching Billy Zane hop around in a purple onsie then this is definitely the movie for you… And also maybe don’t ever talk to me again. Ya weirdo.
Popeye – Arguably the worst thing that has happened to movies or comic strips ever is the 1980’s popeye movie… just… just watch this trailer and then very quickly move on with your life. Try not to look directly at it though.
Red Ryder – between 1944 and 1950 there were 24 Red Ryder movies released. I mean just… just wow. No wonder the Red Ryder BB gun became such a thing, it was practically impossible to live during those 6 years and NOT see that rifle constantly. It’s worth mentioning that a 1945 movie was called Lone Texas Ranger so… I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
And that’s kind of it guys. Apparently no one decided to make a Wizard of Id movie, and also somewhat shockingly no one has ever made a Calvin and Hobbes movie?!?!?! I mean come on people. Anyway, we now come to the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the crowning of the greatest comic strip movie of all time.
Annie – the good one.
Sometimes you just can’t get away from the classics guys. Sure, the Peanuts movies were all pretty solid but they get overshadowed by their own TV movies and that took a lot away from them. When I started this article I honestly thought there would be steeper competition for this coveted/entirely made up prize, but apparently it’s hard to turn a three panel 1/20th of a page comic strip into a good full length feature film. Go figure.