In an era of superhero movies dominating the box office, it’s odd that they’ve mostly been relegated to live-action movies. We’ve had the occasional animated superhero movie here and there, mostly with original properties like The Incredibles or adaptations of lesser-known teams like Big Hero 6. However, when it’s about the big characters, we didn’t get much.
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Outside of Spider-Man and Batman, both of which received acclaimed animated features in theaters, there have been slim pickings for Marvel and DC fans with a passion for animation. And while animated versions of these characters have flourished on TV and in direct-to-video features, an untapped market is just waiting to be unleashed.
A lesser-known character, even for most die-hard comic book fans, Animal Man’s whole schtick is getting abilities from any nearby animal. It was only in the 80s that Grant Morrison and Chas Truog redefined the character with one of the most critically acclaimed series of the era.
Animation would be the perfect place for this character on the big screen, mainly due to the heavy use of metatextual ideas in his stories. Many times the author is a character himself, and some segments look like the famous looney tunescartoon duck amuck. It would make a fantastic animated feature aimed at older audiences that would deal with both meta and emotional.
The ant Man
Although it took Ant-Man a while to become a household name, the efforts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have transformed our resident insect-themed superhero into one of the world’s most popular heroes. . But while audiences know the character as Scott Lang, comic book readers are more familiar with Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man and creator of Ultron.
While an animated story telling Hank’s story as the original Ant-Man would be a fun diversion from normal MCU fare, it’s more interesting to tell an entirely original story with Ant-Man in animation. His shrinking abilities would create some really fun storylines in the medium, and you could play around with multiple art styles instead of just one when characters shrink.
Deadpool was about to get its own anime adaptation – Donald Glover was responsible for developing a version of the character for FX which unfortunately never aired. That said, the Merc with a Mouth looks like the kind of character that should have received an animated adaptation years ago.
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As his eponymous video game has proven, putting him in other mediums is a surefire bet to do something new with the character. An animated movie would pull out all the stops on the fourth-wall-breaking meta-humor that makes Deadpool so iconic and likeable. Plus, it would be the rare R-rated animated feature, which is a rarity these days and deserves more of a chance to be made.
The Fantastic Four
After three live attempts, Marvel Studios will once again attempt to bring a version of Marvel’s First Family to the big screen. While they’re no strangers to reboots, this one seems very important, not only for its stature as an important piece of Marvel history, but also as one last chance to properly equip the team.
And while Marvel Studios is knocking him out of the park if his track record says anything about it, animation might suit this team better in general. Reed Richards’ powers would look better in animation, and the story could easily draw on the sci-fi adventure aspects of the team, as opposed to the standard superhero fare in which many of their lesser adaptations fall.
The Green Lantern
Green Lantern seems like a tough character to master. While the Ryan Reynolds The 2011 film was a valiant attempt, it left a lot to be desired and failed to capitalize on the character’s primary conceit – which is the idea that, through the Green Lantern ring, you can create anything your mind desires.
This premise alone means that Green Lantern is very likely to be better suited to animation than live-action. His appearances on Justice League Unlimited are fun, but a full version of the character on a movie budget could be a superhero movie for the ages.
When the MCU brought in Kamala Khan, they made a change to her character that has remained controversial. His powers, which are based on the comics, have been replaced with those of similar constructs to Green Lantern, and while the series finale was acclaimed enough to win most doubters over, it’s still a sour taste. for many comic book fans.
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An animated feature with Kamala Khan in her original power set could help mitigate the damage. Audiences see their powers for what they are in the comics, while animators can flex their skills and come up with truly creative storylines. It might even have a unique art style – a 2D/3D hybrid likeInto the Spider-Versewould suit him perfectly.
While it seems like every character under the sun is getting the live-action treatment from Marvel Studios, there are still some characters that haven’t been touched. Power supplya cast of younger Marvel Comics characters, was likely not made due to their young age and stories tending to be aimed at very young demographics.
So why not put them in animated form instead? Disney has had great success with Big Hero 6, and Power supply would be a great choice for a second animated feature from the studio based on the comics. Moreover, as Big Hero 6 shown, they have the potential to take these characters, reimagine them for a new audience, and appeal to children and adults alike.
For some reason, it seems nearly impossible for Warner Bros. and DC to get another Superman movie off the ground. Many attempts have been made since Steel man was released in 2013. While it’s very likely that with recent announcements from WB Discovery this will happen sooner rather than later, now would be a good time to do something unique with the character.
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Whereas DC League of Super Pets isn’t exactly a huge box office hit, it’s received strong enough reviews to warrant more DC animated movies in theaters, and a Superman movie seems like the best way to go. A complete version of the old school Fleischer the cartoons, still considered one of the best versions of the character, could be the key to making him popular again.
Similar to Superman, The Flash struggled to make it to theaters. While a live-action Flash has been known to audiences for some time on The CW, an animated film could be key to ensuring audiences are interested again. After all, with the controversy surrounding the upcoming movie underway and the ninth season being the end for the ArrowverseThe Flash would need a complete reimagining for audiences to care.
Many ways to do it, but an animated film in the vein of something like The Incredibles – old school, luscious 50s styling – might be key here. The Flash is a nerdy character with nerdy villains, and leaning into that in animation could be the way to breathe new life into the genre.
It looks like Marvel wants to leave Wolverine’s character alone after a while Hugh Jackman hung up the claws in 2017. While that’s understandable, another actor will have to take on the role at some point. Until then, why not give it the full animated treatment and do something separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so it can breathe a little?
A Wolverine animated feature would be a risky business – it would likely be rated R, for one, and serious at that, making it a tough sell to audiences. Despite this, if we get someone like Genndy Tartakovsky in charge, and it ends up being like Primitive in terms of tone, it could be really special.
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