Video Game Adaptions into animation

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The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2002
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Video games have had a tough time getting adapted into other mediums, both live action and animation. Since the late 80s and early 90s, we have had several animation adaptions of video games, both in the US and Japan. A lot of these adaptions were not so great, like the old Super Mario shows, Sonic cartoons, Captain N, the Mega Man cartoons. etc. Even Sat Am Sonic has not aged well, Robotnik is still a great villain, but Sonic in that cartoon is just a collection of 90s cliches. Though I remember people liking Earth Worm Jim. I remember there was R rated direct to DVD movies about Dead Space and Dante's Inferno (the game) that were not very good.

We have had some newer stuff, like Mega Man Fully Charged and Sonic Boom (though I am not sure how well those were received), but the big thing to come out is Castlevania MA series on Netflix, which was pretty short, but kinda cool.

Anyway, the video game market has changed a lot since the late 80s, early 90s, not only do we have the big studio released games, but also indie games that become popular like Undertale (which would be hard to turn into an cartoon due to its video game story structure). Also we are getting a animated Super Mario movie, which is what they should have done back in 1993. Also some of the newer games released would not work as kids cartoons (Assassin's Creed for kids sounds like a bad idea)

Anyway, what do you think of past animated adaptions of video games and what you like to see in regards to animated adaptions of video games in the future?


Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2007
349 16
Newington, CT, USA
It goes all the way back to 1982 when Hanna-Barbera adapted Pac-Man into an animated series (it was actually the very first one). Then came Saturday Supercade* (1983), and Dragon's Lair (1984), both by Ruby-Spears. In each case, these shows work because even if you've never played the games, they still have H-B and R-S's style of comedy. That, and they didn't have much to work with, so it really couldn't be helped. Heck, even before that (but in the same year), there's Tron, which involves video games.

The shows that DIC made weren't that bad (though yes, their "Simon Belmont" is admittedly not like how the instruction manuals talk about him). Besides, they were from 1989 (SMBSS; Captain N), 1990 (Adv./SMB3), 1991 (SMW), and 1993 (Adv./Sonic; Sonic SatAM), when not many people really understood what the Super Mario and Sonic franchises were all about (although I think Japan^ has some idea). I know a lot of people didn't like The Wizard (a movie about video games, but not based on any one game), and yes, they made some mistakes ("F-1 Dream" is actually "Top Speed", for instance), but I personally don't think it was that bad; not really. It least it's better than the Super Mario Bros. live-action movie that came out (ironically, there had been a Japanese anime movie based on Super Mario Bros. that came out in 1986). Mega Man? That's another story...

Then there's Wreck-it Ralph. I decided not to bother with this one because 1)It wasn't made by Pixar; 2)The movie simply doesn't know what it's talking about. A video game villain is tired of being a villain, and wants to be a hero, so he tries going to other games? That's for the developers to decide. After all, Ralph...was programmed to be a villain! Get it? Video games? Computer programming? WAKA WAKA WAKA!


And 3)Even though they tried to be as indirect as possible, they still referenced video games that you have to be 17 (let alone 13) to play (Mortal Kombat, and House of the Dead, I think), making this "family" movie more for the parents who played these and other games when they were younger (i.e., with the makers of the movie figuring that the rest of the family won't "get it", or "know the difference") in the long run. However, that actually goes into both the history of Disney, and a much bigger problem that has nothing to do with video games, so I'll stop there.

Suffice it to say, just like any other movie, how faithful a movie or TV show is to a video game (or even if a movie just involves video games) depends on a whole bunch of things, like what kind of game it is, and whether or not the people making it, and the company releasing will actually make a movie that actually adapts the game, without assuming that "everyone else" won't know the difference, or otherwise insults everyone's intelligence.

It's not (necessarily) that difficult to adapt a movie into a video game, but like anything else, you can't be too literal, while at the same time, you can't go too far away. That, and it has to be an actual movie based on a game, and not a(nother) tribute/parody that doesn't know what it's talking about. It also can't be just another drama that focuses more on the problem and less on the solution just so it can be dark/edgy. Either way, it can't call itself a movie based on a video game, then just simply ignore it, and do it's own thing no matter what people might think.

For these reasons among others, while I do have some ideas on which recent games could be adapted, those certain people who make movies and TV shows first have to stop treating everyone like they don't know any better, or are otherwise stupid. If I were to give my ideas on which ones could be adapted, I could just be giving those people ideas on which games they could claim to adapt, but aren't really adapting at all, so I'm going to keep them to myself for right now...

*Which adapts Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Pitfall, Frogger, Q*Bert, and in the second season, Kangaroo, and Space Ace.


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