This trend of films derived from TV series seems to be in fashion at the moment, with the release of Bob’s Burgers movie information as good as Beavis and Butt-Head: Making the Universe, which is now streaming on Paramount+. It only means that fans of any TV show can leave the comfort of their own home to hit the movies and watch their favorite program on the big screen with a more nuanced and creative narrative.
Although a movie is no longer than two hours at best, it still captures the same antics and atmosphere of TV shows and even tries to elevate the concept with something more refreshing for the character storyline. Of Sponge Bob SquarePants at Downton Abbeythere’s no shortage of TV shows that have made a detour to a movie.
The Simpsons (1989-)
Stream on Hulu
The still in progress The simpsons chronicles Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson and their adventures in the colorful town of Springfield. Beginning in 1989 on The Tracy Ulman Show, The simpsons has 33 seasons, with season 34 premiering in September.
While audiences love the Simpson family, the supporting characters are equally entertaining and beloved due to their comedic gimmicks and work to play out their relationship with the main characters. Clever and fun satirical writing explains why the show is still going strong after so many seasons. These elements led to The Simpsons movie, which has worked well in show business. It raised the stakes, introduced new characters like “spider-pig”, and deepened Marge and Homer’s relationship, explaining why they stuck together for so many years.
The X Files (1993 – 2018)
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In X files, two FBI agents are investigating the paranormal. The iconic opening music sets the show’s ominous tone and spans 11 seasons, X files works so well because Fox Mulder (David Duchovney) believes in the paranormal, while his partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) is skeptical.
Although this hugely popular science fiction series has been considered one of the best in history, two film installments failed to capture the series’ mysterious and thought-provoking storytelling. The first movie, The X-Files: Fight the Future, felt like an extended episode of the series. It just appealed to existing fans, as it didn’t add anything new to the series. The following, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, went in the opposite direction and seemed like a disconnect from the show. While Mulder and Scully’s chemistry was strong, the film suffered from a confusing plot and thriller cliches.
Dragon Ball Z (1989-2003)
Stream on Prime Video
Dragon Ball Z put more emphasis on battles, making them bigger. There were larger locations, which meant more opportunities for characters to show off their abilities.
There are a lot of big bad guys in the dragonball series, but Frieza stands out for being calm yet ruthless. Although a fan favorite, it was overused and in need of a change. Resurrection ‘F’ made Frieza feel new while keeping the nostalgia alive while many characters get their chance to shine, including Vegeta. The best elements of the series are shown in the film, highlighted by an epic battle between Goku and Frieza.
South Park (1997-)
Stream on HBO Max
Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman are 4th graders who go on wacky and steamy adventures in the mountain town of South Park, Colorado. South Park recently celebrated its 25th season.
The show’s appeal isn’t just the crazy adventures the boys take part in, but more so the social commentary, like battling the COVID pandemic. This social commentary is the show’s strength and is certainly shown in the film. South Park: taller, longer, uncut. He makes a statement about censorship and uses jokes, parodies and exaggerations to make his point. The irony is that the show’s creators aren’t afraid of who they offend.
Beavis and Butthead (1993-2022)
Stream on Paramount+
Beavis and Butthead started on MTV and featured two apathetic heavy metal fans who think everything is “cool” or “sucky”. Interestingly enough, the videos they would laugh at would be on MTV.
Beavis and Butt-Head: Do America was released in 1996. It contained a key element of the show, as the plot revolves around the two of them hoping to “score”, which made viewers identify with the film’s content. For this reason, a new film, Beavis and Butt-Head: Do the Universe, recently released on Paramount+ along with a brand new season, premiering in August. The film’s sequel itself received praise for reviving the duo’s humor, which further proves why a revival is coming. It would be ten years since the first revival in 2011, making it one of the few TV shows to have a huge gap between seasons.
Bob’s Burgers (2011-)
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H. Jon Benjamin stars as Bob Belcher, who owns a burger joint with his family and competes with a rival restaurant owned by Jimmy Pesto. Developing this story was a movie, Bob’s Burger movie, who recently hit theaters.
The film focuses on the Belchers trying to save their restaurant from a sinkhole. Although it looks like an extended episode, the film had heart, clever jokes, and callbacks to the series. The strength of Bob’s Burgers obviously lies in the family dynamic, and this is clearly present in the film. Although fans enjoyed this lengthy storytelling, it’s one of the few films of 2022 that flopped at the box office.
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-)
Stream on Paramount+
Spongebob is a sponge who works in a fast food restaurant and lives in a pineapple under the sea. Of course, Sponge Bob SquarePants has been the most popular series on Nickelodeon, with 14 seasons to date.
Marketed as a children’s show, many of its jokes appeal to adults. Squidward is one of the most popular supporting characters in the series due to his relatability and grumpy attitude. So it would make sense to feature them in the movies. However, SpongeBob SquarePants The Movie (2004) failed to do so, although it gave SpongeBob a traditional hero’s journey coupled with new characters like King Neptune and his daughter Mindy.
Stream on Netflix
Ash Ketchum is a Pokémon (pocket monster) trainer who wants to be the best. Together with his friends and his beloved Pokémon named Pikachu, he searches for wilder Pokémon. Still going strong today Pokemon has over 1200 episodes across 23 seasons.
It is a cultural phenomenon, engendering Pokemon several remakes and video games – dating back to the Nintendo Gameboy. However, Pokemon: The First Movie – MewTwo Strikes Back was the springboard that made it all possible. Not only did it introduce exciting new Pokémon (a draw for kids), but it covered important themes like genetic engineering and existentialism (a draw for adults).
Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
Stream on Peacock
Downton Abbey depicts the lives of British aristocrats, the Crowley family and their servants in the early 1900s. The show has 52 episodes spread over 6 seasons.
Despite its initial conclusion in 2015, tThe show’s popularity sparked a film of the same name in 2019. Although it had a simple premise – the king and queen are coming to dinner – it worked because it allowed the characters to be themselves. This resulted in a follow-up Downton Abbey: A New Era. It continued the success of its predecessor by giving fans what they wanted: classic dry British humor and sharp wit, with elaborate costumes and sets.
Stream on Hulu
In Futurama, a New York pizza delivery boy is cryogenically frozen by accident and wakes up 1000 years in the future. After 10 seasons, a revival of the show is expected in 2023.
Because Futurama comes from the creators of The simpsons, comedy and writing are alike. By far the most entertaining character is Bender, an opposite robot who drinks, smokes, gambles, and commits crimes. Its popularity has spawned a few films, namely Bender’s game. From the humor to the emotion, it really felt like part of the show. More importantly, it solidified Leia and Fry’s romance, which has played a big part in later seasons.
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