Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From The Idea Hole: Three Classic Children's Books Adapted Into Gritty Adult Movies

On my podcast, The Dirty Sons of Pitches, a lot of the pitch themes from week to week hinge on taking a certain genre known for being very kid friendly, and envisioning darker adult interpretations of things in that genre. One of them, a theme we've done a few times where we take classic video games and pitch gritty movie adaptations of them, inspired a whole series on this blog. Another that I've been trying to get on the show for a while now concerns children's literature. Since I won't be able to pitch these on my show anytime soon, I figured I'd pitch them here, so here are the Three Classic Children's Books I'd Adapt Into Gritty Adult Movies.

1: The Giving Tree

The ultimate tale of self-sacrifice and selfishness, about a little boy you just want to punch in the face who takes advantage of a poor little sentient tree that wants only to give, until it has given so much of itself that it is just a stump for the now elderly man to sit on and die. My take would be more of a sequel to this story than an adaptation. It would follow the old man as he regails his family with the tale of the magic tree (a family, it should be pointed out, that he made overseas, after chopping down the tree and using it as a freaking boat). Fascinated by his story, the young children venture out into the forest to find their own giving trees, only to find them much less willing to be so generous. The trees ask the kids why they would think a tree would give so much, and they tell them the story, eliciting shock and disgust among the forest. It is here we learn that the Giving Tree was not so much giving, as mentally retarded, and didn't know any better, and this affront on their tree honor convinces the entire forest to declare war on the decendants of the Giving Tree's murderer. Trees and shrubery climb out of the forest like Ents on a murderous rampage, to nourish their roots with the blood of their enemies, never resting until all of them are dead. They call themselves the Taking Trees, for when they come for you, they take your life!

2: Where's Waldo

This one has sort of a happy ending actually. It's set in an orwellian police state, where Waldo is actually the name of a mysterious resistance leader never seen directly by the Overseer, a giant city ship owned by the central government resembling a magnifying glass suspended in the sky. They chase word of his deeds all around the world, through pyramids in Egypt and the icy Tundra, until finally getting a glimpse of what they learn to be his signature ensemble. Suddenly, red and white stripes begin appearing everywhere as a symbol of the revolution, and more and more people are being convinced to take up arms against the state. The government project running Overseer finally gets intelligence regarding the future whereabouts of their enemy, in a major city on a very important day. They wait, and they watch, but when the appointed time comes, the city streets are flooded with supporters of the resistance wearing the colors or their leader Waldo, V for Vendetta style. We never see him throughout the movie, at least not directly, and he remains a metaphor for the human spirit against the yoke of oppression, proving the totalitarians fallable by evading their supposedly perfect survailence system. In the end, we are all Waldo.

3: Everybody Poops

Yes, Everybody poops. All the time. Constantly, whether they want to or not. A supernatural virus akin to the suicide spree in the Happening has effected every human being on the planet. Everyone in the world shitting their pants uncontrollably, non stop; it's Poomageddon, Poognarock, the Poopocalypse. They must constantly eat more and more to keep up with their unnaturally high metabolisms or risk dying like that fat dude almost did in Thinner before Joe Mantegna kidnapped that gypsy. Life must go on, despite what was once a taboo suddenly becoming common place. Fashion is rethought to accommodate the need for sudden bowel movements, and entire cities are redesigned with state of the art sanitation technology to allow for public defecation on the fly. Paradoxically, culturally we become more tolerant and respectful of each other, as the never-ending stream of shit into our pants becomes the great equalizer, removing all perceived social class restrictions. Eventually, a crack team of perpetually pooping scientists discover the cause of the affliction is the infamous urban legend known as the Brown Noise, which they learn is in fact a sub sonic frequency being broadcast world wide from deep in the heart of Mexico. They must brave the even more violently poo inducing food and water of the region to discover who is responsible for this evil plop...which is to say, evil plot.

I have to start thinking of better ways to end these things. I don't really know how to go from that to "bye everyone, see you next time." I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this. Poop.

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