This one’s an easy sell: a team of five people all pilot massive robot lions that, when combined together, form a towering robotic wwarrior known as Voltron: Defender of the Universe. You shouldn’t really need any more reasons why this would work, since kids didn’t when the cartoon first made it to American homes. Despite being written and acted in Japanese, and deciphered without a translator, the lions were cool enough to make Voltron the most successful syndicated kids’ show of its time. So if the time right for a Power Rangers reboot, Voltron can’t be too far behind.
What could be better to a kid than hearing they might one day wake up in a full-grown, heroic body, ready to do battle like a cartoon hero? That’s the main plot of ThunderCats, when Lion-O and his group of friends travel from their doomed planet to Third Earth, arriving and waking from stasis to find that they’re now full-grown. The villain, enemies, and larger mythology of the Eye of Thundera all make it an even better story, but considering the show’s place in pop culture, nobody needs any convincing.
It’s one thing to be chosen to become a martial artist superhero, but given a robotic animal to pilot on top of it? The Power Rangers are the kings of kids cartoon heroes, recruited to battle the galaxy’s worst villains just for being “teenagers with attitude.” It’s hard to know what the real hook of the show actually is: the teens transformed into neon-colored ninja warriors, or when they’re forced to combine their individual vehicles into the epic Megazord to take on an oversized enemy. It’s easy to see why a Power Rangers movie is actually in production, but the filmmakers still need to capture the spirit, while keeping it cool for more than just diehard fans – easier said than done.
It’s honestly surprising that this series hasn’t already been adapted to live-action, since its unique story and inspired premise basically demand it. When the title Samurai has completed the training needed to defeat the evil Demon Aku, his enemy pulls a fast one, sending the samurai far into the future, buying himself enough time to prepare for his attack. Dropped into a technologically advanced, but fascist and dystopic society, Samurai Jack must find the way home to keep this world ruled by Aku from ever existing, as Aku sends wave after wave of killers and light-hearted hitmen to take him out. Time travel, samurai, demons – what more could you want?
Biker Mice From Mars
It may be the most far-fetched premise on our entire list, but trust us: the story of three mice-men from Mars who protect Earth from the evil that destroyed their home planet – from the backs of customized motorcycles – is one worth seeing adapted. The fact that they’re actually mice men could be hard to swallow, but the story of three grease monkey aliens could give fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles another franchise to root for – and give the Biker Mice a modern reboot to learn from.
We’ve got shows in space, and shows following cops – but what about a cartoon series following futuristic cops with metallic wings? That’s right, the SilverHawks may not be the most original idea for a kids’ show, but it’s hard to argue with just how cool they are. The show was a spiritual successor to ThunderCats in several ways, so assuming that the same connection could be translated to the big screen (with a big enough budget to do their winged crimefighting justice), especially in the rage of the “shared universe” at all cost…
To be clear, we men’s the cartoon series Cops, not the prime time cop series. No, we’re referring to the Central Organization of Police Specialist. In other words, a team of the very best law men and women from across America, all recruited to stop Big Boss from taking over Empire City. Did we mention their leader was almost killed by Big Boss, and had his Torso replaced with cybernetic parts? If the idea of a Robocop team-up aimed at kids doesn’t get your hopes for a great action comedy soaring, ghats your own fault.
Dungeons & Dragons
Ask any fan of role playing games, or D&D in particular, and they’ll tell you that as cool as it is to step into the shoes of a monster or witch hunter, just playing as one doesn’t even come close. Thanks to this animated series, kids could dream that they, too would plunge into the distant world of Never Land, only to wake up having been shrunk down into a forest-sized game of chess, and having the mysterious Dungeon Master assign them their skills. In other words, in a world where lines between video games and all other entertainment are starting to blur, seeing a group of kids have to deal with that revelation.