Monday, February 21, 2011

Movies that should be remade: Cool World

Actually everything that Ralph Bakshi ever made could be remade based on my criteria that if it wasn't done right once then it's up for a remake.  Ralph is a frustrating genius of a man.  In almost every project of his there is stuff that just rocks.  He also is one of the very few animators to actually show a personal vision onscreen.  It's just a crying shame he can never keep it together for any length of time.  Hey remember wizards?  The scene with "They Killed Fritz" rocked.  The whole movie?  Not so much.

"Cool World" was basically Bakshi's last shot at a major full length film.  It should have blown the doors down.  Modeled as a more dirty "Roger Rabbit," it's the tale of Holly Would a toon (oops sorry a DOODLE) who wants to be part of the real world.  She sees her key to mundane transcendence in the unlikely form of an ex con who's a cartoonist who believes he has created Holly and her world.  The one thing that is going to stop her plan is Brad Pitt as a cop who's been in the Doodle world since the '40s. 

Sigh.  This has so much going for it.  Brad Pitt.  Gabriel Byrne, Kim WHEN SHE WAS HWAT Bassinger.  It has an interesting visual style and some scenes really do just kill.  My favorite is just a throwaway gag.  Brad's partner calls him and the phone is like being electrocuted and having an orgasm at the same time as it runs around the room yelling "FRANK!!!"

So why doesn't it work?  Well partly it's own design sense works against it.  The cool world is just too busy.  There are a billion throwaways everytime you are there.  It's exhausting and takes away from the plot of the film.  I do appreciate the shout outs to animation history, but I could have done with five to their fifty.

Speaking of plot there are things that are pencilled in that are never explored.  How Gabriel's character needed an escape while in prison.  Or the confrontation between straight laced 40's cop and ex con.  These things are in the script but just fleetingly and they deserved more time.

Also, Gabriel and Kim are good actors, but they are not WARM actors.  Having an affair between two such actors cools the entire film and not in a cool way.  There's no fire, no passion, where there should be.  Which also brings me indelicately to the fact that for a naughty cartoon it's not very naughty.  If a plot point is toon sex then let there be some toon sex and not some half rotoscoped ass pg13 version.

On the plus side, Brad does great and his doodle girl looks hwat and has a fun forties feel.  The music is aggressively dance/techno and works great to drive the movie along.  Plus they have a Bowie song which is always a plus.

Really what this film needs for a remake is just a strong story and the balls to really tell the story about toons getting naughty with us normal folk.  The rest would just take care of itself.


  1. It's interesting that you've brought this up. I remember the title and the 3 main actors, but little else of this film. Remade maybe it would (Holly) be worth a watch.

  2. I seriously hope someone in Hollywood (Holli Would, get it?) will remake this movie, and I hope that they make it a hell of a lot better than the original. I agree with what you said in that in order for "Cool World" to be remade, it needs a strong story and a director who has the guts to tell the story. For a "Cool World" remake, I picture the story of the movie as a much better version of the premise that was (in a very weak manner) laid out in the 1992 original. The plot of the remake should also explain many of the situations and events that weren't explained in the original film, things such as the "noids do not have sex with doodles" law, how a human is reborn as a doodle if he/she is killed by a doodle, or how the "Spike of power" device that opens a portal connecting Cool World to the real world really works.

    For the remake, the character of Holli Would should not be the villain at all, but instead a sexy, good-hearted heroine who cares for others and never backs down from a dangerous situation. The plot of Ralph Bakshi's unused script for "Cool World" can be worked into the plot of the remake as a subplot or plot device to develop the "half-doodle, half-human" character from the unused script into a seperate character that can be the main antagonist of the remake.

    The character of Jack Deebs from the original film wasn't fully developed as a character, only very loosely. For a remade "Cool World," I picture Jack being an ordinary high schooler (not an ex-con cartoonist like in the original film) who, while on a search for his real birth mother (who left his life right after he was born, leading to him living most his life with a kind stepmother as well as his father) buys a comic book called "Cool World." The comic book will actually be the previously-mentioned "Spike of Power" in disguise and its powers will transport Jack to Cool World, where he will meet and eventually fall in love with Holli Would. The character Doc "Vegas Vinnie" Whiskers will be found out by Jack and Holli to be his grandfather who's daughter (Jacks' long-lost biological mother) is a hybrid of doodle and human who hates herself for what she is and sets out to kill everyone she believes has made her life miserable, including her own son! This will set Jack's birth mother as the main antagonist and it will be up to Jack, Holli, Doc Whiskers, and Frank Harris (the human cop of Cool World) to stop her from not only murdering everyone she hates, but from also using the Spike of Power to destroy both worlds.

    Frank Harris was actually the most developed out of all of the characters in the original "Cool World." So for the remake, Frank's story should be reused and worked into the remake's plot and he should become an ally to Jack and Holli, helping them stop Jack's evil real hybrid mother towards the climax. Also, Holli should remain a doodle throughout the entirety of the remake, this way she'll learn the theme/lesson of the remake: that being real comes from what's inside the heart and being who you are meant to be and not from being born of flesh and blood. With Holli being a doodle throughout the remake, it will be appropriate to have a sex scene between her as a doodle and Jack as a human since the plot (the way I in-vision it) will be a "Twilight"-esque love story between Jack and Holli.

    So that's how I picture a remake of "Cool World." Hopefully some director will do a remake of this movie and if he/she does, I hope it's somewhere along the lines of my vision for it. If not, then whatever the story is for the remake, I hope that it's a great, solid story and it will make the film a financial and critical success.

  3. Wow I can see you've really thought it through. Good ideas there.

  4. Thanks Lazarus Lupin, I appriciate it.

  5. Here are some other points I'd like to make about the vision for a "Cool World" remake that I had previously posted on this blog.

    One: If I had to choose a director who can successfully pull off a remake of Ralph Bakshi's "Cool World" (the way I have written it anyway), it has to be another famous American animator: Don Bluth. To me, Don has told fantastic stories with some of his animated films such as "The Land Before Time" and "An American Tail" and this is because he teamed up with Steven Spielberg on both films, who most likely taught Don some of his cinematic storytelling skills on both films as well. Also, for family-oriented animated films, Don's work contains a lot of gritty, adult-type drama in them (something that was present in the original "Cool World" as well) so my vision for a remade "Cool World" really fits Don Bluth like a glove because my vision is written in a way that contains elements that are present in almost every movie Don Bluth has made adn why many of his films are popular to this day.

    Two: My choices of actors/actresses who can play the lead roles of Jack Deebs, Holli Would, and Frank Harris (in my vision for a remade "Cool World")are the following: Since my vision for Jack Deebs is a non-cartoonist teenager, I've narrowed my choices down to either Logan Lerman (from "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief")or maybe even Josh Hutcherson. For Holli Would (for her voice anyway since she should still look the same in a remade "Cool World"), my choices are Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried, or possibly Katherine McPhee from the TV show "Smash." and for Frank Harris, I can picture either Robert Pattinson (a.k.a. Edward Cullen) or maybe even Daniel Radcliffe (a.k.a. Harry Potter)playing him.

  6. Here is another great story idea for a remake of "Cool World" that I'm currently turning into an actual script!

    A teenage boy named Jack Deebs, who is struggling to get over the death of his father, joins his mother and sister in moving to Las Vegas to start a new life with them. One day, he buys “Cool World,” a comic book that’s anything but ordinary! It possesses unimaginable powers, powers that transport the depressed Jack to Cool World itself, an alternate dimension where living, breathing cartoon characters (known as ‘Doodles’) live normal lives parallel to New York City. While in this brave, new world, Jack Deebs meets Holli Would, a sexy, female, humanlike doodle who dreams of becoming a real human girl someday (humans are known as ‘Noids’ in doodle society). Much to his surprise, Jack finds himself falling in love with the gorgeous Holli, and their star-crossed relationship transitions over to the real world! Holli’s initial dream to become real changes as she learns that it doesn’t matter if you’re made of ink; who you are as an individual, not who you pretend to be, is what truly makes you real. However, Frank Harris, a noid cop who has lived in and policed Cool World since coming to the animated dimension in the 1940s, warns the young Jack about a strict Cool World law: noids do not have sex with doodles! The reason for this law is Selena, a redhead female doodle who is also a succubus, a deadly demon that’s born predestined to kill noid and doodle men alike by impregnating them with demon doodles via a venomous bite to the neck! Selena also has a massive army of demonic doodle offspring ready to fulfill her ultimate goal: to take over both Cool World and the real world! Selena is the daughter of a famous doodle named Doctor “Vegas Vinnie” Whiskers who crossed over into the real world after opening a portal between the two worlds using a powerful artifact called the “Golden Spike of Power” and subsequently fell for a noid woman himself. When the Doc’s demon daughter escapes to enact her plans for double world domination, Jack uncovers a startling revelation that connects Selena with his father’s death! Now it’s up to Jack, Holli, Frank, and all of their friends and family to stop Selena before her actions cause the destruction of both universes!

    If there is anybody here who thinks that this idea can really work for a "Cool World" remake, contact me at