Not too long ago, I reported on DreamWorks Animation’s $155 million acquisition of hundreds of dated properties from Classic Media. I supposed that the move was an ill one considering the bland hideousness of previous reintroductions such as Underdog, The Smurfs and Rocky and Bullwinkle. On the heels of that comes another announcement of a ‘classic’ property soon to see the running lights of movie theaters across the nation: ALF.
Again I have to ask, why? I can see the potential for a good film here. An alien named Gordon Shumway lives with a family of humans on earth, likes to eat cats and has a great sense of humor. I get it. That could be a great premise for a PG-13 film.
On the other hand, it probably won’t be. The film’s being produced by Jordan Kerner, who helped bring The Smurfs to the big screen for Sony Pictures Animation last year (did you know The Smurfs 2 just finished shooting?). You can expect a hybrid CG/live-action film in the same vein as the films mentioned above, which means ALF will not be a puppet. Why does everything have to be CG these days? I love puppet animatronics.
ALF not being a puppet puts the kibosh on one of the show’s main selling points. A cartoon walking around in a kitchen spouting one liners will not be as funny as a furry puppet doing it. That’s just comedy physics 101. Puppets > Cartoons.
Original show creators Kenneth Kaufman, Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco (voice of ALF) are all attached to the production of the film, and Fusco will be reprising his role as ALF’s voice. As for the rest of the TV show’s original cast? They won’t be in it, and it probably has something to do with this: