News went ’round the world wide web today that Frederator, the studio behind Adventure Time and dozens of Nickelodeon cartoons, is working on a show based on “one of the most world-famous video games of the last thirty years.”
What exactly that game is remains a mystery, but we do have a few clues. We can reasonably assume it’s not Mega Man, Sonic, Pac-Man, and Skylanders (and by extension Spyro the Dragon), as each such franchise already has a cartoon adaption in production with various other studios. We also know they’ve been drafting this series on and off for twelve years, which means they obtained the license somewhere around 2004. For this same reason, we can safely assume anything owner by Nintendo is off the table, as they’ve only recently begun loosening their restrictions on their IP.
Crash Bandicoot sticks out to me as not only the most likely candidate, but perhaps the best series fit for a Nickelodeon adaptation. The series takes place in a zany cartoon world with a mad scientist and a dynamic-yet-dim-witted animal hero, which leaves the door wide open for creative short-form storytelling and plenty of animated gags. In fact, Crash’s co-creator David Siller revealed that Universal Studios once produced a cartoon ad for the original game, which you can watch embedded below, serving as a rough template for an animated Crash Bandicoot series.
But it seems all too fitting this news would arrive now if the series is indeed Crash. After all, Crash was one of the most successful game franchises in the late 90s and early 2000s, and in 2004 it was still riding high on its coattails of success. Since then the series has struggled to maintain its popularity, which may help explain why a cartoon adaption has struggled for so long to find its footing during production. But all eyes are on Crash once again, as the original trilogy is getting remastered on PlayStation 4, and Crash himself has appeared in the most recent Skylanders game and even crossed over into the Skylanders Netflix series in a features speaking role. The timing would certainly make sense for Frederator to reconsider their video game adaption if it’s Crash Bandicoot.
Of course, there are plenty of other possibilities to entertain if you set likelihood aside. Pikmin, Rayman, Ratchet & Clank, Splatoon, and tons of other franchises come to mind as ripe cartoon universes for short episodic storytelling. What franchise do you think would be the best fit for a Nickelodeon adaption?