With “nostalgia” apparently the watchword for all summer releases from “Super 8” to “The Tree of Life,” producer Galen Walker is perhaps taking the trend slightly too literally by plundering his ’80s toybox and announcing the production of an animated “Cabbage Patch Kids” TV movie, as The Hollywood Reporter notes. Having already finagled the film rights to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” presumably Walker’s next move is to round up all the Care Bears, illegally detain them in detention camps, and demand that Love-a-Lot Bear surrender his life rights.
Briefly a craze three decades ago – you know, in the way yo-yos and the Ebola virus were – Cabbage Patch Kids were fat-faced dolls who were “born” in the real-life Babyland General Hospital and tended to their metaphorical philosophical gardens in a “Candide”-like best of all possible worlds. If you’re looking for a picture to affix to your dartboard, creator Xavier Roberts is a convenient hate figure. He’s the man responsible for crafting the “legend” of these creations who apparently still enjoy a degree of popularity to this day. This is, one imagines, the pretext that Walker is utilizing to insist that, “It’s a brand filled with many positive messages for kids.” Unless he’s talking about the other kind of brand used to mark cattle, and he’s planning to go around burning kids with molten metal in a crazed frenzy, it’s hard to see what the “positive messages” are that he’s alluding to.
Walker’s project joins a growing litany of kiddie-based cultural terrors purloined from either board games or other toys — the doomed “Battleship“, “Stretch Armstrong” and “Monopoly” — that have been threatened in the past. Of course it’s easy to chirp about the essential laziness of such a ploy, with “Alvin and the Chipmunks” already such an astronomical success and “The Smurfs” landing later this year. In the past insensitive internet trolls have enjoyed carping about their childhood being “raped” by evil corporate puppet-masters, and that’s all well and good but it trivializes the wider point. We’ve now reached such a stage of trans-infantilism that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine fast forwarding ten years as jaded cinema-goers stagger to the multiplex, drunk from a bottle of street booze, huffing glue from a discarded gym sock, and seeing the opening marquee above them read “David Lynch’s Tamagotchis in Space,” “Beanie Babies: The Movie” and “The Furbies Do Dallas.” See what you’ve wrought, Galen Walker? Do you see?
No word yet on when those delightful ‘Cabbage Patch Kids’ will rear their porcine heads in movie form, so at least that gives a good run-up to devise an elaborate Jim Jones-style antifreeze party for when the date does finally roll around.