Recently on one of my movie review posts House Wife in Heels(http://www.housewifeinheels.com/) commented that her toddlers were awaiting a block buster from Play School. This stirred my imagination. After all lately we’ve seen a spate of great TV shows being made into not so great movies (SATC comes immediately to mind). We’ve also had some fairly ordinary series get the big screen treatment. The Dukes of Hazard, The Flintstones, The Beverly Hill Billies, 21 Jump St and Fat Pizza are just a few examples. By these standards Play School is ripe for the picking. Its been a part of our televisual landscape since 1966 and has been a training ground for some very big names in Australian entertainment.
The show has many of the elements necessary for a block buster. It has drama and controversy. In 2004 it raised the ire of middle Australia by showing a family outing with two lesbian parents through the magic windows (It could not have been the square one). It also briefly featured actor John Jarrett who went on to star as the infamous psycho killer in Wolf Creek. The show has sex appeal. According to my parents presenters John Waters and Noni Hazelhurst were eye candy for frazzled Mums and Dads back in the day. More recently Rhys Muldoon and Jay Laga’aia have provided some light relief for bored witless Mums. Andrew McFarlane is a smoldering silver fox who no doubt appeals to those who bat for the proverbial other team. To top it off the program is all singing, all dancing and features a great supporting cast of soft toys with suggestive names (including a cat called Diddle).
I had my people call the people of some of Hollywood’s big name directors inviting them to make a pitch for Play School – The Movie. Here is the smorgasbord of creative genius that came back.
Director: Ridley Scott
Synopsis: Big Ted stars as Maximus Hairius Bearius a respected general in the toy army. The evil emperor Humptius Dumptius imprisons Maximus’ wife Jemimius and son Minimus Hairius Bearius. Maximus is sold into slavery. He makes his escape and returns as a Tediator with a rag tag team of stuffed co-horts. Together they take on the best that toy land has to offer in the Play School Coliseum. After a nail biting struggle in which Justine, Alex, Rhys, Andrew, Karen and Tao are out fluffed, Maximus and Humptius face off in the final show down.
Director: James Cameron
Title: The Tedinator
Synopsis: This time Big Ted stars as a cybear who has been sent from the future to hunt down Jemima Connor. Jemima is protected by Jim a plastic doll also from the future. Together they attempt to bring down Build A Bear Workshop, the evil corporation ultimately responsible for the impending cybear apocalypse.
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Title: Reservoir Bears
Synopsis: Three bears – Mr Big, Mr Little and Mr Maurice are hired by a crime boss Humpty Dumpty to pull off a lolly jar heist. When Jay turns up just in time to slap Maurice’s paw as it reaches into the said jar, Mr Big and Mr Little suspect each other of dobbing.
Director: Jack Horner*
Title: Boogie Afternoons
Synopsis: The story centres around a young cat Diddle who is endowed with an exceptionally long set of whiskers. Young Diddle falls in with a group of very, very naughty film makers and changes his name to Dirk Diddler. His cohorts include Roller Jemima, Amber Slush (a toy pig), Goosy Lucy, Enormous Ted, Slightly Less Enormous Ted and of course the Bananas in Pyjamas. Unfortunately the gangs’ success leads to excess and Diddle finds himself caught up in the ravages of sugar addiction.
Director: Nora Ephron
Title: When Diddle Met Scrap
Synopsis: A heartwarming romantic comedy that follows 20 years in the lives of the cat Diddle and the dog Scrap who first met when auditioning for Play School in the 1980s. The film examines the age old question of whether cats and dogs can truly be “just friends”. As a sub plot the relationship between co-stars Justine Clarke and Alex Papps is put under the microscope. Is it possible for actors who played on screen lovers in the iconic series Home and Away to keep things strictly professional?
Do you think any of these would appeal to you as a parent? Personally I’m leaning towards the Boogie Afternoons concept as the idea of dealing with Dirk Diddler’s infeasibly large appendages sounds like too much fun.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this stellar mix?