The World Isn’t Ready for a Live-Action Beavis & Butthead – Animation Scoop

The World Isn’t Ready for a Live-Action Beavis & Butthead

Mike Judge has indicated that if the seminal MTV show Beavis & Butthead were to be rebooted (again), it probably wouldn’t be animated. Just what is he thinking???

In an interview, the creator of the show prophesises that if the show were to return, it should be a new incarnation, not a reboot. If should also be live-action, which isn’t too surprising given Judge’s recent works have all been in that artform.

Yet there’s little logical reason to shift our anti-heroes into the physical space. In animated form their grotesque appearance isn’t quite so bad. In fact, it’s one of their defining characteristics along with their distinctive voices and nihilistic attitude.

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Would a real-world Beavis & Butthead really accomplish anything though? Slashfilm notes that 90s nostalgia is currently pretty hot, but do we really need another nostalgia-chasing rehash? Heck, even Beavis & Butthead themselves have already been through that process when they were temporarily rebooted in 2011.

Perhaps the most potent argument against a live-action version is that we already have plenty of slacker, apathetic teenage dudes to gawk at. The genre is far from anything new and a new series or film would merely be another brick in the wall. Being animated allowed the original series to shine. (Being on MTV at the peak of its popularity certainly helped too.) It wasn’t so much new as it was different, and the series eventually managed to spawn a spin-off in Daria.

The news brings up the uncomfortable point that the inherent differences between animation and live-action do not make for an easy transition. There have been a few successful attempts at crossover hybrids (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam, etc.) Taking a live-action property and translating it into animation, and vice versa, is a trick that nobody has truly managed to pull off.

Expectations from audiences and critics alike are too different from what the translated property is able to provide. The Flintstones famously went live-action for their big screen adventure in the mid 90s and the result is, by all-accounts, a disaster; despite the best efforts of John Goodman and Rick Moranis.

There are already too many examples of classic or nostalgic cartoons that were ‘updated’ using live-action, and none are as fondly remembered as the originals. In light of past horrors, let us hope that this is mere idle speculation and nothing more.

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Charles Kenny

Charles Kenny

Being tall, Irish and a civil engineer by trade, Charles stands out in the animation crowd, hence his position as the Animation Anomaly.
Charles Kenny
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  • Well, Judge’s artwork has always had a more realistic flair, so the idea doesn’t sound too far fetch (He’s done live action projects for years, so it’s not that surprising).

  • top_cat_james

    Ironic considering Judge fought David Geffen against producing the “…Do America” feature in live-action.

  • Interesting…

  • top_cat_james

    Geffen wanted Chris Farley & David Spade to portray The Boys.

  • Oh god.