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Marmaduke: Other Comic Strips That Deserve Movies

Hollywood has long turned to comic strips for its source material, from Li'l Abner back in 1940 to Dick Tracy in 1990 to today's CGI-enhanced Garfield franchise. Now we have the live-action Marmaduke, in which a mostly real Great Dane speaks with the voice of Owen Wilson, despite the fact that Marmaduke is one of the few comic strip animals that never spoke. And while Great Danes are certainly adorable, we can't help but think about all of the much better comic strips out there that have never gotten and will likely never get their own movies. Here's a smattering of strips that we'd love to see play out on the big screen.

Calvin and Hobbes
The tale of a boy, who is sometimes the heroic Spaceman Spiff, and his stuffed tiger, who is sometimes a real, live anthropomorphic tiger? If done right, this movie could possibly be even more heartwarming than the comic strip, but creator Bill Watterson didn't want his characters to appear on T-shirts, or even in an animated movie, so we're sure a live-action feature film is out of the question.

Get Fuzzy
Yes, there are far too many movies featuring talking cats and dogs, but at least Get Fuzzy has a personality. Bucky, the mean-spirited, entrepreneurial Siamese cat, is constantly antagonizing Rob, his owner, and Satchel, his slightly dim dog housemate. He's like Garfield, but with more ambition and spite. As long as they didn't teach him how to love at the end, we'd pay to see this one.

Spy vs. Spy
They ran animated shorts of this long-running Mad magazine strip on MAD tv, but a feature film has been in limbo forever. A comedic tale of two rival spy organizations, BLACK and WHITE, who battle each other with ridiculous weapons and booby traps, could be the next Get Smart.

Bloom County/Outland
They made an animated Christmas special out of the children's book A Wish for Wings That Work, but we'd love to see a live-action adaptation of the original strip, in which aging cool dude Steve Dallas gets a new roommate named Opus the Penguin, and they form a band along with a couple of neighborhood kids and a stupefied cat named Bill.

Liberty Meadows
Meadows largely takes place at an animal sanctuary, where nerdy veterinarian Frank longs for drop-dead gorgeous animal psychiatrist Brandy and attempts to keep a handle on the rowdy talking animals who live there. While animal hijinks are all well and good, the strip has a fun sci-fi bent, so maybe the plot could center around the arrival of the heroic Frank and the evil Brandy from another dimension?

FoxTrot
Although the brainy tween Jason Fox is arguably the star of the strip, with he and his friends having nerdy adventures and commenting on popular geek culture, the strip also focuses on his older brother and sister, as well as their parents. While the strip's appeal is hard to sum up in a sellable blurb, we'd love to see these characters get caught up in Vacation style hijinks. Hell, even Christmas Vacation-style.

Little Nemo in Slumberland
While there has been a cartoon adaptation and a knock-off live-action version, we'd love to see the insane special effects Winsor McCay drew on the page come to life on the screen. Walking on ceilings, striding through cities on a long-legged bed... Tack on a plot to save the dreamworld from those who would see it destroyed, and you've got an instant summer blockbuster.

Zippy the Pinhead
There were once plans to make a live-action adaptation of this surreal strip, which can best be described as being about a pointy-headed circus entertainer who analyzes American culture in between Tourette's-like fits of ad slogans. While it was likely deemed a terrible idea for a film, we're sure there's a Tim Burton film in there somewhere.

Prince Valiant
What the--!? Did you know there was a movie of Prince Valiant made in 1997, starring Stephen Moyer (True Blood) as Valiant, Katherine Heigl as Princess Ilene and Ron Perlman as some guy named Boltar? Now that Moyer, Heigl and Perlman are stars, they should just re-release it today and watch people flock to the theaters.

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