Sony goes back to the nostalgia well for Tonka trucks movie

sony goes back to the nostalgia well for tonka trucks movie

Just when you think Hollywood has learned the folly of basing films on children’s toys, some wily Tinsel Town exec looks up from the 1987 Sears holiday catalog and screams, “Eureka!” before immediately dashing off a 30-word script treatment and leaving for lunch. We imagine that this is exactly the scenario that preceded this morning’s announcement of an upcoming film based on Hasbro’s iconic Tonka line of toy trucks, because unless those things have been wildly altered since we were kids, they never included anything that could even remotely be considered “useful plot points.”

Regardless, Sony Pictures and Happy Madison Productions have signed an agreement with Hasbro to create an animated film based on the toy truck line. You may know Happy Madison Productions as Adam Sandler’s film studio, or as the firm responsible for the upcoming Candy Land movie adaptation. Neither of those points really offer any reassurance that this still unnamed Tonka trucks movie will be a bastion of cinematic quality.

So why create a film based on the property? Sony Pictures Digital Productions president Bob Osher offered this explanation in this morning’s press release:

In its 65 years, TONKA has become more than a toy or a brand – TONKA trucks are a rite of passage for kids all around the world. Time spent with these toys creates memories that last a lifetime as kids are inspired to play using the boundaries of their imagination. We look forward to creating a family friendly motion picture that brings the TONKA experience to life.

Hmm … if the goal here is to create an animated film aimed primarily at children, then it could actually work. We doubt it will be anything objectively good, but it could serve as viable kids entertainment. Alright, we’ll get behind that idea, but that still leaves the question of how you create a script based on a collection of largely anonymous faux trucks. According to Sony Pictures Animation president of production Michelle Raimo-Kouyate the producers have created “a truly inventive take on what it means to be ‘TONKA tough’ that will translate the multi-generational appeal of this world-renowned brand into a fun animated adventure for the whole family,” which, while a pleasant enough thing to say, doesn’t actually mean anything.

Fortunately for the people behind this flick, it looks like they have tons of time to get this thing right. No release window was offered in this morning’s announcement, nor any word on when this movie might enter production. Not that this wealth of time will turn the film into an Oscar contender — it is still a movie based on a toy from the people responsible for Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star — but it does offer a glimmer of hope that somebody involved in this thing will suddenly realize what a terrible idea it is, cancel the production and re-direct the millions of dollars that would have gone into it toward starving orphans. One can only hope.

Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Digital Trends Live

Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles may be best known for his musical endeavors, but he's looking to change that with his forthcoming animated show. On Monday's DT Daily, we discuss Miles' origins, what drives his passions, his favorite superhero, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

The best movie soundtracks of all time, from 'Star Wars' to 'E.T.'

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' will seem muddled to mere muggles

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald brings magizoologist Newt Scamander back for more adventures, but the sequel to 2016's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes a very deep dive into Potter-verse lore.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Movies & TV

Is the end near for Pied Piper? ‘Silicon Valley’ season 6 delayed, might be the last

Season 6 of Silicon Valley might not premiere until 2020, as HBO has delayed production on the season until summer 2019 due to showrunner Alec Berg's work on another HBO series, Barry. Season 6 could be the final one for the show.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Movies & TV

‘Moonlight’ film studio A24 to produce movies for Apple

Indie movie studio A24 has entered into an agreement to produce films for Apple. The studio is best known for bringing Oscar-winning drama Moonlight to audiences, as well as Room and Ex Machina.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.