A movie based on a popular toy line of plush puppies was released 30 years ago today.
Pound Puppies and The Legend of Big Paw, based on the popular Pound Puppies line of toys, was released by Carolco and Tristar Pictures to theaters in the United States on March 18th, 1988.
The animated film tells the story of how dogs acquired Puppy Power (no relation to Scrappy-Doo) thanks to the legendary “Bone of Scone.” In the present, a devious villain plans to get the bone back, and possibly end Puppy Power forever.
The voices in the film are provided by Brennan Howard, BJ Ward, Nancy Cartwright and Frank Welker. The film was not a success at the box office, making an estimated total of just over half a million dollars.
Despite the film’s failure at theaters, the Pound Puppies toy line would survive. Most recently, an animated series based on the toys debuted on the Hub (what is now Discovery Family) in 2010.
The third feature film in a series that was a premiere blockbuster was released on this day in movie history.
Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Jaws 3D was the third film in the Jaws series that began in the 1970s. Originally pitched as a spoof, Jaws 3D instead was set at Sea World, where after a baby shark attacks, the mother shark makes herself known as well.
The film, which used old-style stereoscopic 3D, starred Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. It would be released on July 22nd, 1983. It was directed by Joe Alves and written by Carl Gottlieb and Richard Matheson.
Unlike the first two films, Jaws 3 did not receive positive reviews, but was still a moderate financial success. It would be followed by the fourth and final Jaws film four years later, Jaws: The Revenge.
A Disney film based on a popular attraction at their theme parks was released on this day in movie history.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, directed by Gore Verbinski. It was released in theaters on July 9th, 2003 and starred Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Jack Davenport.
The film centers around the eccentric pirate named Jack Sparrow, who joins forces with the more straight-laced Will Turner against the pirate Barbosa, who has captured Will’s beloved Elizabeth.
The film was a big hit in theaters, making over $630 million. It led to several sequels, spinoff video games and more.
The first fully-released film adaptation of one of the most enduring comic book superhero teams was released on this day in history.
Fantastic Four was released in theaters on July 8th, 2005. The feature film was written by Michael France and Mark Frost, directed by Tim Story. It’s based off the original Marvel Comics title by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Fantastic Four stars Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chicklis.
Courtesy: 20th Century FOX / Marvel
The film tells the origin of how the four get their superheroes thanks to an interstellar event. Mister Fantastic can become elastic and stretch, The Invisible Woman can become unseen, The Human Torch can fly and manipulate fire, and The Thing has super strength at the price of an unusual rock-like appearance. Together, they try to deal with life having these new powers as a new–but also familiar–threat rises against them.
The film was a success at the box office, making over $330 million. A sequel would be released two years later.
A new Fantastic Four, with a new storyline, cast, and crew released last year, but was considered a flop.
An animated film based on a beloved series from the 1960s was released on this day in movie history.
Jetsons: The Movie, written by Dennis Marks and directed and produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, was released in theaters in July 6th, 1990.
Courtesy: Universal / Hanna-Barbera Productions
The film brought the beloved 1960s (and 1980s, when the show was revived) futuristic animated sitcom to the big screen. The story in the movie involves the Jetson family having to move to an asteroid to help the business of Spacely Sprockets. But, several previous workers assigned there have disappeared…will George Jetson be next?
The movie features most of the original voice cast of the series, and was in fact, one of the final projects of both George O’Hanlon (George) and Mel Blanc (Mr. Spacely). The exception is Janet Waldo (Judy), whose voice acting was replaced by pop music sensation Tiffany for this movie.
Jetsons: The Movie took in an estimated $20 million at the box office, but outside of commercials, games, and other promotions and shorts, would lie dormant until this year, with the release of a direct-to-DVD crossover with WWE wrestling.
An animated movie set in a universe of sentient cars was released in this day in history.
Cars, directed by John Lassetter, was released in theaters across the United States on June 9th, 2006. The screenplay was penned by Dan Fogelman, John Lassetter, Joe Ranft, Keil Murray, Phil Lorin, and Jorgen Klubein.
Courtesy: Disney / Pixar
In the movie, set in a world where cars are the main form of life, a brash racing champion named Lightning McQueen finds himself marooned in a laid-back town called Radiator Springs. First, he’s sentenced to fix a road there, but may find that there’s more there than he expects.
The voice cast for Cars includes Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy, Jenifer Lewis, and John Ratzenberger, among others. The film was a success at the box office, making over $450 million at the box office. Merchandise based on the film was even more successful, which helped lead to the production of sequels–including one coming later this year.
Several video games based on the franchise has been released since the film’s release as well.
The fifth live-action Star Trek feature film was released on this day in movie history.
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was released in theaters across the US on June 9th, 1989. Written by David Loughery (with story by Loughery, William Shatner and Harve Bennett) and directed by Shatner (who plays Captain Kirk), it also starred Shatner along with Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley and the rest of the original Star Trek’s main cast.
Courtesy: Paramount Pictures
In the film, hostages are taken by a Vulcan and his followers on a failed planet and only a glitchy USS Enterprise-A led by Kirk and crew can rescue them. Eventually, they too find themselves prisoner as part of that Vulcan’s quest to find the promised land.
The film is often considered by critics and Star Trek fans as one of the weakest in the franchise. Special effects were done by a company less experienced than the usual Industrial Light and Magic, for example.
It made an estimated $63 million at the box office, starting at number one its first week, but falling quickly against competition.
The original Star Trek cast would completely reunite one last time in the next Trek feature, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.