By Christopher Campbell | Spout January 3, 2011 at 5:06AM
As far as audience awareness is concerned, "Casper, the Friendly Ghost" does make sense as the first priority for Classic Media, which is hoping to adapt many of the Harvey Comics properties they own for the big screen. Never mind that phantom kids weren't that popular in 2010 (at least not in dramas like "Charlie St. Cloud" and "Hereafter"). I think a movie solely starring "Wendy the Good Little Witch" could also be popular, especially since the magic world is losing a lot of representation with the "Harry Potter" franchise ending this year. She should at least feature into the proposed 3-D "Casper" reboot, after allegedly being shafted by a rights-related rewrite on the 1995 movie, in which Christina Ricci's character became a mere hint of Wendy -- named Kat instead. Later Hilary Duff, in her film debut, portrayed the little witch in Fox's direct-to-video release "Casper Meets Wendy."
The other logical choice would of course be "Richie Rich," previously made into a movie starring Macauley Culkin, but how about "Hot Stuff the Little Devil"? As far as I can tell, this character has never gotten his film or TV due. Is it because he's a devil? Or, is it that it would just be "Problem Child" with a red, horned CG character? The 11-year-old version of myself sure would love to see a "Baby Huey" movie, at least something better than the direct-to-video live-action "Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure," which featured an actor in a giant costume. There are also the many other "little" girl characters, such as "Little Lulu," "Little Dot" and "Little Audrey." But here's the best idea for a Harvey Comics adaptation: "Little Lotta," the over-eater who could figure into a story satirizing or otherwise commenting on child obesity in America. Even if unintentionally directed at the issue, since surely Hollywood would see her as an opportunity for product placement from snack and fast food companies, if any would dare be associated with her.
Also, I doubt that Classic Media owns this one, but Harvey's very short-lived superhero "Captain 3-D" would be very appropriate right now.
Here's a glimpse at that awful "Baby Huey" movie, which is sadly one of Harvey Korman's final works: