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The Banana Splits Movie

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The Banana Splits Movie
Banana splits horror movie poster.jpg
When Warner Bros. lost the rights to Five Nights at Freddy's, they ended up making this abomination.
Genre: Black comedy
Parody Horror
Directed By: Danishka Esterhazy
Written By: Jed Elinoff
Scott Thomas
Starring: Dani Kind
Steve Lund
Finlay Wojtak-Hissong
Romeo Carere
Sara Canning
Eric Bauza
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 18, 2019 (San Diego Comic-Con International)
August 13, 2019 (Digital)
August 27, 2019 (DVD)
Runtime: 89 Minutes
Country: United States

The Banana Splits Movie is a 2019 American parody horror comedy film directed by Danishka Esterhazy and written by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas, based on the 1968 Hanna-Barbera children's television series The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. The film stars Dani Kind, Steve Lund, Finlay Wotjak-Hissong, Romeo Carere, Sara Canning, and the voice of Eric Bauza. The Banana Splits Movie premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 18, 2019, and was released on August 27, 2019, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Plot

The plot follows a family attending a live taping of The Banana Splits television series but trying to survive when the titular characters go haywire upon learning of their show's cancellation, starting a killing spree around the studio.

Why It Will Never Make You Go Bananas Anymore

  1. To get the elephant out of the room, it turns a beloved television show targeted towards children into an R-rated horror comedy movie, which is an extremely abysmal unbearable terrible idea in the first place. Although this is somewhat unique, it angered many fans of The Banana Splits. It is also a huge insult to both the original series and the fandom. It’s fine if you want to make the Banana Splits as villains, but turning them into murderous animatronics is not how to make them villains.
    • On that same point, this movie feels more like an extended parody rather than any official movie.
    • It is likely making the show's fans overshadowed by the movie's fans.
    • If you want to see the Banana Splits as villains done the right way, C. H. Greenblatt did a much better job at it by portraying them as comedic bandits in Jellystone!.
    • Yes, turning Hanna-Barbera properties into projects for adults has been done before, with Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Sealab 2021, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, but the difference was that those shows were funny and clever and treats their target audience of adults with respect, while this is just unnecessary since when you make it into a horror film that's nothing but overly gruesome and scary with non-stop shock content similar to how The Ren & Stimpy Show was turned into an adult cartoon that is nothing but raunchy entitled Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon, it insults the fanbase very hard, as well as the original source material.
    • The same type of concept is happening to Winnie the Pooh. It's not a joke.
  2. Abysmal grasp of the source material:
    • The Banana Splits are not humans in costumes unlike in the original series but are instead animatronics, which was pointless. They also aren't portrayed by actual animatronics, and barely resemble their 1960s incarnations nor their 1999 and 2008 revivals.
  3. It tried to create the ultimate in slasher film parodies, but it incredibly failed.
  4. The Banana Splits themselves (aside from Snorky) are horribly out of place due to them being depicted as outright evil serial killers who attempt to kill the family, and even attempt to kill Snorky for trying to protect them from harm.
  5. The real reason Fleegle, Bingo, and Drooper went on a killing spree was because their show was cancelled. Just because a TV show is cancelled doesn't mean it's the end of the world, why would they do that?
  6. Anachronism: The time period is not set. Despite the original show ending in 1970, it features HDTV sets and cellphones, making it very pointless because this disregards past events.
  7. Despite the effects being passable for the most part, the fire sticks out like a sore thumb.
  8. Slow pacing, with half of the film focusing on the trip to the studio and exposition about the evil animatronics.
  9. Abysmal writing that doesn't stay true to the show, and instead feels more like a fan-made Five Nights at Freddy's film adaptation, mainly due to the plot. (Check-in Trivia)
  10. False advertising on the poster for three reasons:
    • Bingo is holding an axe on the cover, but he never uses one at all.
    • Drooper has sharp teeth on the cover, but he never has those in the actual movie.
    • The tagline is "Tra La La Terror," but there's barely anything scary about this movie.
  11. The ending feels like sequel-bait material because Poppy (who is dressed as "Hooty", an unused fifth Banana Splits member) is seen driving away with the dead Banana Splits in the back, which implies that she's probably going to repair them.
  12. The movie barely knows if it wants to be a serious horror flick or a black comedy.
  13. The Splits themselves are very inconsistent in movement. Sometimes they move like an athletic person, other times they move like a cheap toy robot from the Dollar Store.
  14. It feels like Warner Bros. tried to make a movie like Conker by turning a kids' show into a Dark Movie, but it lacks the charm Conker's Bad Fur Day had.
  15. It was only made to capitalize off of Five Nights at Freddy's. This is because Warner Bros. lost the rights to FNAF.
  16. The dialogue is usually hilariously bad, especially the quote "Yeah but it's old and stupid, and I wanna do something cool and edgy."
  17. Countless plot-holes, inconsistencies, and logic fail(s):
    • During a taping, Bingo attacks Andy in his room, and then seconds later Bingo is seen on stage at the same time. Wasn't Bingo supposed to be in the taping at that moment?
    • The door to Andy's room closes and locks by itself (somehow).
    • Before Mitch got into the building, he gave his phone to Paige. But then when he gets out, he pulls out his phone. It is never explained how he pulled it out of nowhere (Paige wasn't seen giving it back either).
    • Drooper could easily tear off Andy's limbs and crush Steve's jaw (childhood ruined enough yet?), but he is seen struggling with choking Beth.
    • How are the Banana Splits able to say almost anything? It is never explained how they can say all these things not said during the taping. It also wouldn't make sense if they hired a voice actor for the Splits. If they did, then how would they mimic their voice flawlessly while saying things that the voice actor did not record?
    • As if things weren't silly enough, similar in vain to the infamous roaring shark from Jaws: The Revenge, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky literally roar in this movie.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The opening looks cool and feels like the original show.
  2. As mentioned before, the special effects and gore are passable, except for the fire.
  3. The cover of the "Tra La La Song" by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump is just as catchy as the original, 1999 and 2008 versions (if not better).
  4. Snorky is one of the only good characters in this film, as he stops Bingo from killing the family; unfortunately, he dies while saving them. The only bad quality about Snorky is that he attempted to run Mitch over with the Banana Buggy.
    • The child protagonists are also likable.
    • The mother is badass, fighting the animatronics to protect her family...and wins.
    • Austin can be tolerable.
  5. Eric Bauza, the voice actor for the Banana Splits, does an awesome job replicating the original voices.
  6. Some funny quotes such as "Silly Stevie, smoking's bad for ya health!" and "Banana Cadabra, Bitch!"
  7. Some horror fans may enjoy this movie.
  8. It is an admittedly pretty funny movie and can be enjoyed by people who like bad movies, much like Sharknado.

Reception

Despite The Banana Splits Movie receiving generally positive reviews from critics, it has received mostly unfavorable reviews from fans who found it a horrible idea, to begin with. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 67%, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. On IMDb, it has a 5.1/10 rating.

Kat Hughes of The Hollywood News praised the film and its direction, saying "Danishka Esterhazy proves the breadth of her directional range. The Banana Splits is a fun-filled, cacophony of zany deaths and characters, that plays out as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for grown-ups". William Bibbiani of Bloody Disgusting gave a positive review saying that the film "offers a satisfying sequence of slasher slays" but that it "relies so much on the cognitive disconnect that never feels like more than an ironic kill count". Reviewer Jim Johnson, of Comic Book Resources, wrote that "it's a bold move that works, because, here in 2019, there's nothing better to do with the Banana Splits. And it's not like anyone else had a better idea". Russ Burlingame of ComicBook.com praised the performances and script, saying "The Banana Splits Movie will be controversial — especially among those who still have a fondness for the original series — but it mostly sticks the landing, buoyed by a great cast, script, and crew".

Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, writing that it is "far less crazy than it wants to be and far more soporific than a synopsis would suggest". Mike MGranaghan of Aisle Seat gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, writing "When it's doing what it's supposed to do, The Banana Splits Movie has some definite novelty, value. Unfortunately, that's only about 50% of the time, tops".

Trivia

  • The movie was given an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America for horror violence and gore, making it the first R-rated movie adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera or Sid & Marty Krofft property.
  • The movie is based extremely loosely on the TV show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968).
  • Bill Farmer, Frank Welker, and Carlos Alazraqui were originally meant to reprise their roles as their respective Banana Splits from the 2008 TV show that aired on Cartoon Network but were eventually replaced with Eric Bauza.
  • Originally, Warner Bros. and Scott Cawthon were confirmed to make the film adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy's with Gil Kenan to direct. But the movie was canceled and had been reworked into The Banana Splits Movie. Months later, Blumhouse Production bought the project and hired Chris Columbus to direct, while Scott Cawthon is delaying the movie to rewrite the scripts three times.
  • The sound FX used for the Splits is the same one used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, when Dave Bowman leaves the spacecraft Discovery One.
  • It's also Eric Bauza's second direct-to-video movie based on an existing property after Woody Woodpecker (2017).
  • One of the guest stars on the original TV show was The Monkees. Pay close attention to how the older son, Austin is dressed. He looks like the way Michael Nesmith dressed while on the The Monkees (1966), right down to the way he wears his knit hat. Deliberate homage or accident, it's the first thing that comes to mind when he is on screen.
  • The movie has become extremely popular on the Internet, with people making their parodies of this movie.
  • On February 12, 2021, a new movie called Willy's Wonderland came out and drew many comparisons to this movie and, of course, Five Nights at Freddy's, mostly due all of them having similar concepts.

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