10 Movie And TV Characters That Need Animated Remakes

From Indiana Jones to Harry Potter, these beloved characters would work great in animated remakes.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

indiana jones

Over the years, many live-action franchises and characters have experienced new life once they got animated remakes. Years ago, shows like The Real Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice made their source material more friendly to younger audiences, while later endeavors such as The Animatrix and Blade Runner: Black Lotus showed that animation was a perfect medium for more adult fair. With that in mind, we decided to round up the definitive list of classic film and TV characters that need to get their own animated remake. 

Jason Bourne

Ok, we’ll admit it: Jason Bourne isn’t quite as iconic as some of the other characters on here, but with a franchise spanning five movies, it’s clear there is fan demand for more exotic, superspy adventures. And an animated remake could fix the problem the original films had: when the time came to pass the baton, Avengers star Jeremy Renner was a very poor replacement for original franchise star Matt Damon. By pivoting to animation, Universal Pictures could either lure Damon back for some easy voicework or cast someone who can do a fairly good imitation, either of which allows the adventures of Jason Bourne to continue.

Sherlock Holmes

At this point, we have gotten many different interpretations of Sherlock Holmes, ranging from Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as a brawling wit to Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as a neurodivergent genius. And while those respective film and TV franchises remain very entertaining for adult audiences, we can’t help but feel this is one of the few modern franchises that could benefit from an animated remake aimed at younger audiences. Sherlock’s deductive methodology would be a natural way to teach children valuable skills, and before you yell at us for this corny idea, consider: do you really want Velma to remain the most prominent animated detective show on television?

Indiana Jones

In many ways, Indiana Jones is the best example of a character that needs an animated remake because his actor, Harrison Ford, will soon be hanging up his iconic hat after the next movie. Audiences are certainly unlikely to accept any kind of live-action remake for such a legendary character, but we doubt there would be strong exceptions to having a talented voice actor provide a great Ford impression for a cartoon. And since the films spanned many different exotic locations and even time periods, there would be no shortage of narrative possibilities for the animated adventures of Henry Jones, Junior.

James Bond

Rest assured that we are aware that there was already a James Bond cartoon show before. However, it’s worth noting that James Bond, Jr. did not focus on the superspy from the books and films, choosing instead to focus on a character who is actually the teenage nephew of Bond himself (and no, we’re still not sure why the hell Bond’s nephew is named like he’s Bond’s son). In short, this crappy cartoon never did the Bond films justice, and an animated remake could help bring this famous character back while EON tries to secure their next live-action Bond actor.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Long-term fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer know that the primary reason this show needs an animated remake is that one was already planned and then quickly canceled, though you can still view the kickass opening and some of the promo episode by browsing Youtube. One notable feature of that originally planned cartoon was that it brought back the original voice actors for a story set during the third season of the original series. The third season was clearly the best of the original show, and we’d slay somebody in order to get a cartoon that brings us back to that season and brings the original cast together once more.

John McClane

John McClane is obviously going to be the saddest entry on this list because of the recent revelations concerning the health of original Die Hard star Bruce Willis. His health issues mean that he is retiring from acting altogether, so it’s certain he will never play John McClain again, and it’s equally certain audiences will never accept another actor as his replacement in a live-action sequel or prequel. An animated remake might be the best way to continue these adventures, and Willis might be able to receive payment for the use of his likeness that can help to provide for his family.

Sarah Connor

We simply love Sarah Connor as a character, and in addition to wanting an animated remake to help bring Connor back in her prime, we’d be excited to finally see the Terminator universe in animated form. Back in the early ‘90s, there were plans for a Terminator 2 cartoon that fell through (this was around the time that kids had Terminator toys marketed towards them), and two years ago, there was an announcement of an upcoming Netflix anime series that hasn’t materialized yet. Since there is no future but what we make for ourselves, we’re going to be hyping this cartoon up until it finally becomes a reality.

Ellen Ripley

Somewhat fittingly, the Alien franchise is in the same boat as the Terminator franchise: as with Terminator, executives had plans to create a kid-friendly Alien cartoon, and as with Terminator, this cartoon got canceled but the toys still came out. Now, we want Alien to follow in Terminator’s footsteps once again by securing its own animated remake aimed squarely at adult audiences. As an added bonus, there are many different ways to bring Ellen Ripley’s character back (preferably with Sigourney Weaver voicing her), and the freedom of animation means we could see Ripley at the center of the xenomorph Earth war fans have demanded for decades.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is a character and a franchise that has demonstrated the need for an animated remake in the worst possible way: by continuously dropping the ball with live-action attempts to continue the franchise. The Fantastic Beasts movies kept getting diminishing returns until they were canceled altogether, The Cursed Child play is highly divisive, and nobody we know wants to see that HBO Max remake because it won’t have the original actors.

Therefore, we think this is the perfect time to create a Harry Potter anthology cartoon in the vein of something like Star Wars: Visions that could bring us different animation styles and adventures of characters new and old, complete with returning voice actors.

Doctor Who

Ok, put those Sonic Screwdrivers away: we already know that Doctor Who has been animated before, both in the animated recreations of lost footage and those absolutely dreadful cartoon shorts starring David Tennant’s Doctor. However, the blunt truth is that the recreations are merely serviceable and Tennant’s Dreamland has all the animated prowess of that embarrassing screensaver you had in 1995.

Because of this, we think Doctor Who needs an animated remake with proper animation that brings back voice actors of various eras, and with an anthology format, such a cartoon could help fans return to their favorite Doctors (after all, you can only re-listen to those Big Finish audiobooks for so long).