Donnie Darko, Predator, And The Road Warrior Reimagined As Children’s Books

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

donnie darko childrens bookWhen most people have conversations about revisionism — whoever “most people” are — it’s usually attached to an historical context. But I’d be willing to start a convention based solely on turning modern fiction into children’s books, as it’s a seemingly endless exercise in lighthearted creativity. Perhaps it has something to do with my childhood fixation on the grade-school editions of literary classics, but I completely adore the mash-up stylings of artist and Pixar animator Josh Cooley, who has taken dozens of cinematic classics and pulled out one iconic (and generally mature) moment from each to live on in the form of an illustration and text suitable for the younger readers and film lovers. In this case, he has given us images from Donnie Darko, Predator, and The Road Warrior. It’s certainly a lot cooler than turning a scene from a children’s film into an image-free page of densely worded text.

We first caught wind of Cooley’s work last year, which blew us away and made us instant fans. (Arbitrary wind-pun quota: complete.) He’s been releasing a few more prints every so often in preparation for the release of his book Movies R Fun!: A Collection of Cinematic Classics for the Pre-(Film) School Cinephile, which publisher Chronicle Books will be releasing a week from now on February 25. (Pre-order it here!) I hadn’t realized in all this time that he had the book coming, and I readily accept that this was my own mistake, but I’d still like to think it had something to do with blowing three rolls of quarters at that wishing well.

If you’re like me, it makes absolute sense to want to spend hundreds of dollars on all of Cooley’s actual prints, but it makes logistical sense to only pay 10 dollars on a book capturing all of these images together in one place. That way, I can continue paying for the house whose bookshelf Movies R Fun! will someday sit on.

So we’ve already seen Frank the Bunny offering up his simple brand of fate-baiting advice to Donnie, or to you if you let him. But you’d better wash that date off of your arm before someone starts asking questions. Next we have a shot of Major Dutch Schaefer lying on the ground and yelling in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s imperfect accent, “Get to da choppaaaaahh!” I’m of the belief that, had the helicopter not obviously been around, Anna wouldn’t have known what he was talking about. “Ahhhhhh!”

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Finally, the ever-engaging Lord Humungus pops up just long enough to offer up a great trade: our lives for all the gas and oil. I mean, it’s not like we have any badass heroes around to save us, right? Just imagine.

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And just for shits and giggles, here’s Cooley’s take on The Blues Brothers, using a line that would be most difficult to explain the humor of to a young child. Most things John Belushi said were like that.

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