BySean Erickson, writer at Creators.co
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

New Trailer, Old Idea

Sony recently released the first trailer for the new movie Pixels, starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan and Ashley Benson. Check it out below, if you haven't already.

The plot of this movie immediately reminded me of something - and no, not the clever short film that the movie is based on, which does feature a city being turned into pixels, but something else more cartoony...

General Pac-Man gives Fry orders in Futurama.
General Pac-Man gives Fry orders in Futurama.

The trailer has some pretty funny moments, but if the story of space invaders descending upon a city and requiring video game experts to save the day strikes you as familiar, you're not alone. The plot closely resembles a classic episode of the animated series Futurama.

Space Invaders in the Pixels movie trailer.
Space Invaders in the Pixels movie trailer.

Raiders of Futurama

In the episode Anthology of Interest II, one of the segments was called Raiders of the Lost Arcade and Fry makes a wish to see the world be more like a video game, which results in alien forces attacking Earth and causing all kinds of mayhem and destruction and requiring some unorthodox plans to solve the problem.

Space Inaveders in Futurama's Anthology of Interest
Space Inaveders in Futurama's Anthology of Interest

Like the Pixels movie, the Futurama episode featured Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Q-Bert and, like Adam Sandler in Pixels, video game expert Fry is called upon to put his arcade skills to the test in defending the city from annihilation.

Donkey Kong throws barrels in the new Pixels movie
Donkey Kong throws barrels in the new Pixels movie

Rather than the Pixels movie just relying on one Fry-like guy to save the day, here we are getting a team of video game experts to come in and use their knowledge of classic arcade games to defeat the aliens that are intent on turning the world around us into pixels.

Donkey Kong in a classic Futurama episode.
Donkey Kong in a classic Futurama episode.

As far as I can tell, this is generally the big change that the movie has made in differentiating it from the classic Futurama episode. There are other details - Pac Man is actually a good guy in Raiders of the Lost Arcade and, of course, Futurama does take place in the future - but I'm sure there are some other differences to keep lawsuits from being filed.

YouTubes of Interest

But the similarities are so apparent that someone went ahead and quickly put together a video that uses the Futurama segment over the audio of the Pixels trailer and it's apparent just how many ideas are being repurposed for this new movie.

Having a video gamer being called upon to save the day wasn't something that was a part of the original short movie that can be cited as the other inspiration for this feature. It's a short short movie that clocks in at just about the same length as the new Pixel movie's trailer.

As you can see, it's based more around the idea, and the nice effect, of our world being turned into pixels until the entire Earth turns into a square. A simple enough idea that is well realized and certainly doesn't overstay its welcome.

What do you think? Will the Pixels movie be able to stand on its own? Is the idea good enough that it won't suffer from being expanded from an eight minute part of Futurama to a full-length movie? Sound off in the comments!

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