Laser Time – The Best Animated Films Based on TV Cartoons


We’ve discussed adapting TV cartoons into live-action movies before, but bringing actual animation to the bigscreen has happened a lot less than you would think. Join Laser Time as we try to find which one is the absolute best according to science! Read more about the entries here!


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36 thoughts on “Laser Time – The Best Animated Films Based on TV Cartoons

  1. I’m not even going to pretend to be surprised that Laser Time doesn’t care about anime. And whoever is spreading a rumor that no one care about your Japan content is a liar and a heretic.

    Personally, I always pick Calvin and Hobbes over Peanuts, but I understand it being the number 1

    1. I haven’t listened to the episode yet but it just looks like no one in the team has really had a lot of experience with good anime. The amount of crap out there doesn’t help, of course, but, yeah. Chris did seem to really like Attack on Titan though, and that’s just an action thing.

      Maybe we should all vote on the Top 10 Anime That Laser Time Should Watch 😛

      Actually, I’ve just started to get really into it too. We already had that Top 10 Anime for People that Don’t Like Anime article, so that helps.

      And yeah, Japan content and Calvin and Hobbes, agree and agree.

      1. DAMMIT! I wasn’t trying to come off as anti-anime, but the things Japan considers “A Movie” would make this a much stupider topic to deal with. There’s only room for one 60 minute “movie” and it’s called DUMBO.

          1. And even in that case, her bias is because of actual experiences with anime fanboys and their shitty fucking anti-female behavior which can and will paint an entire anime in a negative light to any person.

            Does that mean she shouldn’t paint an entire genre of anime and it’s sub-genres in a negative perspective? Sure. But that would mean she would need to actually dive into them and watch the classics and since she’s a big film buff, there is only so much time in the day that she could do that. So that ship has sailed.

            So the moral of the story is if you love a genre and someone, ESPECIALLY IF THAT SOMEONE’S A LADY, shows an interest, don’t be a shithead- be accommodating to them because you wanna be a part of the proliferation of that genre or medium, not a barrier of entry into it.

          2. Tevin Campbell! the guy Henry was talking about doing the songs in the Goofy movie turns out to have been Tevin Campbell. I never knew, but yah, that voice is a dead give away.

            I’m so glad you mentioned the chipmunk movie. I loved it so much as a kid. I love the “boys/girls of rock and roll” song. me and my little sister loved it soooo muuuuch.
            gonna go listen to it now.

            I love Laser time and the people that come to listen to it.
            reading the comments is always so interesting.
            it’s a shame about you guys and anime, but hey, you guys could always find a band of sullen souls to do an anime podcast where they could occasionally delve into the world of tokusatu shows like kamen rider and Garo.

  2. When mentioning MTV films; no one mentioned “Dead man on campus.” Is it wrong to have fond memories of this film? The character “Cliff” was legit funny back in the day! Have not seen it since watching it in the theater, so I may be 100 percent wrong. Bonus: Has Pre how I met your mother star Jason Segel. “Hey, A Math award” lol

      1. Thats right! They dyed his hair brown or that was his natural hair color. I remmeber liking him in the film but his co-star (guy from Z Nation) acting was atrocious. But the concept of killing your roomate for grades and Cliff was enough to win me over. Just rewatched some of it via…… Nevermind but it’s still cracking me up, but a new viewer would not get it I am afraid.

  3. I bet The Simpsons Movie would make a great commentary track from you guys.
    Great episode, can’t wait for the follow-up.

  4. Great episode Chris. Its been so long since the last two parter, it feels like classic laser time. I love the cartoon episodes. Keep it up!

  5. Chris you asshole!!! Wallace and Gromit : The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is based on a TV cartoon!!! Well in the UK it was.

    1. It’s one of the finest movies ever made, if we’re talking the Animated Movie. Was Brett on this episode? If yes he’s kicking himself now, if not he’s screaming blue murder at Chris for missing it out.

  6. This is a much needed episode since I’m basically immobilized from sickness and missing a bunch of classes…

    In any case, this seems like another no-brainer LT topic and I seriously love when you guys get together for these kinds of topics. For instance, the episode(s?) about Live-Action Cartoon Movies from a couple of years back is one of my favourites ever.

  7. Chris is right in the fact that 50% of anime movies are shitty recuts with a few scenes of extra content. No point in really adding them as the only good anime movies are original properties…though Pokemon the First Movie is totally deserving of a spot.

    I’m actually really glad you like the Spongebob Movie so much Chris, I loved that thing as a kid -still do- and its nice knowing that my fondness for it isn’t entirely based on rose-tinted nostalgia goggles.

  8. If you had included anime, people would be complaining about anime being lumped in with cartoons.

    Good call to leave it out imo, maybe in the distant future someone can help you make an Anime version of this topic.

    I need to mention that there are plenty of fantastic Anime based movies, it’s just that the market is so saturated that it’s impossible for a casual observer to pick out the good from the bad.

  9. This episode made me reminisce over old animated TV shows i used to watch in College, Has the Lasertime crew ever heard of or remember Undergrads? Such a rad show!

  10. Great episode! The SpongeBob SquarePants movie should’ve been higher. It’s one of my all time favorites. I’m also a big fan of Chris’s collusion. Gets a chuckle out of me every time.

  11. I’ve always thought that rotten tomato ratings are a pretty missleading measure of quality. It seems like it would reward safe “pixar” movies and screw over anything that takes risks. (Obviously not an original observation). I’m curious Chris why choose Rotten tomoatoes over something like Metacritic when doing these lists?

    1. My guess would be since Rotten Tomatoes takes in more reviews instead of a smaller sampling like Metacritic generally does. At least generally that’s why I use Rotten Tomatoes.

      1. I can’t. Bay’s first Transformers film is actually rated higher than the original animated film of the same name from the 80s. How the flying fuck is that possible.

  12. Since you (wisely) chose to omit anime, I thought it might be fun to find out what the top ten anime movies based on TV shows are for myself. Since there isn’t a distinguished institution like Rotten Tomatoes to Objectively rate anime, I’m just going by their scores on MyAnimeList.

    I ended up making three lists. First, the ten highest-ranked anime movies based on TV series with no other restrictions. Second, the ten highest-ranked, but excluding recap films (of which there are quite a few). The third list excludes recap movies and also, if there’s more than one movie in the franchise (such as in Pokemon, for example), only the first movie is eligible (Pokemon: The First Movie in my example)…although I end up bending this rule more than a little. Since MAL’s rankings are based on community scores, Anime X: The First Movie is going to have reasonably balanced ratings, while Anime X: Movie 8 – Future Gospel has only been seen by people who REALLY like Anime X, which skews the results. This third list is the most interesting, so I’ll put it first along with some commentary, and put the other two lists at the bottom.

    10. Tamako Love Story (Ranked 58th in Movies)
    I said this list was the most interesting, but not gonna lie no matter how you generate your list the very top seems to be kind of…obscure. Did anyone watch Tamako Market? I’m sure it did perfectly fine in Japan, since it’s by Kyoto Animation and success is their middle name (“cute girls” is their last name), but it did not leave much of an impression here. From just glancing it, it seems like Tamako Market was doing what they always do on a surface level – adorable girls doing gorgeously animated things – except this time JUST doing that and not anything else. Or I could be completely wrong. But based on my expert knowledge of Japanese culture, I would speculate Tamako Love Story involves a love story of some kind. That was number ten wasn’t it exciting!?

    9. Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone (Ranked 51st)
    Evangelion 2.0 is ranked much higher, and 3.0 is ranked much lower, surprising no one (I still need to see 3.0…everyone hates it, but since it’s Eva that implies it’s good). Putting this on the list arguably breaks both the “no recap movies” and “only the first movie in the franchise” rule, but it’s my list and I answer to no one. Collusion! With myself! For good or for ill, Evangelion 1.0 is a shinier, snappier review of the first few episodes of the series. It undoubtedly suffers for not having Asuka, because both Shinji and Rei are very…let’s go with ‘passive’. Nonetheless, it’s a sharp-looking film with a great sense of scale.

    8. Stand By Me Doraemon (Ranked 50th)
    I actually would’ve excluded this for a variety of reasons, but it made the list look a little better. I have no idea what Doraemon is! I think it’s popular in South/Central America, actually. Incidentally, this movie has just 972 ratings on MAL. By contrast, Evangelion 1.0 has over 130,000.

    7. The End of Evangelion (Ranked 33rd)
    Because both this and the Rebuild deserve to be on the list. Collusion, remember? They say time heals all wounds, and it seems even the wound called Evangelion has healed, and even the ordinary rank and file can appreciate this film which, let’s be honest, is a raw masterwork of animation. Fun Fact: there are three anime reviewers whose opinions I care about, and for two of them their favorite anime is Evangelion. Could this also be…collusion!?

    6. K-On! (Movie) (Ranked 31st)
    Speaking of time healing all wounds, it seems the wound called K-On! has also been healed. I started watching just a little while after K-On!, the “cute girls eat cake and maybe sometimes think about playing music” anime, was dropped on the world, thus ruining anime forever. In reality, K-On! was just a relatively early example of a trend that stretches back to…well, it could probably be argued it has its roots in World War II, but at the least it stretches back to the late 90’s. I’ve never seen K-On!…I will someday probably. Gosh I haven’t seen a lot of these. Well so far I’ve seen the odd-number movies so I’m sure I’ve seen the next one –

    5. Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Ranked 29th)
    …or, you know, maybe not. Please get your auteur noirshit out of my crass commercialism, thanks.

    4. Gintama: Crimson Sakura Chapter (Ranked 16th)
    I put a LOT of effort into making sure as little Gintama was on this list as possible, but it had to sneak in somewhere. There’s a sizable number of people who watch Gintama, but whoever those people are, they’re very quiet. The good news is, I’m familiar with everything else on this list, so let’s goooooooooo!

    3. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part III: Rebellion (Ranked 13th)
    Lucky number thirteen is probably appropriate for this one. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is, I’m gonna say it, the best anime ever made (sorry, The Last Airbender). The question going into this movie (labeled Part 3 as Parts 1 and 2 were the recap movies) was if our absurd expectations could be met. The answer was no, it most certainly could not, but it could EXPLODE our expectations, jerk us off, kill us, and then dance on our graves while playing an accordion. It’s no End of Evangelion, but its attempts at audience criticism emulate it to some degree, and I’m willing to go on recording saying this is the most visually stunning movie of all time. Frankly, I’m INCENSED it was snubbed at the 2013 Oscars. Jokes aside, if you want me to talk, sit me down in front of Rebellion because I have something to say about every goddamn frame of that film.

    2. Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu (Ranked 10th)
    I don’t like Steins;Gate. However, this is one of the times you absolutely should not listen to my opinion because Steins;Gate is amazing and you should watch it. Steins;Gate: For Some Reason No One Has an English Translation of its Title is, I believe, an adaptation of a different route of the original Steins;Gate visual novel than the anime. Considering it’s rated so high, it’s probably good.

    1. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Ranked 4th)
    Remember Haruhi???????? If you’re a bit older than me and watched anime at the time, you definitely do. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was a textbook flash in the pan, enormously popular for a while until everyone collectively realized it was actually just okay. No more Hare Hare Yukai flashdances at conventions…which is probably a good thing, though I do wish I’d seen one. In any case, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya serves as a slightly bizarre, introspective capstone to the oddball series, and clocks in at OVER TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Where’s your hour-long recap movie now!? I believe a certain editor at Anime News Network said it best when he said Kyoto Animation “character-animated the shit out of this movie”. This movie revels in slowness and subtlety, such that even people who aren’t opposed to those things are often bored to tears. Nerds, however, don’t care about quality, they care about…well scientists are still figuring that out, but whatever it is they/we care about, apparently Disappearance has it.

    And that’s it for this arbitrary list! Congratulations to KyoAni, who absolutely swept the list, having a full three entries including the #1 spot. And here are the less selective lists:

    Top 10 Anime Movies Based on TV Series (excluding recaps):
    1. Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Foever Yorozuya
    2. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
    3. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not Advance)
    4. Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu
    5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part III: Rebellion
    6. Gintama: Crimson Sakura Chapter
    7. One Piece: Strong World
    8. One Piece Film Z
    9. Detective Conan Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street
    10. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie Second A’s

    Top 10 Anime Movies Based on TV Series (recaps allowed!)
    1. Gintama: The Final Chapter – Be Forever Yorozuya
    2. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
    3. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not Advance)
    4. Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu
    5. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann the Movie: The Lights in the Sky are Stars
    6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica Part III: Rebellion
    7. Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part II: Eternal
    8. Gintama: Crimson Sakura Chapter
    9. One Piece: Strong World
    10: One Piece Film Z

    And remember, you can buy *some* of these films through the Amazon links on!

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