Once more forging a generational bond between children of all ages, indiscriminate tastes, and expectations, Universal is plotting to turn Woody Woodpecker into the latest nostalgic cartoon to be given a digital glaze, and come join the Postmodern CGI Cartoon Clubhouse that so far includes Alvin And The Chipmunks, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear, plus upcoming projects like Bugs Bunny, Pepe Le Pew, Hong Kong Phooey, and Popeye. Illumination Entertainment—the Despicable Me production house that recently added more Skittles and Taylor Swift giggles to The Lorax—is working with Blades Of Glory co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky on the story, which will attempt to bring into the modern age the rambunctious bird who once embodied America’s World War II-era cockiness and chutzpah about pecking at everything.
There’s no word on plot details yet, obviously, but presumably it will involve Woody meeting a live human character who is at first frequently annoyed with Woody’s noisy shenanigans and cruelly mocking laugh, and resentful of his cavalier attitude toward wood, then he or she gradually warms to him and also maybe there’s an evil lumber company or something, whatever. Noting that Universal is hoping to “launch a franchise in the process,” The Hollywood Reporter says of the inspiration behind the project, “The move to capitalize on the asset mirrors an effort throughout Hollywood to mine value from properties that studios already own.” And today’s kids do love a good maximizing of proprietary resources. It's like cotton candy to them.