The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
New York–ification: The Muppets’ musical transfers to Broadway. (A proto–Avenue Q?)
City cliché: Miss Piggy’s purse is snatched in Central Park.
Short Circuit 2 (1988)
New York–ification: Protagonist takes robotics company to New York to sell cute robots on the street.
City cliché: New immigrant needs Johnny Five to help study for his citizenship test.
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
New York–ification: Hedonistic, ravenous monsters maraud over the city. They fit right in.
City cliché: Murderous gremlins perform Busby Berkeley–style “New York, New York.”
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
New York–ification: First Eloise, now Kevin: The Plaza is seriously lax about kids who check in sans parents.
City cliché: A wishing scene by the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
New York–ification: John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins play Brooklyn plumbers named Mario and Luigi.
City cliché: Mobsters from the Scapelli Construction Company.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)
New York–ification: Wizard (Nicolas Cage!) trains NYU physics ace/sorcerer. Stone falcons on the Empire State Building come to life, too.
City cliché: NYU kid has dreams of grandeur.
Smurfs 3-D (2011)
New York–ification: Smurfs arrive in the Manhattan mailbox of Neil Patrick Harris; neighbors are totally blasé.
City cliché: The Empire State Building glows blue; they can’t resist a Blue Man Group joke.