The New York Kids’-Film Reboot: A Survey

Photo: Tristar Pictures/Neal Peters Collection

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.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/Neal Peters Collection

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.

Photo: Everett Collection

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.

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation

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.

The New York Kids’-Film Reboot: A Survey