Eli Roth directing The House With a Clock in Its Walls

Weekend Roundtable: Unlikely Children’s Film Directors

If Cabin Fever and Hostel filmmaker Eli Roth can make a PG-rated children’s movie, what other unlikely director will do so next? Let’s see if we can figure that out in this week’s Roundtable.

Deirdre Crimmins

As much as I’d love to hear Werner Herzog narrate a series of children’s fables, or as much as I like to remind people that Takashi Miike has already directed kids’ movies, those aren’t my choice this week. I think the next unlikely director to make a children’s movie will be Quentin Dupieux (Rubber). The director who once made an entire film about a telekenetic, homicidal tire might not be the best guy for the job, however I would love to see him take his surrealist approach down to kids’ levels. I think he would muster up an ensemble comedy about a wacky neighborhood. They could have in depth discussions about trees, and pizza. It could be nearly identical to Wrong, but without the existential dread or day jobs.

M. Enois Duarte

Seeing as how Quentin Tarantino has already dabbled with animation when he guest-directed an episode of Itchy & Scratchy for The Simpsons, I think he should make a feature-length children’s movie. I’m not talking about something G-rated, but it definitely should be family-friendly. I can see him comfortably directing a PG-13 film where he can still get away with the language and some violence – as long as there aren’t buckets of blood gushing everywhere.

Since Tarantino’s signature style is on the dissection of genre specifics, he could make it either a sports film, à la The Bad News Bears, or some really obscure sport like arm wrestling. Better yet, how about a Christmas-themed holiday movie! Imagine it opening with an aerial shot of Los Angeles at night and an ’80s action-style credit sequence as we slowly zoom into a seemingly quiet suburban neighborhood. Inside one very stereotypical and non-descript house, we find parents having a deep discussion on how to plan for the holidays, but slowly, through their typical Tarantino dialogue, we discover that they’re actually planning a bank heist – or to steal from the shopping mall – in order to pay for Christmas gifts and keep up illusions. The comedy and violence write themselves from that point!

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Who better to bring The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the big screen than writer/director Tom Six? It seems like a natural progression to move from human centipedes to a caterpillar. Plus, there was a whole bunch of eating in his recently concluded trilogy as well.

Josh Zyber

I’m not saying I want this to happen, because I don’t want to get blamed for it and certainly wouldn’t let my own children watch it, but if you were to let Rob Zombie helm the next installment of a family-oriented fantasy adventure franchise (like, say, a Fantastic Beasts), he’d surely come up with something perverse that would mess some kids up for a long time. Hey, the Narnia franchise has gone dormant again. Let him have a crack at that. Rob Zombie plus Christian allegory… yeah, that’s gonna be interesting, to say the least.

Your Turn

You must have better ideas than these. Lay them on us.


  1. M., are you sure Tarantino was actually involved in that Simpsons episode? I know he was asked to guest star (as himself), but he declined. So did he work behind the scenes of the episode, but not perform the voice?

  2. NJScorpio

    I think Denis Villeneuve could create a very compelling children’s movie. His moody, lingering shots that play with color and on set /natural lighting feels like if David Fincher had the flair for color as Wes Anderson. I think this style would work great for an adaptation of older, perhaps European children’s stories. Like a Grimm’s fairytale compilation. Or, maybe vintage comics adapted for the screen, akin to what was attempted with Dick Tracey.

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