The Garbage Pail Kids are back and they’ll soon be bringing exploding heads, dripping mucous, other violent, disgusting things to HBO Max. Danny McBride and David Gordon Green, who made the most recent iteration of Halloween, are developing a new animated series based on the popular, gross-out Topps trading cards, which were infamously turned into a live-action movie so terrible it’s now a cult classic.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news and added this kind of shocking revelation: “The expectation is that the animated series will be family-friendly and appeal to audiences of all ages,” the trade says. Um, have you guys seen the Garbage Pail Kids? Do you know what Garbage Pail Kids are?
McBride and Green obviously do, though. They’re fans and have to know there’s a very big gap between creating a “family-friendly” animated show and something that doesn’t betray the original intent of the property, which is to be shocking, disgusting, and offensive. The pair is joined by Josh Bycel, who most recently worked on Hulu’s Solar Opposites but also contributed to The Mindy Show, American Dad, Scrubs, Happy Endings, and more. Together, the three men will write and co-create the series.
The Garbage Pail Kids debuted in 1985 and quickly became very trendy and popular. Kids would buy packs of cards, then trade, collect, and stick them everywhere. With well-done but super disgusting and shocking artwork, the cards were always controversial — which is why, when the show got an animated TV adaptation in the late 1980s, it never aired in the United States. A live-action movie came out in 1987 though and is a perennial mainstay in discussions of the worst films of all time.
However, in recent months Topps, which owns the property, brought Garbage Pail Kids back as NFTs and experienced huge success. So the market is still there. And if anyone can thread that needle of making a show people like, while also keeping true to the disgusting nature of the property, McBride and Green seem like the people to do it.