Today's edition of Children's Books That Never Were is composed by the clever, handsome, newly-engaged Minh Le of Bottom Shelf Books:
Babar's Revenge: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted
Submitted by Jean de Brunhoff Jr. (the son of Babar creator, Jean de Brunhoff)
A grown-up Babar teams up with a disillusioned Bambi and
other bitter children's literature characters to avenge the untimely deaths of their parents. They soon discover that "the hunter" that killed each of their parents is in fact the same person... looks like we have a serial killer on our hands, boys. Two homicide detectives, the uber-cautious Piglet and the borderline insane William Wonka, follow a twisted trail of clues to find the murderer (while trying not to kill each other). Meanwhile, Babar and Bambi take to the streets to extract their own brand of vigilante justice. The Hunter has become The Hunted.
Dear Mr. de Brunhoff Jr.,
I am the new editorial assistant to Mr. Garrulous MacKenzie and it is my honor to have read the manuscript for the latest installment of the Babar series. While I found the manuscript to be compelling, it is slightly too edgy for our publisher's catalogue. My supervisor went so far as to say that Babar's Revenge is "an affront to the de Brunhoff name and will tarnish the legacy of Babar."
I do not agree.
Having just recently graduated with my Bachelor's in Comparative Literature, I am more in tune with today's popular culture and see the value in taking Babar in this new and challenging direction. I have long wanted to explore the darker sides of Babar's emotional state. Also, the meta-fictional approach of pulling in other characters from the Children's Literature Cannon into your narrative is nothing short of brilliant.
Unfortunately, children's literature may not be the forum for your postmodern vision.
That is why I believe we should take your story to Hollywood. With a few minor adjustments, Babar's Revenge would make a fantastic movie script. With the recent success of Ratatouille, studios are chomping at the bit to produce the next animated success.
Here's what I propose: we pitch Babar's Revenge as a cross between Ratatouille and Death Wish. If we can get Tarantino to commit to the project, we're in business. Here's my early wishlist for the voiceover cast:
Babar: James Gandolfini
Bambi: Samuel L. Jackson
Hunter: Steve Buscemi
To make it more marketable, we'd have to throw a strong feminine presence in there somewhere. I'm thinking Amelia Bedelia. I can already imagine the witty dialogue (But you said to "draw" blood!) And to make sure we get Tarantino, I would give Uma Thurman first dibs on the role.
Keep in mind, these are just my preliminary thoughts... and please do not tell Mr. MacKenzie about this letter (he would not be happy to know that I was trying to steer a potential client to Hollywood). Anyway, let me know if you would like to pursue this avenue. One of my fraternity brothers is interning at Paramount, so he will be able to get us in the door. I smell a hit!
Chadwick Q. Fraswell III
Sharper & Crow
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