Yes, you heard right. Marshmallow Peeps, those scrumptious little morsels of sugar, corn syrup (so, more sugar), gelatin, yellow dye and carnauba wax, have just been given the rights to their own feature film.
The Peeps won’t be making the movie, though (they don’t really have the capacity for artistic thought). Right now, the Peep moviemaking is being handled by Adam Rifkin, a man with a long history of slightly off kids’ movies — he wrote the screenplays for Mousehunt, Small Soldiers and Underdog. Rifkin and the execs from Just Born (the candy company responsible for those gooey yellow bird things) are currently hashing out the story details for Easter Themed Tooth Decay: The Movie.
Reportedly, what they’ve got so far is a Peeps diorama contest that sees a single candy fowl come loose and lose his way the night before judging is to commence. He (or she, or some indiscriminate Peep gender) must venture through the fantasy worlds of each diorama to make it home in time for the contest. According to Deadline (who broke the news), Rifkin got this idea from watching his niece and nephew construct a Peeps diorama. Also The Lego Movie, probably, given that The Peeps Movie has the exact same story.
So once Rifkin and the Big Sugar bigwigs have their story straight, they’ll shop it around to a studio, and find a preexisting IP to hang out with the Peeps and boost everyone’s street cred. You know, kind of like The Lego Movie and its little nods to Star Wars and DC Comics. Because the Marshmallow Peeps movie is totally its own, original idea.
And at this point, I fully expect crowds of people to boo and hiss, and clog up comment sections with how awful this new filmmaking venture is and how it is pure, unadulterated sugar proof that the film industry is a bankrupt bitch goddess. And I am going to go ahead and disagree with every one of those claims right now. Because a Marshmallow Peeps movie can only be a good thing.
Outcome A: The Movie is Good
This is an extremely rare outcome (like a million-to-one shot, basically), but if Just Born, Rifkin and whatever sap studio buys this idea actually want to make something audacious and tongue-in-cheek (again, like The Lego Movie), it might actually be fun. Peeps are ripe for parody — the whole Peeps diorama scene is a real thing, and a real thing that encourages people to go crazy in making overly elaborate reconstructions of pop culture icons, entirely in Peep.
But Peeps have always had a sort of tongue-in-cheek way about them. They’re weird looking, they’re pure chemical sugar and people seem to eat them on an ironic level. They bear a strong resemblance to Drew Carey, Drew Barrymore and Al Roker, according to a 2003 poll (via Huffington Post). And unlike Legos, you can eat them, which has to be worth something. All that strangeness could be fuel for the fires of something kinda clever.
Outcome B: The Movie is Bad
This is the extremely likely outcome. Because, chances are, the film industry is a bankrupt bitch goddess, and the Marshmallow Peep movie is a soulless first step towards a pack of Peeps sitting on the candy shelf next to the Twizzlers in every movie theater in the country.
And if that’s the case, then chances are it will be the most uproariously funny thing in years. Because as far as I know, there are only two food-based product placement movies in existence. Here’s one:
And here’s the other:
These films would be Mac and Me and Foodfight!, respectively. The former was designed to sell Big Macs and Coke in the guise of an E.T. ripoff, and the latter was schilling for various grocery store brands including Mr. Clean, StarKist Tuna and Mrs. Butterworth’s, among others. Both of them are famous in “so bad its good” circles, and both are an easy way to giggle yourself into a small seizure.
So as much as I’d love to see a half-decent movie where stop-motion Peeps reenact the Civil Rights protests, I’d love it even more if we got another Mac and Me out of this. And with that in mind, I throw my full support behind the Marshmallow Peeps movie.