In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic show, The Banana Splits, we met and interviewed the cast and creative team involved with the upcoming The Banana Splits Movie at San Diego Comic Con 2019. All four of the show’s guests shared their excitement over the film’s release and explain the amount of dedication and hardwork that they poured into this movie. In this film, a little boy named Harley is experiencing the best birthday a little kid can ever celebrate – alongside his family and friends, he gets to spend the day at a live taping of The Banana Splits. However, news of the show’s cancellation quickly spread that same day. Little Harley’s birthday party turns into a gory crime scene with a rising body count, as the animatronic quartet suddenly come to life and start killing people in retaliation of their show’s cancellation.
Eric Bauza, whose extended animated filmography is only matched by his versatility in voice acting , lends his voice to all of the members of The Banana Splits group. During the voice recording, he revealed that he referred a lot to the performances of the original voice actors; however, he loved playing around with his voice in different ways in order to add to the film’s horror element.
Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas were the writers entrusted with the responsibility to turn this cult classic into a horror film. Despite not being total fans of the original show when they were younger, they put a ton of research into its essence and creatively utilized that to make the film into the scariest and goriest idea possible. They also disclosed that the new film does pay homage to the original show, especially in how The Banana Splits are first introduced: they are supposed be to iconic animatrons for kids, and they also incorporated the famous theme song too.
Sara Canning, who may be best known from her work on The Vampire Diaries and A Series of Unfortunate Events, told us that she will be playing Rebecca, the producer of The Banana Splits show. While her character is already experiencing hell from the show’s cancellation, her day turns for the worse when she realizes that the animatrons want nothing more than revenge. Out of the four guests, she was the only one who had seen the whole film, and she advised fans that they must get ready.
Missed a chance to see the screening of The Banana Splits Movie at the Horton Grand Theatre? Don’t fret! The film will be released in digital on Tuesday, August 13. The Blu-ray and DVD copies of the film are expected to be released on Wednesday, August 28. Additionally, stay tuned to the Internet blogs for more updates of the film’s screening on the SyFy channel!
About: The Banana Splits Movie
The show MUST go on! So says Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky and, especially, Drooper when they learn that their long-running variety show has been cancelled. The Banana Splits Movie offers a new take on the classic characters. The film follows a boy named Harley and his family as they go to a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?
Produced by Blue Ribbon Content in association with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and SYFY, The Banana Splits Movie, an original feature-length film, arrives on Digital starting August 13, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 27, 2019. #BananaSplits
Host: Hi! How are you?
Eric Bauza: I’m good!
Host: It’s great to see you again!
Eric Bauza: This is a reunion!
Host: This is like every two months! What happens is that I see Eric every two months cause he always has something to promote.
Eric Bauza: Yeah!
Host: Here’s your microphone.
Eric Bauza: Oh, thanks!
Host: You’re welcome! Okay, let me know when you’re ready. Alright, here we go.
Eric Bauza: Here we are again.
Host: Here we are again! I don’t even know where we’re at now. Machelle Noel here at San Diego Comic Con 2019. Joining me right now is Eric Bauza. He’s promoting yet another movie for us this year – it’s called The Banana Splits!
Eric Bauza: [switching to a creepy voice]: The Banana Splits movie! We’re gonna have fun!
Host: Oh my gosh, look at you! I was like, I’m already thinking of that Tra La La La La song. It’s stuck in my head, just singing it here all day. So from Muppet Babies to serial robot killer, I thought I knew everything about you inside and out, wow! Okay, so …
Eric Bauza: Don’t blame me. This is a Blue Ribbon Content Production, so they’re the ones that thought of this amazing spin on your children’s characters.
Host: For sure! It’s like … oh yeah, we’re going to get to that in a second. How does it feel taking your cartoon voice and incorporating it into a horror movie now?
Eric Bauza: It was awesome. I got to tell you, it was, you know, some voice actors are very cautious with the production that they choose to lend their voices to. I saw this one, and I was like, “A horror movie? You gotta be kidding me.” So I said, “Yes, I’m in. Show me the footage,” so it was a little crazy. Much different than the Saturday morning fare that I’m used to.
Host: Yeah, yeah.
Eric Bauza: But I loved it, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.
Host: Did you get a chance to see your final product? Were you scared of your own voice there?
Eric Bauza: I still haven’t seen it. Like today, we saw some of the clips at the panel.
Eric Bauza: I still haven’t seen the movie, but they’re screening it tonight at the Horton Grand Theatre.
Host: That’s right!
Eric Bauza: so, if you guys are lucky enough to get tickets, hopefully I’ll see you there.
Host: Holy cow! Now, is there a chilling line that scared you the most or your favorite?
Eric Bauza: Well, it’s all the, some of the classic lines of the characters, but just, they let me kind of go wild with it. So, there are some lines in the movie that sound just like what the show would be, and then there are other ones that I said, “It would be more fun to slow it down a little bit.”
Eric Bauza: So, you know, we have these like, animatronic characters as you can see. [points to figure on poster] He’s like the T1000 of … [laughs, then resumes creepy voice] I’m looking for John Connor.
Host: Speaking of John Connor …
Eric Bauza: Yeah, yeah … but you know. It’s crazy being able to be a part of this.
Host: Oh yeah, we just went to see the panel for Terminator this morning. We’re just like, “Oh my God, there’s so much [of the] Terminator theme stuck in our heads right now.
Eric Bauza: Oh yeah.
Host: Yeah, it’s really cool. So, how did you decide the voices between you know, Snorky and Drooper and Bingo, like I mean-
Eric Bauza: The original voice actors were the reference for this film. Uh, we have Alan Melvin, we have Daws Butler and Don Merrick possibly switching off roles. But I know Paul WInchell was the original voice actors of Flegal and you know him most notoriously as the voice of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.
Host: Exactly. Oh, yeah.
Eric Bauza: So I always equate him as human bagpipes. [imitates Winchell] He always sounds like he’s pushing air out of hi sbody, you know? Like and then you got that big wagging tongue, so he has a pitiful lisp. Yeah.
Host: Oh my gosh, I mean, I love that fact that you’re wearing your Daffy t-shirt.
Eric Bauza: Yeah. [imitates Daffy Duck voice] Speaking of lisps …
Host: You can do it all in your interviews, just speak that way. As an actor. Do you feel pressured with the challenge of the roles you get or is it like, enjoying?
Eric Bauza: It’s a joint-venture because you know, I have the help of the writers, the directors, of course, Denishka, who directed this. She was amazing and you know, I feel safe when Gary – first of all, Gary Mara knows everybody – he’s the man.
Host: That’s a big deal.
Eric Bauza: He keeps it all together by the way. It should be called “Gary Con” to be honest with you.
Host: Well, thanks for celebrating the fiftieth anniversary. Is there any stuff from the original?
Eric Bauza: Oh yes, there are definitely. The lightness of the original show is in there, and then they flip it on its head with the horror movie aspect, but there are some nods to the original production.
Host: You have a lot of projects going on in the works, and how do you handle your work life balance? What is your strategy?
Eric Bauza: Well, I got a really cool son, Riker, and he is the center of my universe. He keeps me in check. He’s a three-year-old and you know, work is fun, but I love being a dad.
Host: That is so awesome.
Eric Bauza: Yeah.
Host: You know, Eric, it was such a wonderful joy meeting you again this year-
Eric Bauza: Yeah! This is our thing! We do this, like every couple weeks.
Host: Every year, it’s becoming like, our thing now. We should just have our own show basically. Someday!
Eric Bauza: Yeah! It’s happening right now. You’re watching it/
Host: Make sure to catch – when can they see Banana Splits? When is it coming out?
Eric Bauza: Well, we get it on Blu-ray combo pack August 28. Digital, August 13. I think it will be on the Syfy channel, so just keep tuned to the Internet for updates.
Host: Well, thank you so much Eirc for joining us. Congratulations, and we hope to see you guys next time.
Host: It’s Machelle Noel here at San Diego Comic Con 2019. Joining me right now are the writers here for Banana Split. How are you guys doing today?
Jed Elinoff: We’re great! This has been a crazy day. It’s amazing to see the responses to this.
Host: I bet! So what has the responses been with, I know you guys shared a little bit of a clip as the panels, so how does that go?
Jed Elinoff: It went great. I think it’s really surprising to see. You know, you get a good mixture of people who are like, “You ruined my childhood!” And another bunch of people who absolutely love it, so that’s been awesome.
Host: Were you guys a big fan of this as a kid? Was it passed down from your parents’ generation to your generation?
Scott Thomas: No. It’s funny because we remember. We have a vague memory of the Banana SPlits, but you know, for Sid Marty Kroft, we really grew up on like Land of the Lost. And so when they came to us and said they wanted to do a horror movie revision of the Banana Splits, we did have to go back and go to Youtube and watch a bunch of clips and sort of, you know, refamiliarize ourselves with that show. But it was, it just seemed to make perfect sense to take these kind of creepy-looking animals and make them into killers.
Host: Cool, and then how did you guys get the greenlight to do this as a horror, knowing that this is actually a cult classic for some folks out there?
Jed Elinoff: it actually started with Peter Girardi and the team over at Blue Ribbon. They were the ones who said, “Hey. we want to do something kind of crazy with Banana Splits.” As soon as they said, “Hey, do you guys have an idea for a horror movie with the button aspects?” we immediately were like, “Yep, we know what to do, we get it,” and jump right into it. I mean, it was go go go from word one.
Host: So now, for the 50th anniversary, is there any special nod towards the original?
Scott Thomas: Yes, there’s definitely. We start the movie with the feeling of the original show. We wanted to really give the fans kind of a taste of what the shoe was before we turned it on its head. So there are a lot of nods to the orifinal show. There’s some new things that we came up with to sort of expand the world and then I think they’ll just see these sort of beloved characters in a different light.
Host: Cool, okay. I like that! So folks, be sure to catch The Banana Splits coming to you guys catch the Banana SPlits coming to you guys Blu-ray and digital and DVD out in August. Guys, thank you so much for being here. I’m Machelle Noel with the writers over at Banana Splits and hopefully, we’ll see you guys next time. Thank you so much.
Host: Machelle Noel here over at San Diego Comic Con 2019. Joining me right now is Sara and she’s one of the stars over at Banana Splits. Hey Sara, thank you so much for joining our show. How are you? How’s Comic Con treating you?
Sara Canning: Yeah, it’s great. I mean, it’s been a crazy day because we’re just running around. We got to sort of walk through a big panel just now, which was really fun and be on the floor for a few minutes so we actually do get the experience of Comic Con as well as, you know, all the press.
Host: You’ll really start to see how big San Diego really is when you get into the Convention Center.
Sara Canning: Yeah, yeah.
Host: You’re in Banana Splits. I did get a chance to see the trailer; you look really awesome. For those folks out there who are not familiar with this TV show that’s turning into this horror animatronic …
Sara Canning: Extravaganza!
Host: Can you tell the people what your character is about?
Sara Canning: Yes, I play in the movie, The Banana Splits. I play the producer of the show, The Banana Splits.
Host: Okay! And then, can you give us a tease about your character, and what you’ve been up to?
Sara Canning: Yeah, she finds out pretty much very early on in the movie that the show is being cancelld and that really throws her day off the tracks and then you know, when she’s already dealing with that and then all hell breaks loose and then she has to deal with that. So yeah, just a rough day for this producer.
Host: Were you a fan of the show or your parents ever?
Sara Canning: I have never seen it. My parents haven’t seen it. I looked it up when I got involved with this movie and I was like, “Whoa, this is crazy.” Um, yeah, so …
Host: Okay, so now we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary. Is there any special nod towards the original?
Sara Canning: Excuse me. Yes, I sneezed. Yeah, there are definitely a few throwbacks to the original but at the same time, this is a completely different vibe from the original.
Host: Have you gotten a chance to see the full movie yet?
Sara Canning: Yes.
Host: You have. Okay. And it seems like … just by your face, it seems something really worth.
Sara Canning: Yeah … shenanigans ensue.
Host: Get ready for that.
Sara Canning: It’s good.
Host: Okay, alright. Banana Splits actually is coming your way via digital and DVD in August. Sara, thank you so much for being in our show. We look forward to the movie because I’m so excited, I’m like speechless right now. I don’t even know how to like control my fangirlness right now. So, I’m Machelle Noel with Sara, and hopefully we’ll see you guys next time. Bye!
Sara Canning: Thank you!
Arleen Jia Rasing | Writing Contributor
B.A | Communications | UC San Diego
If it wasn’t for her early exposure to Disney movies and the Percy Jackson series, Arleen Jia would fail to discover her love for fictitious stories. Ultimately, this love for these stories led her straight into the GeekRockTV program, where she is free to express herself about her favorite films and books. Arleen is currently an undergraduate student at the University of California – San Diego; she is pursuing her B.A. in Communications. Inspired by her passion for social activism and love for writing, she hopes to become a journalist in order to give representation to the marginalized voices of American society. When she isn’t stressing out about completing her assignments on time or helping her family, you can spot her catching up on the latest developments within the Marvel Cinematic Universe or daydreaming. Through GeekRockTV, Arleen hopes to not only share her love for pop culture, but also gain new friends and experiences along the way. Instagram: @aariarasingg | View My Articles
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