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Initiator Imitator Capsule Pitch Description Implementation Winner?
Kimba the White Lion (1965) The Lion King (1994) A lion cub and prince of the African wild-lands must mature into a worthy king after the death of his father, with the assistance of his Love Interest, an Old Master baboon, and Those Two Guys, eventually defeating a vicious rival to the throne and his Heinous Hyena lackeys. Later media depicts the king's tribulations in raising his own cub. There is major controversy surrounding the possibility the latter plagiarized the former. While two of Lion King's writers/animators (and lead actor Matthew Broderick) admit to watching Kimba growing up, the film's directors claim to be unfamiliar with Kimba. Despite their many similarites, the two works have plenty of key differences to the point that calling Lion King a ripoff of Kimba is a Fandom-Enraging Misconception in some circles. It's also worth noting that Kimba mangaka Osamu Tezuka was a huge fan of Disney. While the jury is out on whether or not the Lion King ripped off Kimba the White Lion, it did ultimately withstand the accusations and go on to become a highly recognized Cash Cow Franchise. Unfortunately, Kimba is mostly recognized today (at least outside of its native Japan) as that show that the Lion King may have ripped off.
Once Upon a Time... Man (1977) Meme: The Dream Journeys (1983) Make a show like (respectively) Bronowski's The Ascent of Man or Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, but specifically aimed at children Man is broody and even creepy in places, while Meme is distinctly Lighter and Softer in tone, much in line their grown-up predecessors. Man was shown all over the world right out of the starting gate, Meme took nearly a dozen years to be shown outside of its native Japan. Both were dubbed into English, but neither aired in the United States. Man was more wide-ranging in scope and seriously explored the dangers of nuclear war, Meme gets bonus points for effectively predicting the rise of the Internet.
Kids Incorporated (1983) Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983) The adventures of a group of pre-teen characters who perform covers of popular songs. Most episodes of Kids Incorporated focused on a group of pre-teens who hung out at a place called "The P*LACE" and dealt with typical issues children that age faced, while the episodes of Alvin were varied, with some being Slice of Life stories and others being Whole Plot References to popular movies and shows from the 80's. Kids Incorporated ran longer than Alvin and the Chipmunks (9 seasons vs. Alvin's 8 seasons), was the Disney Channel's first major hit series, and it also launched the careers of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Fergie. However, because Alvin And The Chipmunks was based on an already popular property, it was the more popular show, and its' popularity lead to a theatrical film, merchandise spin-offs, and newer series and films that were inspired by or used elements from this television incarnation of the characters (mainly the Chipettes).
The Cosby Show (1984) The Simpsons (1989) Sitcoms that center around a family trying to get by. The Cosby Show specifically aimed to be family-friendly, grounded, and wholesome, while The Simpsons contained edgier and often outright surreal humor. The Cosby Show led in the ratings for a good while, but The Simpsons eventually managed to catch up. Bill Cosby ended his show after eight seasons of his own volition, while The Simpsons is still going, in spite of complaints about Seasonal Rot. The Simpsons tends to be more well regarded in retrospect, partly due to the show’s more cynical tone generally aging a fair bit better and partly due to The Cosby Show being tainted by Bill Cosby’s rape conviction.
The Land Before Time (1988) Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989) The adventures of Five-Man Band of plucky dinosaur hatchlings led by an Apatosaurus.   Regardless of which arm of the Land Before Time franchise you're counting, it's far less obscure than Dink.
Sailor Moon (1992) Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (1995) Magical Girl series in which a blonde-haired girl, aided by a Talking Animal, is tasked to save her world from evil forces with the help of a group of girls by transforming into a superheroine. This duel concerns the North American release of Sailor Moon, which was released the same year Princess Gwenevere debuted. Princess Gwenevere was seen by 1.8 million viewers on average per episode, and its' success lead to the release of a second season. Sailor Moon, on the other hand, only got 900,000 viewers per episode, but was Vindicated by Cable when it aired on Cartoon Network. For the original run, Princess Gwenevere won the duel.
Salty's Lighthouse (1997) The Noddy Shop (1998) Shows that try to copy the format of Shining Time Station by having British children's shows framed by segments related to the theme of the original show. While Salty's Lighthouse was an animated show, The Noddy Shop was a live-action show that also featured puppets. Despite this, the shows also have similarities to each other. First, both shows feature a crustacean character, have adult characters who have jobs related to the ocean and both had episodes about a character thinking they were being ignored because of their age and a Big Blackout. Salty's Lighthouse was forgotten by the public because it was on Ready Set Learn, the lowest rated Preschool Show block on TV at the time, while Noddy got ratings that were higher than Sesame Street and ran new episodes for two years, as well as another three in repeats. Noddy wins this duel.
Naruto (2002) Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) A Stock Shōnen Hero with extraordinary air powers and a blue-and-orange color scheme makes True Companions in his travels while being helped/hindered by a Stock Shōnen Rival fire user. Has a follow-up series about their descendants. One of the comparisons on the two shows is about Sasuke and Zuko. These two constantly switched sides, so their alignment is complicated. Naruto. While both shows would go on to have sequel series and both shows have their share of fans, Naruto is a huge Cash Cow Franchise, and Avatar: The Last Airbender has a slight critical edge (depending on who you ask).
Pretty Cure (2004) Girls x Heroine! (2017) Merchandise-Driven Magical Girl genre shows that air in a Sunday morning timeslot. While Pretty Cure is an anime, Girls x Heroine is a tokusatsu series. While Pretty Cure does the best ratings-wise, the arrival of Girls x Heroine created competition for the then-14 year old franchise in toy sales, with every single series surpassing Pretty Cure in merchandise sales (with the exception of one series that got beaten by that year's installment of Pretty Cure). Also, while Pretty Cure stopped sequels after the ratings failure of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, Phantomirage, the third Girls X Heroine series, got a second season due to it being a major success among its' demographic in both ratings and merchandise sales.
The Tudors (2007-2010) The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) Works of Historical Fiction set in Tudor England that take a lot of liberties for the portrayal of real-life history. The Tudors is an international Showtime co-production created by American, British and Irish television companies while The Other Boleyn Girl is the second BBC adaptation of the 2001 novel of the same name after the 2003 television film. The Tudors does slightly win this contest as it had a fairly successful, four-season run while The Other Boleyn Girl despite having a modest box office never received any official sequels.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010) The Borgias (2011) An in-depth look into one of the most (in)famous noble families in the Italian Renaissance amidst all the drama and conflict with other European powers. While both works have the same setting and touch upon similar subject matter, The Borgias takes a lot of inspiration from another Showtime-produced show The Tudors and isn't exactly known for historical accuracy. Brotherhood on the other hand tries to stay as close to real world history as possible though the game mixes it with Historical Villain Upgrade and Artistic License to portray the House of Borgia since they are the main antagonists to the Auditores in addition to being a sequel to Assassin's Creed II. It's a bit tricky to determine a clear-cut winner since The Borgias and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood were fairly successful but the latter slightly edges out the show by getting a proper conclusion in the form of Assassin's Creed: Revelations while the latter was prematurely canceled with it's intended finale being published as an e-book.
Crash & Bernstein (2012) The Loud House (2016) Shows about a kid who is tired of being the only boy in his family and looks for new ways to cope with it. In Crash & Bernstein, Wyatt Bernstein is the only boy out of four children, but he befriends a purple puppet named Crash. Lincoln Loud of The Loud House doesn't get a new male friend in the house, and has to deal with ten sisters. Outside the house, our heroes spend most of their time hanging out with a geeky best friend who has a huge crush on their oldest sister, who is a blonde phoneaholic. The Loud House wins easily. It lasted for much longer and is one of Nickelodeon's most beloved cartoons and their biggest hit of The New '10s. Crash & Bernstein aired on the low rated Disney XD subchannel and was cancelled midway into its second season, and was panned by critics. It is now considered one of the most hated Kid Coms Disney Channel ever made and is commonly cited as an example of everything wrong with the genre.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) Black Sails (2014) Prequels about a fictional pirate captain who commands his own ship and crew while working with real-life historical figures in the Caribbean as a member of the Republic of Pirates. Black Flag is a pirate-centric installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise that takes a hard Genre Deconstruction approach to most portrayals of The Golden Age of Piracy in fiction while Black Sails is a Darker and Edgier, adults-only take on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. A firm draw. Black Flag became one of the best-selling games of 2013 with over 15 million copies sold while Black Sails had a respectable, four-season run on Starz from 2014 to 2017.
Teen Titans Go!! (2013) Yo Kai Watch (2015) Shows about kids/teens who have supernatural powers that have a huge emphasis on comedy, are adaptations of something else and are adored by the channels they air on. While Teen Titans Go! is based on the Teen Titans comics and the 2004 TV show, Yo-Kai Watch is based on a video game, and because of it originating in Japan, the show aired one year earlier in that country. From it's premiere until the summer of 2016, Teen Titans Go! was the #1 kid's show on TV, and it's success led to Cartoon Network beating Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and even broadcast networks like CBS and ABC in the ratings. The show also got multiple TV movies, kid's meal tie-ins at every fast food chain imaginable, the iPhone game Teeny Titans and a theatrical film. Yo-Kai Watch, despite having lower ratings and low game sales, has more merchandise than Teen Titans Go!, and also had it's movie shown in theaters as a limited release two years before Teen Titans Go! got theirs, which played to sold-out theaters. Because of it's better success with the target audience, Teen Titans Go! wins this duel.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (2013) Frozen (2013) Family-friendly material released in 2013 who's main villains exploit their supposed love interests for their selfish ambition involving royalty, and plot against the families of said love interest. Thieves in Time stars a trio of adopted brothers who reunite over a disaster, while Frozen is about two sisters estranged after a disaster. Both have a morally ambitious female character disappear on their own terms, with locating them a major goal. Both attained positive reviews from critics. However, Thieves in Time ended on a cliffhanger, and Sanzaru stated they have no intentions of making a sequel, leading fans to disown the game. Frozen grossed around $1.2 billion in the box office as of September 2020, and is currently the 16th highest-grossing film of all time. It was successful enough to get a sequel, Frozen II, which currently stands at $1.45 billion. So, Frozen wins.
Yo Kai Watch (2015) Abby Hatcher (2019) An elementary school child helps solve other people's problems with the help of creatures that only they can see. Yo-Kai Watch is an adaptation of a Video Game, while Abby Hatcher is Spin Master's attempt at a Distaff Counterpart of PAW Patrol. It's worth noting that at the time Abby Hatcher premiered, the English dub of Yo-Kai Watch was up to the episodes of the series that mainly focused on a new female protagonist. Yo-Kai Watch was adored at first by Disney XD and got lots of merchandise and airings, but around the time season 2 came along, the ratings dropped, with the show currently being the lowest-rated children's program on TV. The merchandise also had low sales, but did much better in Europe. Abby Hatcher's ratings were on par with the first season of Yo-Kai Watch, but unlike Yo-Kai Watch, at least 5 of those got a million viewers. Abby Hatcher is the winner.
Stuck in the Middle (2016) The Loud House (2016) A tween tells the audience how he survives being the middle child of a large family with lots of siblings. Both series are about being the middle child in a big family, and they even have an episode each where the main character tries to claim the best seat in the family car. To be fair, The Loud House has been in development and production longer than Stuck in the Middle. Stuck In The Middle gets only a million viewers per episode, mainly because it was overshadowed by the success of the other kidcoms on the network it aired on, and got mixed reviews before ending in the summer of 2018. The Loud House, on the other hand, got many positive reviews and ratings as high as 5 million viewers, becoming Nickelodeon's biggest hit since SpongeBob SquarePants. The Loud House wins this duel.
Gods of Egypt (2016) Assassin's Creed Origins (2017) Ancient Egyptian mythology-themed epic stories with mortal humans as the main protagonists. Gods of Egypt is more of a fantasy action movie about the conflict between Horus and Set while AC Origins by contrast is an RPG game that is mostly grounded in reality since it's set during the final years of Ptolemaic Egypt and The Roman Republic though the gods themselves are constantly referenced by major and minor characters or appear in the flesh outside of the base game. A massive blowout. Gods of Egypt was an outright Box Office Bomb that resulted in a $90 million loss for Lionsgate not helped by the controversial decision to cast mostly white actors for the Egyptian characters. Origins would go to become a big success for the Assassin's Creed franchise and spawn not just a prequel set in Ancient Greece as well as a followup that takes place in Viking Age Europe but it was historically accurate enough to foster the creation of Discovery Mode for students and teachers to explore the history of Ancient Egypt since Ubisoft hired historians and Egyptologists to ensure that its culture and architecture would be kept as authentic as possible.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (2016) Human Kind Of (2018) Teenager with a Superpower Lottery trying to live a normal life. Both are comedy series. TBA
Final Space (2018) Lost in Space (2018) Series that take place in outer space. Final Space is about a person who is protecting a planet destroyer from the claws of an evil alien, Lost in Space on the other hand is about a family who want to get out of a certain planet while surviving in the process Both series got mixed reviews by critics, but Final Space managed to have mixed to positive reviews, and a bigger fanbase, especially considering it dropped the shock value some adult cartoons have. Lost in Space on the other hand, while it is a reboot of one of the most influential Sci-Fi shows of all time... the reboot itself is not as popular and well-received as Final Space.
Castlevania (2017) Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018) Adaptations with horror themes and gothic and dark aesthetic Castlevania is an adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, following heroes trying to save Wallachia from Dracula's army and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a horror themed re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, adapted from a comic with the same name. One can hardly blame Netflix for releasing both shows at the same time, trying to cash in their dark themed shows with Halloween week. One can say the audience won, as both shows got large fanbases and critical acclaim.
Ryan's Mystery Playdate (2019) Blue's Clues & You! (2019) Shows based on popular properties that both involve the main character finding three clues to solve a mystery with the help of cartoon animal characters. Blue's Clues and You is a reboot of the original Blue's Clues series, while Ryan's Mystery Playdate is based on the popular YouTube toy channel Ryan ToysReview. Also, both shows are slated to air on Nick Jr. at the same time. While Ryan's Mystery Playdate was hyped up a lot by Nickelodeon, the episodes, with the exception of the first episode getting a million viewers, performed poorly on the channel and were later moved to the dedicated Nick Jr. channel. Blue's Clues and You! also suffered from the same low ratings issue as Ryan, but unlike Ryan, it never had an episode that reached a million viewers. However, Ryan's Mystery Playdate constantly gets higher ratings than Blue's Clues and You!, making it the winner.
Doomsday Clock (2017-2019) Watchmen (2019) (2019) Works and sequels based on Watchmen. Doomsday Clock is the follow-up to The Reveal in the original DC Rebirth one-shot that Dr. Manhattan, not Barry Allen and Pandora, is responsible for the New 52 DC Universe, while the HBO Watchmen series is a stand-alone story that also takes place after the events of the comic. Both also feature rather different outcomes to Rorschach sending his journal to The New Frontiersman and the idea foreshadowed in the end of Robert Redford as President of the United States, both feature more focus on one of the Minutemen, and both ended in December 2019 within days of each other with both endings featuring the death of Dr. Manhattan and the imprisonment of Ozymandias for his crimes in the original story. Watchmen. Both the comic and the series were successful, but Doomsday Clock proved sharply divisive to fans of the original comic, while Watchmen, while not without detractors, has generally been more warmly embraced. (Notably, artist Dave Gibbons gave his blessing to the HBO series, whereas he joined writer Alan Moore in disowning Doomsday Clock.) Watchmen also proved a major real-world cultural influence in spreading awareness of the very much real Tulsa race massacre. Finally, the series became an Emmy darling, being nominated for and winning the most awards for any series in its year, cementing the victory.
The Hunt (2020) Most Dangerous Game (2020) Modernized riffs on the Hunting the Most Dangerous Game premise released in spring 2020. The Hunt is a theatrical film loosely adaptating "The Most Dangerous Game", only with a political twist as the hunters are rich liberal elites while the hunted are conservative "deplorables". Most Dangerous Game, despite the name, is not officially based on the short story; it is a Quibi short-form video series in which the "game" is a desperate man sought out by a mysterious organization with a lucrative cash offer for his participation. Rather than one man seeking out multiple quarry on an isolated island, it's several hunters seeking out one quarry in the middle of Detroit. Most Dangerous Game, though neither performed exceptionally well. The Hunt, after being delayed several months due to intense criticism of its premise, opened less than a week before U.S. theaters were shut down en masse due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, making under $6 million as a result. The next weekend, it was released digitally as a $19.99 rental on several platforms; it is unclear how well it has done there. Quibi has yet to release statistics for Most Dangerous Game, which was one of the service's launch titles; however, Quibi's early download and viewership statistics have been described as "anemic." Critics and audiences have largely been more favorable to Game than Hunt, with higher scores on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb - with the caveat that Game has far fewer reviews from either. Ultimately, Most Dangerous Game wins as it was renewed by Quibi for a second season, giving it the edge on Huntnote , and was later nominated for an Emmy as well.
Just Mercy (2019) For Life (2020) Early 2020 Based on a True Story legal dramas focused on a wrongly convicted black man fighting to overturn his conviction on appeal. Just Mercy is a Warner Bros. film starring Jamie Foxx as the wrongly convicted Walter McMillan and Michael B. Jordan as his lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, released in the heat of awards season. For Life is an ABC primetime drama series produced by (and featuring a cameo role from) 50 Cent, in which the main character becomes a lawyer himself in prison and defends others while working to overturn his conviction; unlike Just Mercy, it is a much looser adaptation of its true story. For Life. Both the film and the series garnered strong reviews from both critics (83% and 86% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (both have 7.5 on IMDb). However, Just Mercy struggled at the box office against more prominent award contenders (notably, it opened wide alongside Oscar frontrunner 1917) and failed to secure major nominations as Warner Bros. focused its efforts on Joker. While not a flop, its performance fit a trend of underperforming dramas in late 2019 and early 2020. For Life, meanwhile, was a strong ratings performer for ABC throughout its run; while it too was unable to earn much awards recognition, its successful television run and second season renewal gives it the victory over Just Mercy.
Assassin's Creed: Valhalla (2020) Vikings: Valhalla (2021) Action-oriented Historical Fiction dramas set during The Viking Age which serve as sequels to a popular work of an otherwise well-known franchise focusing on Viking clans who relocate from their original home of Scandinavia to a brand new location and the Norse invasions of England. AC Valhalla is set in 873 AD with Eivor and her kin moving to a small English town known as Ravensthorpe to set up shop amidst the chaos and turmoil of Dark Age Europe whereas Vikings: Valhalla has two distinct storylines: Harald Hadrada and William the Conqueror leading their own expeditions into the British Isles and Leif Erikson and his family setting in Greenland as the spread of Christianity back home will lead to the end of the Vikings as we know it a century after the events of the original series. So far, AC Valhalla has become the bestselling Assassin's Creed game of all time since it has broken sales records for the entire series. Vikings: Valhalla has not yet been released so it remains to be seen how successful it is when compared to the original show or its video game counterpart.
The Offer (TBA) Francis & The Godfather (TBA) A TV series and film, respectively, centered around the making of the 1972 classic The Godfather. The Offer is a Paramount+ series that presents the events of The Godfather's production from the perspective of producer Al Ruddy. (Armie Hammer was briefly attached to star before dropping out.) Francis & The Godfather is a film from Barry Levinson starring Oscar Isaac as Francis Ford Coppola and featuring an All-Star Cast. TBD.
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