The Banana Splits Movie is a 2019 American horror comedy film directed by Danishka Esterhazy and written by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas, based on Hanna-Barbera's 1968 children's television series The Banana Splits. It stars Dani KindSteve Lund, Finlay Wotjak-Hissong, Romeo Carere, Sara Canning and the voice of Eric Bauza. The plot follows a family attending a live taping of The Banana Splits television series and trying to survive when the titular characters go haywire upon learning of their show's cancellation, starting a killing spree around the studio.

The Banana Splits Movie premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 18, 2019, and was released on August 27, 2019 by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was aired on the Syfy channel on October 12, 2019 for the Halloween season.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Harley Williams is a huge fan of The Banana Splits, a successful children's television series featuring four animatronic characters — Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky — along with their human co-star Stevie. On his birthday, Harley's mother Beth and his stepfather Mitch take him to a live taping of the show at Taft Studios with his brother Austin and his classmate Zoe. Arriving, the family meets the show's hostess Paige and her assistant Doug, fan couple Thadd and Poppy, aspiring young performer Parker with her father Jonathan, and security guard Sal.

As the taping is getting ready, the studio's new vice president of programming Andy informs the show's producer Rebecca that he is cancelling the show after the recording. The Banana Splits' new software updates malfunctions upon learning this, with Bingo kidnapping Andy while Drooper thrusts a prop lollipop down Stevie's throat, killing him. Outside the studio, Beth learns Mitch is cheating on her. As she returns to the studio, Mitch finds Sal's decapitated corpse and is then chased and run over by Snorky.

Meanwhile, Poppy accepts Thadd's marriage proposal while blogging the backstage before Fleegle arrives and murders Thadd by sawing him in half. Fleegle leaves Poppy when he hears Harley and Zoe looking for Snorky, taking them to the workshop. He traps them with Parker, who Bingo kidnapped after Jonathan's face was burned by Drooper when they were looking for Andy for an audition.

Beth, Austin, Paige and Rebecca learn about the Banana Splits' carnage after finding a seriously injured Jonathan. While Paige finds all phones disconnected and the confiscated cells destroyed, Beth manages to defeat Bingo before she and Austin find Poppy and convince her to join them. Meanwhile, Harley, Zoe and Parker meet the Banana Splits' creator Karl, who considers his creations' actions justified by the show's cancellation and conflicts over freeing the children. Drooper brings Bingo for repair, causing Karl to get distracted enough for the kids to escape and lock him in his own cell. At the same time, Rebecca and Jonathan are forced to participate in the show's obstacle course, with Jonathan stabbed to death by Fleegle in the back with a key while Rebecca wins before Drooper smashes her face with a giant hammer.

While looking for a way out, Harley, Zoe and Parker come across Snorky and convince him to help them. Beth, Austin, Paige and Poppy arrive at the workshop to ask Karl how to stop the Banana Splits. He doesn't provice any information, but the group hears music coming from a hatch in the floor. The others go down while Poppy notices the mask of an unused fifth Banana Splits named "Hooty". Losing her sanity, she puts on parts of the costume and kills Karl as revenge for Thadd's death.

Finding the underground passage littered with the corpses of Doug, the studio's staff and the adult audience members, the group find Fleegle and Drooper holding children hostage while performing gruesome variants of their acts, like burning Stevie's corpse and brutally murdering Andy by ripping his limbs off during a crucifixion. Snorky arrives and chains Harley, Zoe and Parker with the other kids, but secretly gives Harley the keys to free them. Parker guides all the kids to the exit while Beth and Austin manage to kill Fleegle and Drooper. They meet up with Paige and Zoe before being cornered by Bingo. Suddenly, Snorky attacks Bingo and manages to crush his head, killing him before dying from critical damage sustained during the fight.

As the police and paramedics arrive to attend survivors, Austin and Paige start a romantic relationship while Beth divorces a heavily injured Mitch. Left behind, Mitch gets run over again, this time being killed by Poppy with the Banana Splits' remains in the back. As she drives while humming The Banana Splits' theme song, Fleegle is seen reactivating and then laughing maniacally.

Cast[edit][edit | edit source]

  • Dani Kind as Beth Williams, Harley and Austin's overprotective mother and Mitch's wife, who attends a live taping of The Banana Splits television series for Harley's birthday.
  • Steve Lund as Mitch Williams, Harley's biological father, Austin's apathetic stepfather and Beth's second husband, who was secretly cheating on her.
  • Finlay Wojtak-Hissong as Harley Williams, Beth and Mitch's youngest son, Austin's half-brother and huge fan of the Banana Splits, especially Snorky.
  • Romeo Carere as Austin Williams, Beth's son and Harley's half-brother, who is also a fan of the Banana Splits, and accompanies his family to the studio.
  • Sara Canning as Rebecca, the producer and stage manager of The Banana Splits television series.
  • Eric Bauza as the voice of Fleegle, Bingo and Drooper, the main animatronic protagonists of The Banana Splits television series, who go on a murderous rampage after learning of their show's cancellation.
    • Snorky is the fourth member of the Banana Splits. Unlike the other three, Snorky is mute, vocalizing only in honking sounds.
      • Bauza also voices the announcer of The Banana Splits television series.
  • Naledi Majola as Paige, the hostess of The Banana Splits television series and Austin's love interest.
  • Maria Nash as Zoe, Harley's school classmate who accompanies him to the studio for his birthday.
  • Kiroshan Naidoo and Celina Martin as Thadd and Poppy, an engaged couple and huge fans of the Banana Splits, who try to record the entire show on Instagram.
  • Lionel Newton as Karl, a crazed worker of the studio and responsible for the creation of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky.
  • Richard White as Stevie, the friendly co-star of The Banana Splits television series, that turns out to be an arrogant and self-centered person after the show, secretly hating the Banana Splits.
  • Keeno Lee Hector as Jonathan, Parker's father, who wants her daughter to become a star in The Banana Splits television series.
  • Lia Sachs as Parker, Jonathan's daughter and aspiring performer visiting the studio with her father to demonstrate her talent on television.
  • Daniel Fox as Andy, Taft Studios' new vice president of programming, who cancels The Banana Splits television series; being indirectly cause of the Banana Splits' killing spree.
  • Vash Singh as Doug, Paige's assistant and intern to host of The Banana Splits television series.
  • Nicky Rebelo as Sal, Taft Studios' security guard.

Production[edit][edit | edit source]

On February 19, 2019, Warner Bros. Television Group's Blue Ribbon Content division announced that it is collaborating with Blue Ice Pictures on producing a film adaptation of The Banana Splits television series, which would take place in a horror-like setting, scheduled to premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con on July 18, 2019, to be released direct to streaming through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on August 12, 2019, on DVD and Blu-ray on August 27, 2019, and to air on Syfy on October 12, 2019. Danishka Esterhazy, who worked as second unit director for Syfy's Channel Zero, was hired to direct the film, based on a script written by Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas, who also wrote for Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja and The Haunting Hour: The Series. The film was rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for "horror violence and gore", marking it as the first film adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera or Sid and Marty Krofft property to receive this classification.

On June 13, 2019, when Syfy Wire released the official trailer for the film, some drew comparisons to the upcoming Five Nights at Freddy's film adaptationPatrick Stump from Fall Out Boy composed the score for the film, as well as his version of The Banana Splits' theme song.

Home media[edit | edit source]

The Banana Splits Movie made an estimated $348,186 from DVD and Blu-ray home media sales.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Critical response[edit | edit source]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 67%, based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10.

Kat Hughes of The Hollywood News praised the film and its direction, saying "Danishka Esterhazy proves the breadth of her directional range. The Banana Splits is a fun-filled, cacophony of zazy deaths and characters, that plays out as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for grown-ups". William Bibbiani of Bloody Disgusting gave a positive review saying that the film "offers a satisfying sequence of slasher slays" but that it "relies so much on cognitive disconnect that never feels like more than an ironic kill count".

Reviewer Jim Johnson, of Comic Book Resources, wrote that "it's a bold move that works, because, here in 2019, there's really nothing better to do with the Banana Splits. And it's not like anyone else had a better idea". Russ Burlingame of ComicBook.com praised the performances and script, saying "The Banana Splits Movie will be controversial — especially among those who still have a fondness for the original series — but it mostly sticks the landing, buoyed by a great cast, script and crew". Luke Thompson, writing to Forbes, says that "... until we get an actual Five Nights at Freddy's movie, this does deliver in that unique niche of furry animal animatronics gone scary".

Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, writing that it is "far less crazy than it wants to be and far more soporific than a synopsis would suggest". Mike MGranaghan of Aisle Seat gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, writing "When it's doing what it's supposed to do, The Banana Splits Movie has some definite novelty, value. Unfortunately, that's only about 50% of the time, tops".


its also been speculated that this movie was the first script for the long awaited "Five Nights at Freddy's" Film

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