Last month, the writers for Candy Land the movie (2013), were interviewed by Entertainment Weekly and were quoted on their vision for this project, “We envision it as Lord of the Rings [LOTR], but set in a world of candy.” Personally, I think that using a children’s board game as the basis for a movie is a dumb idea, but then I thought that using a theme park ride was also a bad idea. A billion dollars later, Disney is laughing all the way to the bank, with their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. As P.T. Barnum said, “a sucker is born every minute.” These days Barnum’s timeframe must have telescoped down to a microsecond, or maybe even less, otherwise Hollywood would run out.
Candy Land has been around since the 1940s. I played it as a child, but I most remember this game for a summer in the ‘90s, when my niece, Ashlan, fell in love with it. The game is for children who can’t read or count well, as the players move through the board by picking color-coded or confection-pictured cards. There’s no strategy, but after a while Ashlan figured out how to quickly win, she stacked the deck in her favor. She thought that she was being sly, but I was on to her. I didn’t care though, because her strategy ended the game more quickly, then she was on to her next victim. That was then, now Ashlan is all grown up and is a college graduate, but I would still recommend that everyone cut the deck, whenever they play cards with her. I know that I would.
When you think about it, interpreting Candy Land through the lens of the lidless eye is positively brilliant. Both stories are basically road trips, where the protagonists journey from place to place, overcoming hurdles, sometimes suffering setbacks, but eventually reaching their goals. Both stories are populated with fantastical characters; the only difference being that Candy Land’s are more full of high fructose corn-syrup than those of the LOTR. Whether it is Frodo and Sam or just the kids, the Old Forest or the Peppermint Stick Forest, the Misty Mountains or the Gumdrop Mountains, the story is the same, just get to the end of it. In this respect, I expect Candy Land the movie to be better than LOTR, I’m sure it won’t take nine and a half hours to conclude.