10 Movies Based On TV Shows Released While The Show Was Still On The Air

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Stories move back and forth between media forms so frequently that it’s hard to keep track of where something started. That being said, it is fairly uncommon for a movie based on a TV series to hit theaters while said show is still be produced. A movie is usually something that follows the series up or launches it.

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But it’s also not unheard of that a movie debuts while a series is still in active production. If done right, they complement each other quite well and build the story even bigger. That can be difficult since the movies and TV series don’t always sync up.

10 The Simpsons Have Only Taken One Trip To The Big Screen

Without question, The Simpsons will go down in history as one of the most successful TV series of all time. There are 32 seasons in the bag since it debuted in 1989 with more on the way. And the show has been translated into dozens of video games, comics books, and more.

Surprisingly, there has only been one feature film to date, 2007’s The Simpsons Movie. Despite being an overall success both financially and critically, there has never been a sequel. That being said, a follow-up was announced in 2018 though there has been little news since then.

9 SpongeBob SquarePants Is Simultaneously An Active TV Series & Film Franchise

Spongebob - Krabby Patty (1)

The biggest Nickelodeon series of all time is easily SpongeBob SquarePants. It has been in continuous production since 1999, producing 268 episodes spread across a total of 13 seasons. No one could have predicted that a story about an inane sponge would have such a huge run.

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Much like The Simpsons, this has translated into several other media forms. Unlike The Simpsons, this has included multiple feature films. The most recent of them was Sponge on the Run which went through several pandemic-related release delays.

8 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Made The Big Screen Strange


Watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force is like watching the drug-addled fever dream of a madman— but in a good way. In theory, the series was about an anthropomorphic Happy Meal solving crimes. In truth, they were a pack of selfish lunatics who were a plague on their New Jersey neighborhood.

During its unlikely 11 season run, a movie named Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters was released. It took all of the incomprehensible absurdity fans had come to know and love and made it bigger and somehow even more insane.

7 Big Screen Flash & Small Screen Flash Exist At The Same Time

This is a little more complicated than others because it’s about two different versions of The Flash. The second series to debut as part of the Arrowverse was The Flash, and it is still in production today. At the same time, The Flash also exists as part of the DCEU, with his own movie coming in 2022.

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What this means is that The Flash has been in feature films and on TV at the same time but played by two different people. But it’s actually worked as the DCEU Flash actually made an appearance in the Arrowverse series, which was a fun episode.

6 The Crocodile Hunter Went From Reality TV To Scripted Film & Back Again

The movie poster for The Crocodile Hunter

For some people, it can be difficult to remember the meteoric rise of the late Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter. He has now been gone longer than he was famous for. The Aussie sensation made a name himself thanks to his exuberant and passionate defense of wildlife and wild spaces around the world.

The main TV series he was known for, The Crocodile Hunter, ran from 1996 to 2007. But in 2002, a feature film called The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course was released. It was a mix of scripted film and his usual reality series. The end result was a mediocre movie that divided critics and fans.

5 Batman: The Animated Series Was A Classic In Two Mediums

Batman The Animated Series Batman And Joker

DC has created a lot of animated shows over the years based on a wide swath of their characters, particularly Batman. But the most beloved by far is Batman: The Animated Series which defined the style of their animated offerings for decades. It remains a fan favorite years after it came to an end.

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Two films were released, one during the course of the series’ on-air run. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm came out in 1993, starting off as a direct-to-video release that became a theatrical release. Critics were smitten with some even calling it the best-animated film that year, but unfortunately, its last-minute switch to a theatrical film didn’t allow much time for marketing and it was a major financial flop.

4 Teen Titans Go! Made The Jump To The Silver Screen

Teen Titans GO

Teen Titans Go! can be a sore point for some fans. There are people who still have not gotten over the abrupt cancellation of Teen Titans and just don’t like its replacement. Admittedly, they are extremely different series, though it’s hard to deny the absurd charms of Teen Titans Go!

Six seasons have aired since 2014 with a seventh on the way. In 2018, a feature film titled Teen Titans Go! To the Movies was released. For fans, it was an excellent extension of the humor they got from the series. The haters still weren’t into it, of course.

3 Ali G Throws It Down On TV & In The Movies

Sasha Baron Cohen strikes a pose as Ali G

Sasha Baron Cohen has become one of the most controversial and engaging figures in comedy. His films and TV series have challenged the way his viewers see the world in some uncomfortable ways. And it’s all thanks to his slate of unique and memorable characters.

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His first taste of major success was Da Ali G Show which featured several of his most notable characters. During the series run from 2000 to 2004, a movie titled Ali G Indahouse was released. Ultimately, all of the major characters from that show would receive their own films over the years, though only Indahouse came out while the show was still airing.

2 Batman (1966) Took TV & Movies By Storm

Robin Figuring out a Crime with Batman from the 1966 Show

The Caped Crusader has a long history both on TV and on movie screens. But few hold a special place in the hearts of fans the way the 1966 Batman TV series does. It remains the textbook definition of the concept of “camp,” for better or worse.

Starring Adam West and Burt Ward, the series debuted on January 12, 1966. The big screen soon followed with a movie being released on July 20, 1966. That might have been a record-setting jump from one media form to another.

1 Pokémon Is A Veritable Fountain of Content

pokemon moive

At this point, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world without the Pokémon franchise in it. Created in 1995, it has gone on to become a force of nature in virtually every conceivable form of media. That includes movies, TV series, comics, video games, and collectible card games.

The first version of the animated series debuted in 1997 and has remained in production in one form or another ever since. During that time, there have been multiple feature films released, which include 2019’s live-action movie, Detective Pikachu.

NEXT: 10 TV Spin-Offs That Were Better Than The Original Show

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