The Child’s Play Franchise Detailed

Child's Play franchise

Credit: Child’s Play (1988)

The Child’s Play franchise famously introduced the world to Chucky, The Good Guys Doll, that holds the soul of the notorious murderer after he escaped death through a voodoo ritual. The Child’s Play franchise that introduced the murderous doll released its first film in 1988. After that, the franchise steadily released more films, leading up to seven original films, not including the reboot, and a television series that continues the story of the original film franchise. Unlike most horror franchises that go to various extreme lengths to keep their franchises alive nearly every year, the Child’s Play franchise has kept Chucky unique. It has evolved the Child’s Play franchise from pure psychological horror to a slightly comedic style to entirely horror comedy before settling into its genre of twisted comedy slasher elements. Below, we’ve detailed the Child’s Play franchise, from the original film series to the television series and the reboot of Child’s Play that was quite negatively received and disapproved by Child’s Play creator Don Mancini.

Child's Play franchise

Credit: Bride of Chucky

Child’s Play Original Film Series

As stated above, in 1988, Child’s Play released the first of many films in the franchise and introduced audiences to the killer doll controlled by the soul of a notorious killer, Charles Lee Ray. The first film, the only one to be considered a psychological horror, featured the transferring of Charles’ soul and the lives of the people he ruined upon entering them. Andy’s mom purchased Chucky for Andy as a toy, but when Andy warns others that Chucky is a murderer after his babysitter is killed. Nobody believed him, and the young boy was sent to a psychiatric hospital. Child’s Play 2 featured Chucky reborn, on his way to kill Andy yet again, but becomes interrupted by Andy’s new foster sister, but as with the first film, nobody believed the two of Chucky’s intentions. Child’s Play 3, the final entry in the original franchise to carry the Child’s Play name, featured a teenage Andy, although only released a year after Child’s Play 2, so he was re-cast in the film, showcased Andy in military school, but still fighting a new incarnation of the same Chuky doll, possessed by Charles Lee Ray. As the Child’s Play name was dropped in favor of titles with “Chucky” as the main title, Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky, and Cult of Chucky were the following releases from 1998 to 2017. The Chucky series of Child’s Play movies introduced Tiffany Valentine, possessed by Chucky’s soulmate’s soul, much like he inhabits Chucky. The films prominently followed her, Chucky, and their son Gentle Glen. In theatrical posters, Chucky has killed Annabelle, and most recently, in the same fashion, the Chucky Twitter account has been fighting with the upcoming horror character M3GAN.

Child's Play franchise

Credit: Chucky

Chucky Television Series

The Child’s Play television series, Chucky, on SyFy and USA has continued the Child’s Play film franchise as it evolved into the Chucky series from the later Chucky films and was inspired by the work Mancini did on Hannibal. Chucky had its series debut in 2021, while it premiered its second season this year, in 2022, and throughout the show so far, characters new and old have appeared to reprise their original roles, and some have been replaced. Child’s Play mainstay characters Chucky and Tiffany are in the series regularly, as well as newcomers that Chucky terrorizes almost exclusively. In contrast, the characters of Andy and even Glen and Glenda appear again from previous Chucky films. Overall, the Child’s Play television series, Chucky, has been the most current following of Chucky, and as the creator stated that feature films would still be made, the series will likely prelude at least one film soon. Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky, and college professor of Child’s Play creator Don Mancini has included his daughter in the Child’s Play film franchise since her debut in Curse of Chucky and has also appeared in Cult of Chucky and reprised the role in the Chucky television series.

Child's Play franchise

Credit: Child’s Play (2019)

Child’s Play Reboot Film

The Mancini-condemned Child’s Play reboot, titled Child’s Play, abandoned the serial killer doll-possessed angle and swapped it out for the most modern approach possible, with murderous AI technology. The Child’s Play reboot featured Aubrey Plaza in the role of Andy’s mom, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, and the infamous Mark Hamill as Chucky in place of the original and legacy Chucky voice actor, Brad Dourif. While the creator of the Child’s Play franchise wasn’t a fan of the slight betrayal that was the reboot of Child’s Play, as it only made the franchise appear conflicting with itself, Mark Hamill was undoubtedly the best option for a Chucky voice actor replacement as the actor has been beloved for his work in Star Wars, but mostly in voice acting for his work as The Joker, opposite of Kevin Conroy’s Batman.

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