Pac-Man: Behind The Smile

The tears of a junkie

My comrades failed to observe my prompting about this bizarro-world gem earlier, so now I am out of my day job skin, I shall do it. Hmmph. Wasters.

So: there’s going to be a Pac-Man TV show, all CGI and 3D and whatever else is buzzwordy.

It’s not going to be a simple tale of a yellow orb eating pills and running away from ghosts, oh no. This is about human interest and social messages. Pac-Man. Human interest and social messages. Pac-Man. Y’okay.

Former (presumably he left because the prospect of ever working with Kieron was too terrifying) Marvel Studios CEO Avi Arad is producing the Namco-endorsed show, and he’s been keen to point out that it isn’t just about lovable cartoon characters. Check out these proper humdinger quotes (originally from Variety):

“We wanted to talk about real stories and… see how they can relate to our lives, being in high school and being a teenager. At the end of the day, it’s the story of a reluctant hero.”

“We feel we have a unique opportunity to have an action adventure, human interest story.”

“As a filmmaker, it’s a unique opportunity to get to know the characters you play. We don’t know what happened to Pac-Man’s parents. He’s the only yellow one in Pac-Land; what does that mean? Is it a social statement? We’ll find out.”


At last, after 30 years, we’re getting an origin story for Pac-Man. We might get to meet Pac-Man’s mum. We’ll find out why he’s yellow. All these burning questions we’ve had for so long – it’s a wonder we’ve been able to sleep at night all these long years.

We’re going to find out why Pac-Man is yellow. And there’ll be a social statement behind it.

Beautiful man, beautiful. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of.

Coming next month, Tetris: The Movie. Discover the tragic secret that drove a wedge between the left-facing L-shaped block and the right-facing L-shaped block! Grow to love the plucky courage of the z-shaped bits, who keep on keeping on even though the world hates and fears them! And what could possibly be the real identity and motive of the mysterious… Rotator?.


  1. Hmm-Hmm. says:


    Oh and that image doesn’t load for me. Also, link to

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And now the image is shown in it’s full splendour. Well done!

    • devlocke says:

      I vaguely remember that cartoon in English, when I was younger. I think I have a Pac-Man adventure game for the Genesis that is based on it. Was it originally in French?

  2. Batolemaeus says:

    This has to be a hoax.

  3. Now I'm confused... says:

    Wait… what?

  4. Duoae says:

    That image that’s been floating around the internet for a long time now of a space-person (Pac Man) having to fend off the ghosts of his dead shipmates with those pills. I think that would make for a good film/mini-series.

    This? This smells like The Snorks.

  5. Freudian Trip says:

    They beat you to it on Tetris: The Movie. From what I gather our protagonists brother was killed by an evil Tetris player who smashed him with his ginormo tetris block and he’s out for revenge.

  6. Inigo says:

    “We’re going to find out why Pac-Man is yellow.”

    I can think of several reasons. And they’re all highly offensive.

  7. Shazbut says:

    It’s not even anywhere NEAR April

  8. Pathos says:

    “We’re going to find out why Pac-Man is yellow. And there’ll be a social statement behind it.”

    This is why the games industry can’t have nice things.

  9. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    link to

  10. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    Reluctant hero?

    They recruited him at an all you can eat buffet, after the cops were called, becuase he tried to eat even the table where he sat.

    He had a choice, go to jail, or fight off the communist ghosts in a maze.
    Oh, did we mention he needs heart medication to stay alive?


    • Bret says:

      Dangit, communists!

      Can’t you stop meddling in things you don’t understand?

      Also, anyone else mentioned the Pacman movie trailer? Hoot and a half, that thing.

  11. OptionalJoystick says:

    But Ms. Pacman is yellow too… did he give her some sort of disease?

    • Bascule42 says:

      The “Ms” suggests divorce. Getting a STD from Mr Pac Man is reasonable grounds I suppose. Now that would be a hot, (burning even), topical social issue.

    • Baf says:

      And what does that say about Pac-Man Jr.?

  12. The_B says:

    My comrades failed to observe my prompting about this bizarro-world gem earlier,

    Hey, I believe most of us were waiting for the embargo on this story to be lifted first! :(

  13. Christian O. says:

    Pac-man is a social commentary on the pill-popping ravers of the 1980’s. Bright lights, haunting pasts, dark corridors, techno-music and pills. It’s all there!

  14. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    It is time to take your questions seriously.

    Professor Iwatani paid a visit to my school recently, to talk about designing Pacman. It was pretty interesting.

    I believe that someone in the audience actually asked why he used the yellow color for Pacman. He replied that he did not wanted to use blue or pink, because they would be too much focused on either boys or girls, so went for yellow in stead.

  15. Felicia says:

    I’m absolutely excited to watch that show..I love playing pac man in my psp..I’m having a great time running away to the ghost. hehe

  16. Lalabox says:

    link to

    I think that this is a good interpretation to show why interpretations are kinda silly.

  17. kafka7 says:

    So Pac Man had parents. I’ve always thought that since there was a Ms Pac Man that pac-copulation was a distinct possibility.

  18. Mil says:

    Also similar in spirit to:

    link to

  19. broklynite says:

    And somehow nobody has pasted this yet: link to

  20. Flimgoblin says:

    Well if they can make an FPS out of X-COM… no, no? oh ok I’ll get my coat…

  21. Adam Whitehead says:

    Pac-Man, the Tetris blocks, Frogger and the Space Invaders visit New York City. And it’s awesome:

  22. Maxheadroom says:

    Has no one else mentioned the god awful Pac Man children’s cartoon from the late 80’s?