3 Magic Balls versus the Metal Men

Once again, I delve into children’s literature. Sorry about that, but another recent find was “Three Magic Balls” by Richard Egielski.
In the picture book, a boy named Rudy comes across a set of beautifully painted rubber balls. He buys them and, as any kid would do, bounces them. With each ball bounced, they come to life as a sort of Three Stooges version of Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
With Rudy in tow, the Three Magic Balls bound across the city and engage in a number of hijinks before they come across a crisis: An airplane is crashing from the sky.
The Magic Balls spring into action, stretching themselves into all sorts of shapes and rescue the plane.
In all, it’s a fun book with beautiful illustrations.
As I read the book to the little one, I was immediately reminded of The Metal Men, DC Comics’ super hero team. Like the Three Magic Balls, the Metal Men aren’t humans or even alive. Instead, they’re robots who’ve been given a “likeness of life” by their special computer brains called Responsometers.
Also like the Three Magic Balls, the Metal Men are stretchy shapeshifters. Taking the characterstics of one pliable form of metal or another, the Metal Men bend and transform into whatever shape or device they need to be.
With the continued appeal of the Metal Men, I can’t help but wonder how neat it would be to see more adventures of the Three Magic Balls, minus all the DC Comics Universe baggage. A comic would be great. Animation would be even better. They’d be hoot on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, especially if the trio was kept in the bright, colorful Jazz Age atmosphere of the book, and made it an adventure story, rather than a tacky Teletubby-style show.


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