When I was growing up, Jupiter Jones, Peter Crenshaw and Bob Andrews were my Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. And I guess that would make Alfred Hitchcock my Dumbledore. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you probably never read Robert Arthur's "Three Investigators" series of books. The young adult novels followed three boy detectives and originally featured Hitch as a supporting character (he's since been written out of all the books due to a lack of participation by his estate). After finishing all the "Encyclopedia Brown" books, and before I began my Agatha Christie phase, I spent a few years attempting to read all of the "Three Investigators" books, which was difficult since they weren't as popular as some other youth detective novels, and there was no such thing as Barnes & Noble (as it exists today, at least) or Amazon. I wonder if any kids appreciate the library today as much as I did back then.

Come Easter, Disney will be releasing the first in a planned franchise, The Three Investigators and the Secret of Skeleton Island, which was the sixth book of the series (they weren't as chronological as the Harry Potter books). The movie was supposedly announced a few years ago, but it completely slipped under my radar. I guess this was because the movie isn't being made in Hollywood. In fact, despite taking place in California, it is being shot in South Africa and is being produced by a German studio. The fact that I'm so unfamiliar with the director, Florian Baxmeyer, as well as the three screenwriters, makes it hard for me to worry too much about the movie's quality. So far my only obvious problem will be with the lack of Hitch as a character (maybe they could at least have Dan Fogler play the Hitch replacement, Hector Sebastian, as a subtle hint?).

Oh, and there's the little issue of me being almost 20 years older than I was when I read the books and probably won't be able to appreciate them in the same way. I don't remember many individual books specifically, except maybe the first one because it had more to do with movie-making, but looking over the synopsis of "The Secret of Skeleton Island", I'm reminded that it isn't the best of the bunch, and it might actually come off as being too Scooby-Doo for modern viewers. The plot follows the boys as they investigate a creepy island -- of course it's creepy with a name like Skeleton Island -- where the ghost of a young girl is haunting a film crew.

The already in-the-works sequel is to be called The Three Investigators and the Mystery of the Secret Spider, which is likely based on "The Mystery of the Silver Spider," which fittingly took the three boys to Europe.