Animated Series Reboots: Good for Business or Tainted Nostalgia?

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Before I begin this new article, I would like to say that there is no disrespect towards the Animators, Writers, and Artists who have worked on these shows or the Animation Industry, the opinions in this Feature reflect the thoughts and opinions of viewers who have watched these new variations of classics we’ve grown up with.

Over the years, Networks have tried to introduce new shows to audiences and sometimes it is a hit but most of the time they tend to be a miss, so Companies tend to dip into the past to flood the entertainment landscape with reboots and remakes of old shows. As Designer Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

The same can be said for television: When a popular show concludes, it lives on in syndication and Blu-ray. But recently, TV immortality has assumed a new form, that new form is Streaming. Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, all of these companies have been following the same formula that Television Companies have done in the past. Non-Profit News Outlet, The Conversation‘s Dr. James Francis, Jr. Who is a Lecturer at Texas A&M’s Department of English had this to say about the allure of comfort when it comes to Reboots:

At a practical level, reboots make sense.

When a fan of the original “The X-Files” tunes in for the reboot, they’re mostly familiar with the characters’ nuanced histories. For this reason, the show’s writers don’t need to lay as much groundwork. The skeleton’s already in place, and they can pick up where the characters left off and write new storylines.

But for audiences, there’s something deeper at play: nostalgia and the comfort of what’s familiar.

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Media Scholar Ryan Lizardi has studied the role nostalgia had when it came to television shows and advertisements explain how TV commercials will often incorporate familiar characters, famous soundbites, and classic hit songs to trigger viewers’ memories, which can transport them to moments of romance, comfort, and wonderment from their pasts. The effect is powerful, and it can instantly forge an emotional connection with an audience.

Rocko's Modern Life
Image Credit: Nickelodeon, Netflix

One of the things that rebooted shows needed to do is try to adapt to an ever-changing society, take, for example, Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling. It launched Rocko into the modern world after spending decades in the vacuum-sealed safety blanket of the 1990s. That story dove into Rocko’s troubles adjusting to the 2010s, showing how desperate he was to have things go back to the way they were — and the moral of the story was that change is good, even if it’s not always easy. It was still goofy and had that trademark Rocko’s Modern Life classic style, making it fun for kids, but it had a message that worked better for the adults who grew up with it in the first place. With some minor changes made and the show refreshed in the 21st century, it was a hit with audiences and earned praise, including several LGBTQ+ organizations, and nominated an award for Outstanding Kids and Family Programming at the 31st Annual GLAAD Awards.

There are some fans out there that feel that companies or creators who try to follow the formula of rebooting shows or remaking them alienate their viewers or fanbase, last year when I spoke to Dash Attack’s Lexaeus Noil, who has a podcast discussing topics such as the 80s and 90s culture; this was what he had to say about companies (including Hollywood) rebooting shows, movies. Also, asked if he felt that Companies are ruining not only the memories of certain shows but diluting the Cultural aspect:

Yes they are! I remember when Hollywood had great imaginations to make amazing and wonderful movies that are timeless! But it’s sad that they want to remake and reboot movies for today’s standards and fill up their bank accounts.”

Lexaeus Noil, Podcaster, and Member of the Mutant Alliance
Entertainment Earth
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Promotional Image
Image Credit: Nickelodeon

I had asked several viewers about their thoughts regarding reboots and most expressed their faith in the Company while others expressed doubt and mentioned that it felt like a blatant cash grab, an attempt to buy over viewers by bringing their show back. Some were afraid that once a show was rebooted that it would lose that sense of familiarity they grew accustomed to with it when first debuted or worse it felt superficial. Others expressed that animation and writing in the new series wouldn’t feel right, causing heartbreak in most cases. In my honest opinion, a reboot tends to fix things that the first series might have lacked in the beginning; a lot of the generation who had viewed these animated shows the first time is bringing in the knowledge and new creativity for another generation to enjoy, then that repeats over time.

Time to hear what you all think about this subject, do you feel that animated reboots are good for business? Or does it taint nostalgic memories? Vote and comment below!

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4 thoughts on “Animated Series Reboots: Good for Business or Tainted Nostalgia?

  1. I don’t necessarily agree with your position on reboots but it’s an interesting article nonetheless. I have a lot of issues with how reboots/sequels/spinoffs etc. are dominating the market right now leaving less room for new ideas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point, the whole point of the article was to share opinions from the viewers of these reboots, plus just wanted to share information and some thoughts about it as well. Thanks for responding to this, I was looking for this kind of response when I was doing the research for this article. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately most of the people who reached out only gave me the type of responses that you saw in the article, except for the response from Lex, because we discussed it in an interview from my Creator Spotlight Feature.

        Maybe I can write a follow-up next time.

        Liked by 1 person

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