Netflix got its dirty hands on one of my childhood favorite franchises. Let’s see how it went.
Before I review this show, I think it’s worth explaining why I’m talking about it in the first place. I think we all have a cartoon or two from our childhood that made an impact on us. Personally, mine was ReBoot.
ReBoot was the first computer-animated television series. It was produced by Mainframe Entertainment and ran from 1994 to 2001. In a nutshell, the story revolved around characters Bob, Dot, and Enzo, inhabitants of a computer system known as Mainframe that have to defend their home from various threats. These include the resident viruses Megabyte and Hexadecimal, games played by the User where losing has massive consequences for the system, and other various threats from the net. What began as a simple weekly kid’s show grew throughout the years into a program that was thoughtful, intricate, and thrilling which any age could enjoy. It’s truly one of my favorite series of all time, cartoon or otherwise. It’s one of the most innovative, original, and fun series I’ve ever seen. The creators should be proud of producing a show so ahead of its time. If you haven’t seen it I would suggest it even today. It holds up exceptionally well. That’s not even going into the historical landmark it is for animation. Check out the first episode here.
ReBoot met its end in 2001 under dubious circumstances. The third season was aired in the United States about a year after its premier in Canada. The show was canceled by its original American carrier ABC after Disney bought them out, and reformed their Saturday morning block into all-Disney shows. ReBoot found a new home and reportedly had massive ratings on the Toonami block of Cartoon Network, so much so that they ordered a fourth season. Something went wrong two-thirds of the way through, and the fourth season was never finished. Producers of the show had to choose whether to end on a cliffhanger or somehow tie up the series with only one more episode contracted. They chose the former. It’s an unfortunate end to the show, especially given the peril the characters were in just as the curtain fell.
The world of ReBoot would fall silent for several years. In 2008 a web site called rebootrevival.com allied with Rainmaker Entertainment, which had since bought out Mainframe Entertainment that created the show. The original creators were gone, but it seemed hopeful. Big promises were made that the franchise was coming back. There was talk of a trilogy of TV-movies that would wrap the series up. They were going to use some other site to gather fan input to make a web comic. It was supposed to be a really big deal and fan excitement was high… for a while.
In the end, we got a slowly released mediocre web comic. Even a die-hard ReBoot fan like myself couldn’t finish it because it was so disjointed and uninteresting. The movies never happened. Rainmaker’s interest in interacting with the fans was nothing but a PR stunt in the end. By the time it was all said and done, Rainmaker had earned a well-deserved, piss poor reputation with ReBoot fans. From that point on, any time ReBoot was mentioned in a stock holder meeting it was met with a “yeah, uh huh, sure” response from the fandom.
Then, this happened.
I… What the… Huh?!?!