Thanks to Netflix, showing the beloved cartoons of my youth to the next generation has never been easier. Of course, it also means that the children find the reboots as well. Today I'm taking 10 of my favorite 80s cartoons and breaking out the Good, the OK, the Bad, and the Must Haves of the remakes.
My Little Pony: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic kicks the original's ass, picks it up again, then punts it against the wall for good measure. We are at the point that I hope the kids don't find the original. Just glory in the adventures of Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and everypony in this wonderful, zany, yet not too goody-goody world.
And that's it for the good, my friends.
The remakes of the following shows fall more into the OK category, or at least one of the remakes does.
Of course, awesomeness of this sort cannot be contained to one series. Unfortunately and fortunately.
The 90s saw Voltron: The Third Dimension. It was late 90s 3D CGI. Let that sink in for a minute. Storywise it isn't horrible, but it is not high on my watchlist and the kids bypassed it too.
In 2011, we got Voltron Force, which has the original team, a bit older, as well as their apprentices. I love it for the simple fact that one storyline was devoted to how long it took Voltron to come together. Because, what, the bad guys are just supposed to sit there while you run through your entire 30 second process as the robot comes together? Every time? Raised a question I always had.
He-Man/She-Ra: Yes, technically two different shows, but for our purposes, they can be grouped together. I adored both shows as a child. I had Castle Greyskull, the Crystal Castle, and almost all of the action figures. I actually was stoked when the kiddos found He-Man and She-Ra and watched every episode. I admit this likely clouds my judgment of the reboots.
I remember seeing the Dolph Lundgren film. It was campy and Lundgren-y, and I had enough fun with it, but I was still in the 80s and not too far removed from the nostalgia of the first series. The New Adventures of He-Man came out just a few years later, but I was already over it. I recently watched the latest reboot, this one with a teenage Adam turning into the superheroric He-Man (no purple tights for this go round). I admit that it doesn't completely suck, but I was still meh. Give me the over-earnest campy original any day.
There haven't been any She-Ra remakes but I'm still skeptical. I truly have doubts that anything new would match the crass commercialism and early girl-power feel. Except for maybe this.
The 90s saw Adams return with Gadget Boy and Heather. Just rewatch the original, really. I didn't watch the movies and don't think I missed anything.
Transformers: As much as I did love the cartoon and remember clamoring to see the animated movie, Transformers will always be more about the toys for me. And not just because I was denied the awesomeness that was the robots in disguise. The Transformers toys made in the 80s are just plain superior to the ones cranked out now. My mother in law recently cleared out her garage. She had kept all of the old Transformers and Star Wars toys and gave them to us. My son brought one of his new-old Transformers to show a friend. His friend could not get over how awesome his Optimus Prime was because the toy actually transformed into something. That's right. They sell Transformers toys that don't change into anything at all now. I'm sure some of them do, but the kids have been burned by too many that don't. That's low, Hasbro.
As to the movies, well, I admit to seeing the first film and enjoying the effects well enough. It touched on some childhood nostalgia and while I was good with just one viewing, I won't curse its name. The second movie? I lasted maybe 10 minutes then I was done with all Transformers movies.
Garfield and Friends: Kill. It. With. Fire. I am ashamed to say I did actually watch this as a kid. Sometimes kids are stupid.
Don't watch the original and let us all pray to the Elder Gods that there is no more, no more movies, no more TV shows, done.
The Must Haves
Here are the shows that don't have reboots yet, but I'd watch them. In the right hands of course.
Duck Tales: Admit it, the theme song is in your head right now. I liked this show. I wouldn't mind seeing what, say, the folks behind Phineas & Ferb would do with Scrooge and his nephews. Maybe a Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers crossover?
Jem: It's time. I think this is doable. It doesn't even have to be animated. Give it the CW treatment. Make it "truly, truly, truly outrageous."
Danger Mouse: The James Bond of rodents. Need I really say more? Okay, "he's the greatest, he's fantastic, wherever there is danger he'll be there..."
Seriously, though, I want Danger Mouse. Even if it's just on Netflix. Please. Pretty please.
How about you? What remakes do you crave and which ones do you wish erased from memory?
Note: Yes, I know I missed a bunch (GI Joe, Thundercats, Care Bears, Gummy Bears). I picked my 10. You tell me yours.
Note 2: Yes, yes I was a Toys R Us kid.