Why Cartoon Reboots Fail

80's toons


In my own mind, I’m the omnipotent knower of all things old school. Cartoons especially. I was born during the time of creativity, fantasy and possibilities. My generation had the best cartoonist and cartoons ever! I mean ever!! So when a cartoon from my era is reintroduced to this generation…let’s say I’m overly critical of the effort, or lack there of.

Let’s take Voltron for instance. Yes, when Go Lion migrated to American shores as the 5 cats of Voltron, there were no diehards at that time. We viewed in awe, as Keith and crew discovered their destinies and formed Voltron. Even the music had substance, as the perfectly orchestrated flying violins, heraldic trumpets, and electronica blended to fill the heart with triumphant joy. Even now, many of you reading this are humming the Voltron tune in your heads.

Fast forward to the many Voltron reboots and everything important, including the story, gets lost in colorful artwork and uneventful gimmicks. Let’s not get started on the soundtracks…there were none that had lasting effect. It was only filler noise.

He Man had a reboot that was somewhat eventful. You got to explore areas of the original mythology, like how Castle Greyskull became Greyskull, and where the “Power” that He Man claimed came from. That was nice to see. But once again, this reboot lacked substance. Where was the epic transformation music!?? That thunderous viking warrior soundtrack that had kids in the 80’s raising their spoons, dripping with milk, boastfully declaring “I..have..the..pooowwweeerrrrrr!!!” What happened to Orko telling us the moral of today’s story?

I hate to even speak on the horribly reworked, reintroduced craptastical nonsensery of The Thundercats. This..i threw up in my mouth a little..version of the Thundercats WASN’T the Thundercats. It was nothing. It had nothing. The most homage it gave to the original Thundercats was the fact that the voice actor of the original Lion-O was now voicing Claudus, Lion-O’s father, and that they let him call for the…thunder…thunder…thunder…Thundercats!!! HOOOO!!! one more time.

It gave me chills to hear the real Lion-O once more. But that was it.
The updated Thundercats soundtrack sucked!! My Thundercats had introductory theme music. The group had the fast paced main theme, Lion-O had Ho, Tigra had those blaring trumpets with a sprinkle of magic, Cheetra had the staccato horns of speed, Panthro had the mean guitar riff and power packed horns, Willy Kat and Kit had the exciting theme redux, dammit even the Thunder Tank had theme music.

It was these elements that sold toys, raised hopes and brought strangers together. Even today, many of our childhood cartoons are enjoying a second life with our children. I love hearing my 6yr old daughter singing the Jem and the Holograms theme song…the Misfits were better.

Image via LGN

  • Spade

    Wow…. I’m speechless.. this hit home Mecca… but did you really think the new thundercats were that bad!? I kinda enjoyed the new take on it…

    • Mecca EL

      @Spade, the reworked Thundercats show eventually became watchable to me, after I realized the series was canceled after its first season. I dvr’ed the show and took the time to give it a second go. I noticed the point of the show didn’t pick up steam until near the end of the series, with Pumyra’s betrayal. THAT’S when the rehashing of old stories stopped, and tie ins began.
      The original Thundercats show was alive. It was corny as hell, but the soundtracks were hype. Your blood raced when that moment came, and you KNEW Lion-O was about to call for help. The reboot Lion-O was weak and flat.

  • undbiter65

    Amazing post Mecca!!!! Made me feel nostalgic lol.

    • Mecca EL

      Thanks man!!

  • veeru789

    wow! great post.