I am a child of the 90s. I grew up on shows such as Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, and ReBoot. When ReBoot ended on a cliffhanger, I was so disheartened I scoured the Internet for days, looking for any sign that suggested the show would return. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. However, recently, a video popped up on YouTube introducing ReBoot: The Guardian Code. It promised the return of Mainframe Entertainment’s magnum opus, on Netflix no less. My heart skipped a beat; I watched the trailer with bated breath. And, I am less than pleased. Here’s everything that’s wrong with the reboot so far.
The trailer displays a lack of understanding of the original show. ReBoot had a simple premise. The show was essentially a fictional rendition of the inner workings of a computer and the Internet, i.e., Inside Out but for computers instead of humans. In fact, none of the characters were human. The computer sprite Dot Matrix, her little brother Enzo, and the ‘Guardian’ Bob (think of him as the equivalent of Norton or McAfee antivirus programs) defended the system (i.e. city) of Mainframe from the evil virus Megabyte, his ‘sister’ Hexadecimal, and large purple Game Cubes that contained video games. Occasionally, Users (real people who lived outside of Mainframe) loaded these Game Cubes into Mainframe, but you never saw Users, only their proxies.
Now, the premise of the ReBoot reboot has seemingly nothing to do with the original series. Several students stumble across a device that transports them into a digital world, and they have to fight off the forces of an evil virus and save the world. That’s not ReBoot, that’s the French cartoon Code Lyoko. The original ReBoot featured escapades that involved representations of real computer problems, such as Trojan viruses and corrupted files, and explored parodies of pop culture, including Pokemon and Evil Dead. The adventures and obstacles of the reboot, however, look as if they will have a fantasy setting about fictional technology that teleports humans into what might as well be cyber-Narnia, which is a far cry from the original’s fictional take on real issues issues people face with computers.