When I look back fondly on the shows which shaped my childhood, I think of the standard things for a person of my generation: Bugs Bunny. Woody Woodpecker. Tom and Jerry. Yogi Bear. (If you’re young enough to be giving me a black stare right now, run along, whippersnapper. Also: I am shaking a rake at you and hollering for you darn kids to get off my lawn.)
But I think just about everyone has one show from their past that was iconic; it was the show whose characters they acted out, the show that shaped their daytime play and infiltrated their dreams, the show which in their heart of childish hearts they wished more fervently could be reality. For me, that show was Battle of the Planets. (I always dreamed myself as Princess, naturally.) I was maybe 7 or 8 at the height of its popularity and my obsession with it.
Now that’s pretty typical, I think. In a recent conversation with Ty’s Toy Box VP George Stolpe, however, when the topic of shows we missed from days of yore came up, did George cite a show from his childhood? Nope, he waxed nostalgic for longer than I can probably reveal and still keep my job about a little CGI show out of Canada called ReBoot.
ReBoot premiered in 1994, which meant it fell between my own cartoon-watching days and my second wave of cartoon appreciation once my kids came along. George and his son, however, were huge fans, and were disappointed when the show was axed just two years later. It turns out that ReBoot has something of a cult following, with the Stolpes in good company. Know who else loved ReBoot? Dan Didio, that’s who. (Yes, that Dan Didio, the Senior Vice President of DC Comics.)
You should read the entire article, because it’s as much a look behind the scenes as an interesting take on why ReBoot was ahead of its time:
“It was one of the most extremely creative environments I ever worked in,” says Didio. “Without a doubt it really was one of the best working experiences in my life. Honestly I can’t think back and not have a certain level of pride about what we did at the time. With computer animation being so common place now, we really were paving new ground with every new episode we produced.”
I don’t know if it appeals to my inner 7-year-old quite as much as everyone thrusting their arms into the air and screaming “TRANSMUTE!” or not, but it’s definitely piqued my interest. DVDs and other ReBoot paraphernalia are notoriously hard to find, but you might want to check out the newly-released book about the series or go join one of the many fan communities. And look out for witty little futuristic people living inside your computer.