Posted by : Wendy B Monday, 19 September 2011

Teletoon Retro has complied with my wishes to reveal all of the 80s awesome to my daughters (6 and 3yo) with the recent addition of Jem and the Holograms to their schedule. There are still a few more cartoons from our childhood that we need our daughters to see, but we're content with their level indoctrination and their enjoyment of the things we once raced home to watch - with commercials.


"Back off, He-Man. I got this."
Unfortunately, the cartoons have not stood the test of time. Not for us, at least. We've long since realized that the things we loved then aren't so hot now. In fact, they are kind of painful to watch if not drunk or high. Fortunately there have been a few pretty decent remakes, such as the new Thundercats or the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (featuring a Sorceress that didn't suck). My Little Pony's update has even made it completely acceptable for grown adult males to be caught living in a Brony shirt.

Of course, the companies that preyed on my naivete then know that I'm older and, if not wiser, then possibly slightly richer, and more importantly, I have kids upon whom I am compelled to inflict my nostalgia. That is why we are seeing this constant revival and rebooting of everything we knew and loved then.

Unfortunately, while it seems the cartoon revivals are on the right track, the movies? No, not so much.

Oh, we're on to you, Hollywood. We know why you're digging into our past to line your pockets. It's not that we don't want you to remake our old movies. It's just that we'd like you to do so without insulting our intelligence. [Obligatory Transformers references.] We want you to show some integrity when you remake and reboot and sequelize. But don't worry. We know that the only way you will give us integrity is if it is the name of a movie starring Robert Pattinson, directed by Michael Bay.

Let me let you in on a little secret, Hollywood: If you want to cash in on our nostalgia, then stop remaking our old movies and just give us our old movies.

George Lucas figured it out a few years ago when he re-released the original Star Wars trilogy. You better believe I was there for the midnight showing, having spent over an hour redialing Movie Phone to buy my tickets days before.

I'll see you soon, boys!
I am very pleased and very excited to learn that Ghostbusters is to receive the same treatment next month!

You see, exposing my kids to my childhood loves isn't just about cartoons. It's about movies, too. My husband stumbled upon Ghostbusters one day with the girls nearby and they demanded to watch it. I warned him that he would be staying up with their nightmares, but to my surprise, they were perfectly fine, and so, our new nostalgia series began.

Princess Bride and Willow are in the works. Meanwhile, we've started on Star Wars (the original trilogy, without the digitally remastered crap. My kids will always know who shot first). Last weekend it was The Never Ending Story (FINE, I admit it! I cried when Artax died! Your're just not human if you didn't!). Today, The Empire Strikes back and E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. Yeah okay, so I cried when E.T. died, too. But my husband and I also spent a fair bit of time wondering where the hell *this* scene came from or how E.T. was able to do *that*. Turns out, Stephen Spielberg had not been happy with some things, and like George Lucas, used today's technology to "fix" the things that were "wrong" in the past. While James Cameron waits until the technology is right before making a particular movie in the first place, Lucas and Spielberg give us what they thought we wanted to see then, without, apparently, any concern for the fact that the digital differences don't look cool; they just look obvious.
George: "Oh please, like anyone will notice."
The thing is, when we watched these movies back then, it wasn't about the special effects. We didn't see puppets. We didn't care if there was an arm up Yoda's ass. Of course we could see the strings on the Enterprise, but it meant so little because our imaginations were already filling in the gaps and taking us to those far off lands of glorious adventure.

In our old age comes wisdom, so now we know who's inside R2-D2 and we know that Geordi's visor is a banana clip, but while the cartoons of our youth haven't held up to our now judgmental eye, the movies are still great. 

I know this because I have kids now who cheer wildly when the bikes take to the sky and promise to keep imagining to make sure the nothing doesn't ruin Fantasia again and fight off ghosts with their imaginary proton packs and make light saber noises. Even in this day and age of such advanced technology, kids still win because they have imagination and they remind us of the feelings we had when we first watched those amazing stories become real on the screen.

So please. Get over this obsession with remakes and reboots. We don't need them and, while I appreciate that Michael Bay makes you a lot of money, he can do so without stealing from our past.

Leave our old movies just the way they are.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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