They’re back! Yes, for those of you who have missed the bizarre noises from Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Sun Baby, and Po or the world-saving antics of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, you are SO in luck. This week it was announced that both Teletubbies AND The Powerpuff Girls are on the comeback trail and brand new episodes are being produced for a brand new generation. Missing other TV shows and movies of yore? These two are not the only ’80s and ’90s kid’s franchises that are getting a reboot; there are a whole slew of old titles of yesterday being resurrected for consumption by the youth of today. This got me thinking, what is up with ALL the ’80s and ’90s nostalgia?
As we all know, this has been going on for a while now, with recent odes to 21 Jump Street, RoboCop, and the recently announced Point Break. It is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, especially since those who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s are now having their own kids, meaning it’s an easy way to sell these movies and shows to parents who like nothing more than to visit the past. I’ve been guilty of this myself, forcing my daughter to watch the entire canon of Disney classics and old-school versions of Scooby Doo and The Brady Bunch (both titles which had modern-day reboots) with me.
But besides the personal history, why else is this rebooting happening? “Because it’s easier to sell a known entity,” writes TJ Dawe of Beams and Struts. “Reboots serve a function — a very important one, both financially and artistically: accessibility. Widening a narrowed audience.” And it keeps the franchise alive. It’s not just the shows themselves but the merchandise and the partnering potentials; think of all the toys, T-shirts, and tchotchkes. It’s big business, and sometimes it’s a safer bet to go with the familiar rather than the unknown. While some may argue that Hollywood is being lazy, sometimes these reboots make total sense and are even better than the original. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the TV show, is far superior to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie, and 21 Jump Street, the movie, was a hilarious take on the far more serious 21 Jump Street, the TV show. It really depends on the project at hand, and these 10 reboots are ready to give it a try. Which one are you most excited to see brought back to life?
10 TV Shows and Movies That Are Making a Comeback:
1. Teletubbies | Ran from: 1997-2001
The bizarre British BBC-produced Teletubbies went offline back in 2001 but in its run, they became a worldwide phenomenon. Sixty brand new episodes will be produced for CBeebies, a UK channel. No word yet if it will make it across the pond.
2. The Powerpuff Girls | Ran from: 1998-2005
This is going to be huge. “The Powerpuff Girls’ brand continues to resonate with people of all ages and there is tremendous excitement around introducing Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup to a new generation,” said Pete Yoder, vice president of consumer products for North America, Cartoon Network Enterprises. “With proven success and great content plans in place, there’s so much potential that we’re looking forward to explore with our licensing partners in the coming weeks.”
Yup, like I said, huge. But we’ll have to wait. The show won’t be returning to the Cartoon Network until 2016.
3. Reading Rainbow | Ran from: 1983-2006
“We can genuinely change the world, one children’s book at a time,” LeVar Burton said of his project. “Reading Rainbow is back for every child, everywhere.” After an AMAZING Kickstarter campaign, the Star Trek actor raised over a million dollars to bring back his beloved tribute to reading. This is one where we ALL win.
4. The Magic School Bus | Ran from: 1994-1997
In 2016, Netflix will debut The Magic School Bus revamp named: The Magic School Bus 360°. It will also feature “the latest tech innovations such as robotics, wearables and camera technology to captivate children’s imaginations and motivate their interest in the sciences,“ according to Netflix.
5. Jem and the Holograms | Ran from: 1985-1988
The film version of the ’80s cult TV show will apparently focus “on how to be yourself in a social media age.” It will feature Aubrey Peeples of Nashville, Stefanie Scott of A.N.T. Farm, Aurora Perrineau of Pretty Little Liars, and Hayley Kiyoko of The Fosters.
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The first animated series ran from 1987-1996, then the live series ran from 1997-1998. A second animated series ran from 2003-2009, and a third animated series began in 2012. There were also three features. If that isn’t enough reboots, a new blockbuster version is debuting this summer.
7. The Goonies | Produced in 1985
The Goonies, the beloved cult classic, is getting a sequel. It was recently reported that a couple of the original stars — namely Corey Feldman and Sean Astin — will be signing on to star in the follow-up.
8. Mrs. Doubtfire | Produced in 1993
Director Chris Columbus and star Robin Williams have reportedly signed on to the Mrs. Doubtfire reboot. The film originally made “$219 million domestically and $222 million internationally,” so you can understand why a reboot would be tempting.
9. Annie | Produced in 1982
The classic film and musical will be coming to the screen again. This time it will feature Jamie Foxx as Benjamin Stacks, the Daddy Warbucks character; Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan; and Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie.
10. Ghostbusters | Produced in 1984
Sony has recently started working on Ghostbusters 3, but sadly without Harold Ramis who passed away not that long ago. Dan Aykroyd will star, but so far Bill Murray has been reluctant.