There’s something exciting and nostalgic about turning on the TV and having a favorite childhood show come on. A recent trend in entertainment has been to remake classic TV shows and movies college students watched in their youth.
The past few years have welcomed reboots of cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack.
Nickelodeon has announced a film version of Invader Zim, and Disney is creating live-action versions of their animated classics.
Power Rangers hit box offices with a remake, released in March, and has a PG-13 rating.
The live-action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was given a PG rating, compared to the G rating of the original animated feature, further demonstrating a change in target audiences.
With the remake trend becoming prominent, the driving forces behind the fad and higher ratings are also starting to show.
“I think a lot of it is nostalgia, and that might be a reason the Power Rangers remake was rated higher, because it’s trying to appeal to the same audience that watch Power Rangers when they were younger,” Ryan Loos, junior biology and English major, said. “I think there might also be a lazy streak. It’s probably just easier to remake a story than making up a new, creative one.”
Brittany Ratchman, junior arts management and studio art major, agreed that the reason behind reboots is an assured target audience due to past success.
“They recirculate classics to keep them relevant,” Ratchman said. “But from a PR standpoint, they’re using that as an easy way to attract an audience.”
Though there are a lot of pitfalls that are associated with digging up old storylines, there are benefits to revisiting the stories audiences know and love.
Markie Rodgers, senior biology major, thinks remaking movies like the recent string of live action Disney movies could be a way to bridge generations.
“If you as a parent saw the original, the remakes would be good for the new generation,” Rodgers said. “Kids don’t like old graphics, but they could still share the same story.”
Though some reboots are remaining in their original mode, like the 2016 Powerpuff Girls cartoon, many remakes are incorporating new special effects that have developed since the release of the originals.
“I think that a lot of kids nowadays seem to be attracted to special effects more than before,” Loos said.
While special effects technology is used to bring in a fresh wave of new audiences, it also opens up possibilities in the presentation of classic tales.
“I feel like they could make an interesting live-action film out of something like Dexter’s Laboratory because now they have the special effects for all the technology that’s involved in that show,” Loos said.
With plenty of anticipation for the films and shows already released, some students hoped for additional remakes of favorites like Hello Kitty or Fox and the Hound.
“I would say Sponge Bob, but that’s still going strong,” Rodgers said.
While it can be exciting for beloved shows and movies to make a comeback, there is also fear of “ruining” childhood memories, as Ratchman pointed out.
“There are some people that get offended with remakes,” Loos said. “I’m fine with a movie being remade as long as it follows the same kind of merits that the first one has and still respects the originals.”