Dear Hollywood: Please Leave These 9 Beloved '80s Cartoons Alone
From Transformers to G.I. Joe to this weekend's The Smurfs, children of the '80s have lost many a Saturday morning cartoon memory to the cash-grabbing clutches of the Hollywood remake machine. Plenty more are being developed into shiny, CG-smooth reboots as we speak. So let's take a moment and plea, for the sake of those that remain, that these nine beloved, totally '80s children's properties be left where they belong: In our fuzzy, warm past -- safe in the glow of yesteryear.
One of the reasons the '80s were so damn colorful? Rainbow Brite. The little girl heroine with big hair and friends of every color (literally) ruled Rainbow Land and kept Earth colorful for all little children with the help of her trusty talking steed, Starlite -- a rainbow-colored pony who walked on top of rainbows. A 13-episode animated series ran from 1984-1986, but 1985's feature-length animated film Rainbow Brite and the Star-Stealer is a forgotten classic, by far the strongest piece in the Rainbow Brite catalogue. (Better to forget the terrifying live-action show hosted by a giant, person-in-a-suit Rainbow Brite, Barney-style.) Remake or reboot this artifact of '80s nostalgia, Hollywood, and I will cut you.
"Gummi beeears, bouncing here and there and everywhere... high adventure that's beyond compare, they are the Gummi Bears!" Eisner-era Disney achieved the feat of turning the delicious gummi bear candies into a wonderfully rich animated series envisioning the Gummi Bears as a race of magical Medieval creatures living in secrecy in the kingdom of Dunwyn, hunted by the evil Duke Igthorn and his sidekick, Toadwart. Yes, it was basically a Smurfs knockoff (the father figure, the human villain, the "Gummiberry juice"), which is even more of a red flag for fans of the Disney Afternoon staple: If The Smurfs is a hit, will Disney unearth and update the Gummi Bears with a modernized, CG treatment?
Jem and the Holograms
If there's any truth to rumors about a Jem and the Holograms live-action movie, I'll be truly, truly, truly outraged. For starters, how can you possibly recreate the dated (but awesome) spirit of the show about a businesswoman by day, rock star by night without completely losing that totally '80s rock 'n' roll flair? Updated for the 21st century, Jem's magic is ruined; holograms, Synergy, male love interests with great hair and names like Rio -- they're so of a time, it'd be a shame to replace them with, say, iPods and tween stars and whatever the Justin Bieber demographic is into these days. Besides, what actress today could really fill Jerrica Benton/Jem's pumps? (Well, here are a few guesses.) Better to leave Jem to live forever on,and fabulously so, on DVD and on The Hub.