Nostagia Sells

Tomorrow Animaniacs is coming back thanks to Hulu. 

If it wasn’t for the fact I am broke, I would have signed up for the streaming platform in a heartbeat after the first trailer dropped. Animaniacs was one of my favourite shows when I was a little girl.

Even the trailers joked about how reboots are rife in the entertainment industry since they are almost always guaranteed to make serious money.

But why? Why are audiences so willing to fork over fistfuls of cash when, in this case, cartoons come back?

According to Gregory Carpenter, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management “People become especially nostalgic when they are anxious about the present, and, especially, the future. The past is safe because it is completely predictable. Connecting with the past through familiar, loved brands transports people to another time by evoking the same feelings they experienced so long ago.”

Boy, do we need that in the hellish year that is 2020. Even though this quote comes from 2016, it hits hard today.

Even before this disastrous year, folk have always turned to ‘the good old days’ in search of comfort. Something corporations are more than willing to provide, for a price of course.

Is it a cheap, easy cash-grab? Not inherently no. Sure, there are some lazy reboots that insult the legacy of its predecessor. However, it isn’t a hard and fast rule. 

Some reboots turn out just as enjoyable. If done right, they can transcend the original, admittedly that is rare.

Are reboots a sign of unoriginality? Frankly, it depends on the reboot. Some creators build on the foundations of the past and developed ideas they couldn’t the first time around. 

At the end of the day, reboots are going to happen. It’s not a bad thing at all, it’s just business. Whether or not they are good mostly boils down to personal opinion anyway. 

In the case of the 2020 reboot of Animaniacs, all signs are looking rather positive. I guess we need to wait one more day to find out.

3 thoughts on “Nostagia Sells

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  1. It seems very easy to write-off reboots as lazy, doesn’t it? Gotta agree though, good reboots are plenty of fun, and there are a few that are better than the originals, depending on what you’re looking for in a show.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really looking forward to this, I used to watch Animaniacs all the time as a kid but I feel like there was a lot of pop-culture references that went over my head. I think I might be able to get more out of the new version, coming in as an adult. Assuming they employ a similar humor style as the original, of course. Based on the preview, I think they will though.

    I’ve been pretty lucky with cartoon remakes, with a lot of the shows I used to love as a kid having received very good reboots that managed to maintain what was fun about the originals while improving on the source material. E.g. She-ra, Voltron, Thundercats, Duck Tales, etc. Hopefully this will be another show to add to that list.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have my hopes up that Spielberg will do his classic justice. This time around he won’t be shackled to Warner Brothers and their limited sense of what was appropriate in animation. I understand he bumped heads with them a few times on some of his edgier plot lines.

    Liked by 1 person

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