Cartoons inhabit a wide range of genres, themes and styles that have stayed relevant over the decades. For my current project I have to take a cartoon and either reboot, reimagine or remake it in a style of my choice for modern audience and more specifically a mature audience. In the brief it is stated that the cartoon of my choice has to be selected from the Golden Age of Cartoons but it has been clarified that my choice can be from any era so long as my output fits the learning outcomes.
There are a massively wide range of choices for me to pick from, including styles and genres and the storytelling that go with it, as such below I will create a list of possible ideas and a brief explanation on why I like it;
Choice 1 — Popeye The Sailor
Popeye has come in many iterations over its history starting as a comic strip, a theatrical release and a television cartoon and even on the radio. The one I have aimed to follow specifically though is Popeye the Sailor as it was the first in the series of cartoons for the Popeye Franchise. This series ran from around 1933 to 1956 and as such has been out of production for over half a decade. Each episode was more a short film, each featuring to an extent a similar plotline as the ones before it with the villian Bluto making a move on Popeyes gal Olive Oyl and then ‘clobbering’ Popeye till he eats some spinach and becomes super powerful winning the day.
Having come in several different forms of media the artist team has obviously been different each time round but the original artist who created the Popeye character known and loved today was Elzie Crisler Segar. The artists who created Popeye The Sailor was a New York-based animation company Fleischer Studios run by the brothers Max and Dave Fleischer.
What I Would
As aforementioned this series has been discontinued for decades and as such in a perfect opportunity to reboot for a new age and audience. A brief summary of what I can possibly do for this series is either a reboot in itself taking the stories, art styles and such and cleaning it all up, or taking some chances with new stories fleshing out his origins or setting and so on.
Choice 2 – Wacky Races
Running from just 1968 to 1969 Wacky Races was an animated cartoon series broadcasted on television for just one season depsite being well recieved from its viewers.Each episode ran through the same plotlines as the others much like Popeye with all of the large cast of 22 racers and cars competing against each other to get from start to the finish line though with some variation in locales, who won and such.
Hannah-Barbera and Heatter-Quigley Productions.
What I Would Do
Wacky Races, as the name implies was all about its quirkiness and slapstick over -exagerated comdey as characters and their cars were massivly over designed, built around particular stereotypes and such forth. I wouldn’t neccesarily change much of this as it was what made the show work, instead build upon it, exagerating the exageration even further and inlcuding some more violence or character archetypes that are more relevant in this day and age.
Choice 3 – Rugrats
Airing from 1991 to around 2004, Rugrats followed the lives of around 5 young toddlers in their daily lives using humour and adventure to tell the stories.
Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain
What I Would Do
One common idea explored with Rugrats is showing their characters at different stages in their lives though still keeping the show at its core centred on the same characters and their relationships. I would simply either reboot, or just show a new age mainly because the audience that grew up with this show, including me have matured and grown up since it stopped airing; as such having the characters around our age can be more relevant to its original viewers than before and the themes and storytelling being updated.
Choice 4 – Authur
Authur followed the lives of several anthropamorthic characters through their school years and acted as a sort of comedy/educational cartoon for children to watch and learn from.
Cookie Jar Group
What I Would Do
My ideas for Authrur are very similar to those for Rugrats, taking something a lot of children grew up with and ageing the original cast and their storylines to fit our lives. As well, I would possibly reboot the series as a whole introducing new storylines that can educate the children of today on matters that are more relevant.
Lastly I want to clarify on what the differences between reboot, reimagine and remake are and decide on my final choice.
In serial fiction, to reboot means to discard all continuity in an established series in order to recreate its characters, timeline and backstory from the beginning.
To reinterpret (an event, work of art, etc.) imaginatively
To take a film or program and film or recorded it again with not much change to the stories, the characters, or art style.
I personally want to go with the idea of a Reimagening, taking one of the cartoons mentioned above and building something new that incoprates a variety of elements while at the core keeping it faithful to the original works. This allows me to explore my imagination with an idea and encourages me to think about what I would like to do.