Is a reboot a good thing or bad thing for entertainment?

THE LION KING - Featuring the voice of JD McCrary as Young Simba, Disney’s “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau. In theaters July 19, 2019. © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
THE LION KING - Featuring the voice of JD McCrary as Young Simba, Disney’s “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau. In theaters July 19, 2019. © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Can’t Hollywood come up with anything original anymore? Over the years, it seems that a reboot, revival, or remake has become more and more popular, which has left less space for new and original content. But is a reboot such a bad thing?

There are positive and negative aspects of rebooting a television series or movie. However, the initial news of another reboot may make people frustrated that a new adaptation may butcher something they loved in the past or present.

A reboot is always a risk. One of the reasons is that the viewers will undoubtedly compare the original and rebooted versions, simply because it may be difficult to avoid by sharing a concept and under nostalgia.

That being said, if the reboot has a new set of things to say, or uses a different tone or group of storylines to add fresh air to the pre-existing concept, then maybe the reboot is not entirely a bad thing.

The CW Network is home to many reboots, including Roswell, New Mexico, Walker, Charmed, 4400, and Legends of the Hidden Temple. In Roswell, New Mexico, the main characters have been aged up to adults with careers in progress, which allows the series to tell more adult stories. The original series had taken place in high school, so the two shows, although sharing the idea from the “Roswell High” novels, have different elements at play.

The CW’s 4400 is entirely different than the original The 4400. While the two shows share the same initial concept of 4400 people arriving from other points in time, the way each series has gone about telling the story allows each version to feel like its own separate show.

When a reboot makes sure to carve out space for itself, telling individual stories differently from the original while still creating its own identity, the reboot is not necessarily a bad idea. It gives the new portrayal the ability to tell stories the original never got to tell or chose not to.

However, just as a reboot can have its good qualities, it also holds bad ones, and unoriginality is one of the central problems of reboots.

Since there are many similar shows and movies, do people need a remake of something they have already watched? Besides, suppose the reboot creators are not careful. In that case, they will have just created a nearly identical product to the original, or possibly worse, a noticeably poorer outcome than what came before.

As strong as nostalgia can be, that does not necessarily make it a strong enough reason to reboot a series or movie. Fans of the original may be protective of the version they know, and if the remake does not hold up, there is fear that the reboot has the potential to tarnish the initial rendition.

Disney is just as responsible for the list of reboots and remakes. The company has made live-action versions of many of its classic films, including The Jungle Book,  Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and The Lion King. As exciting as it may have been to watch some of these animated hits come to life, there were undoubtedly still drawbacks.

For example, 2019’s The Lion King had been panned for being, ultimately, the same movie as its 1994 counterpart with the additional critique of its animation style leading to losing some of the spirit and essence from the original film. Other than a few slight changes, it is still the same story featuring the heartbreaking and tragic moments that follow Simba and Mufasa. Other than the change in artistry, it is pretty much the same, to such a degree that viewers may as well watch the original.

Disney’s reboots do not end there either, as Disney+ will soon be home to a revival of Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus films continuing as a limited series and another remake of Cheaper By The Dozen. ABC also hosts a reboot of The Wonder Years.

One of the most significant issues with reboots is that they can come across as cash grabs for studios without the heart and soul that went into the original production.

A reboot, remake, or revival can successfully bring new life and story to a pre-existing idea. However, the creators must understand that whatever reboot they come up with must have a heart and soul of its own, rather than trying to latch onto the nostalgia and pre-existing fanbase that the original story had set up.

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