ReBoot, television’s first fully computer-generated animation series, is celebrating the recent passing of its 20th anniversary with a new 26-episode upgrade.
Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment, a subsidiary of Rainmaker Entertainment, has commenced production on ReBoot: The Guardian Code, “a hybrid live-action/CG-animated series,” with an announcement made today at Banff World Media Festival by Rainmaker president Michael Hefferon and Canadian media broadcaster Corus Entertainment. The series will be distributed outside of Canada by The Weinstein Company/Dimension Television.
“The new ReBoot will feature the same action and comedy that viewers loved in the original series, but with an updated technological universe,” explained Corus Kids content director Jamie Piekarz. Envisioned as a “multi-platform experience,” the new story will play out across more than just television, though details have not yet been announced.
“Technology is ever-changing and ReBoot: The Guardian Code will utilize the very technology inherent in the concept of the show—and prevalent in kids’ everyday lives…empowering kids with the tools and confidence to chart their own course in a world that is increasingly dependent on and powered by technological knowledge,” added Hefferon.
Originally airing in the 1990s on ABC in the United States and YTV in Canada, ReBoot was created by Gavin Blair, John Grace, Phil Mitchell, and Ian Pearson. Set inside of a computer world called the Mainframe, where heroic gamers Bob, Dot, Enzo, and more battled villainous viruses Megabyte, Hexadecimal, and their clueless minions Hack and Slash, its geeky lexicon and boxy animation bore the hallmarks of ’90s computing culture.
ReBoot’s 2001 series finale cliffhanger — which referenced Ang Lee’s wuxia classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the Saturday Night Live spinoff, The Blue Brothers — was summarily followed by a fan-fueled webcomic, as well as a film trilogy that failed to materialize. Over 20 years after ReBoot first booted up, ReBoot: the Guardian Code transforms four teens (Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra) into new Guardians whose mission is to save the world “with the help of VERA, the last surviving cyberbeing from the original Guardian Program.”. They take on a nefarious hacker known as the Sourcerer, as well as an upgraded Megabyte, who try to unleash viruses that remotely open a dam to flood cities or destroy nuclear power plants.
Of course, CG animation has come a very long way since 1994, when ReBoot stood comparatively alone in its style and construction. Indeed, Adobe’s purchase of Mixamo has put CG creation within reach of even those who don’t specialize in it. ReBoot: The Guardian Code has its work cut out for it as it competes in a competitive marketplace in which TV series like Beware the Batman and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness romp at will through the CG wonderland that ReBoot helped pioneer decades ago.