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Have you noticed the growing trend where old franchises are being revived throughout entertainment media? 

Crash Bandicoot Comparison

Star Wars, Pokemon, Thunderbirds, Crash Bandicoot, and hundreds more beloved franchises are being rebooted for the growing nostalgic audience.

But … why is this happening?  Is it a good thing?  Is it just that the entertainment industry has run out of new ideas?

Well, this is my take on ‘Why nostalgia is taking over entertainment.’

Before the 1980s, these forms of entertainment weren’t as prominent in people’s childhoods or their lives in general.

For example, When my dad talks about his youth in the 60s and 70s, he remembers reading Tintin books, replacing the cream filling in my grandfather’s chocolates with hummus so he could watch him eat them, and using my uncle for target practice, firing little bits of plasticine at him with an air rifle.

I very rarely hear him talk about TV shows or films he watched as a kid having any lasting or profound effect on him.

Lion King

By way of contrast, growing up in the 90s and 00s myself, I recognise that media based entertainment was hugely prominent in my formative years.

Seeing the Lion King in the cinema when I was four is genuinely one of the defining moments in my life. The effect it had on me is probably the main reason I’m an animator today.

My siblings and I also fondly reminisce over playing the original Crash Bandicoot games together on our first Playstation, and even now when I get together with my three closest school friends, we like to get out our PS2 and settle in for some couch warfare playing Timesplitters 2.

These are just a few example of how visual entertainment media has enriched my childhood. 

There is a clear distinction between mine and my father’s relationships with this sort of media. But when did this major shift occur?

Star Wars

I think it really started with Star Wars in 1977.

Ever since it’s release, and the release of the subsequent films, children and adults alike have bonded over discussing Star Wars, where before TV, cinema and games weren’t so important. Before this time Films weren’t as readily available or more importantly re-watchable for most people.

Subsequently, the 80s saw a noticeable shift in the influence of visual entertainment media, which since has only become more and more prominent.

These ‘Generation Y’ kids from the 80s, 90s, and 00s naughties have now mostly grown up, and all still have a huge love for the defining shows, films, and games from their childhoods, but now they want to see their favourites being updated with the latest technology and graphics that excites them about modern media. They want new stories with their favourite characters they grew up with and they want to pass on their passion for these franchises to the next generation.

As a result, there is a huge demand for this media, endless passionate and talented people eager to get involved in making it, not to mention that it’s a massive money spinner.

So, are these endless reboots a good thing?

I’d say yes!

People are excited about this new content, people are passionate about seeing it, and yes some of the things have been pumped out have been disappointing, but the majority have been enjoyable extensions of their franchises.

Audience Bonding

On top of that, I think it’s bringing people back together. Old friends are bonding all over again as they talk about the reboots of their favourites, and older generations are able to bond with the next through their love for these now revitalized franchises.

I think it’s a wonderful thing!  Keep the nostalgia media coming!

What do you think?  Do you like seeing franchises rebooted?  What do you want to see rebooted next?

Let us know in the comments.

Don’t forget to come back to the MIC blog. for more great animation and film content and check out the accompanying video to this post here!