If you’ve never heard of ReBoot, you’re likely not alone, since it’s a little obscure. Reboot is a Canadian animated series that did air in the US for a short period of time. However, it was canceled in the U.S. after two seasons, but continued airing in Canada for two more seasons.
The concept of the show is actually quite clever, revolving around the inhabitants of Cyberspace. It shows their world inside a computer and how it’s affected by things like viruses, firewalls, and the Users playing video games. The premise has a group of sprites called the Guardians who help protect the inhabitants of the Mainframe from dangerous viruses, and even the ever-changing world itself. Reboot essentially is a show about computers and video games, and it does a great job of playing around with those different mediums.
The show did pretty well, gaining quite the fanbase and following. I think a lot of people liked the unique concept behind it and the characters were rather fun and likable. It also had some great villains that were both intimidating and interesting. While ReBoot only lasted four seasons, it definitely made its mark on the world of animation. Regardless of how you felt about the show, it definitely made you think more about what goes on in your computer and Cyberspace.
But even if you’re a devout fan of ReBoot, there are likely some things that you may not know about the show. So here are 15 interesting facts about ReBoot that may surprise you. If you think we missed any, be sure to let us know!
15 Making History In Animation
You may look at the ReBoot now and see that the animation is pretty dated. The show was made back when CGI animation was very new, and people were still experimenting with the technology. As a result, you could see that the animation for ReBoot is a bit rough. But this TV show was actually very important in animation history.
ReBoot is the first 30-minute cartoon series that was completely CGI animated. Other shows often had some CGI animation, but ReBoot was the first to incorporate it completely. This is pretty significant since it paved the way for other CGI TV shows. Thanks to ReBoot, we have beautifully animated shows like Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars Rebels. ReBoot is the one that started it all.
14 Time Doesn’t Matter... Or Does It?
Time can be a funny thing in TV shows. For some shows, the progression of time is pretty meaningless. For others time is everything. TV shows can also take place over years, months and so on. It’s a bit unusual for an entire series to take place over a pretty short period of time, but it has been done. And ReBoot is no exception.
Apparently, the events of the entire show, which spans four seasons, take place over the course of one week. That’s pretty crazy considering quite a bit happens in this show. The Guardians fight against the two big viruses, Megabyte and Hexadecimal, several times, and even at one point, the User resets the entire system. Granted, its established that time flows much differently inside the Mainframe than outside. So, a few days outside the Mainframe could be an entire lifetime inside one.
13 I’ve Seen That Beak Before...
If you ever saw the Wallace and Gromit short “The Wrong Trousers,” you likely remember the penguin, also known as Feathers McGraw, hijacking the mechanical trousers to try and steal a precious diamond. He is eventually thwarted by Gromit. What many people remember is just how creepy the penguin was throughout the whole story. But did you know that Feathers has appeared in ReBoot?
Actually, this penguin criminal has had several cameos throughout the series, five in fact. There’s no real reason behind these cameos other than it’s become a bit of a “Where’s Waldo” game for fans. It’s fun to try and spot him. While there’s no connection between Mainframe Entertainment, and Aardman Animation, these cameos are likely a sign of respect from one animation giant to another.
12 The Pioneers Of CGI
You’ve got to give the creators of ReBoot props for their work on it, especially considering this during a time where CGI animation was very new. Considering that, Reboot is quite the milestone in animation. But before ReBoot, the creators, Ivan Pearson and Gavin Blair, were experimenting with CGI on their own.
In fact, they were responsible for some of the earliest computer animated characters. Pearson and Ivan were hired to handle the graphics for the music video for Dire Strait’s song “Money for Nothing.” While the song and video were received well, Pearson and Blair grew to dislike the video since they felt the animation looked incredibly amateurish. I guess it’s kind of like looking at old art you drew. Hey, you had to start somewhere, right?
11 A DC Comics Connection
Did you know that ReBoot has a connection to DC comics? Well, sort of. One of the writers on the show was Dan Didio. DC fans may recognize this man as the former executive editor and current co-publisher of DC comics. Yep, one of DC’s top men used to write episodes for the show ReBoot.
Before he made his way to DC comics, Didio was a freelance writer, working mostly for Mainframe Entertainment. He wrote a few episodes for ReBoot, including “Firewall” and “Number 7.” He’s actually done quite a bit of work for DC, which includes Batman and the Outsiders, and Justice League International. It’s pretty awesome to see where a DC writer got started, especially since his early work was on an animated show that made history.
10 Give Them An Award
ReBoot won the hearts of many fans and has quite the cult following, despite the fact that it is one of the more obscure animated shows. Fans joke that you either have no idea what ReBoot is, or you’re a devout fan. But this show actually got quite a bit of critical acclaim as well.
The series won several awards, including Gemini Awards for Best Animated Program three years in a row. (Gemini Awards are basically Canada’s version of the Emmy Awards.) Reboot also won a Gemini award for Outstanding Technical Achievement and the Prix Aurora Award in 1996. Considering that the show is quite the technical and animation achievement, it’s no wonder that it got the attention of critics. The show definitely deserved all the praise it gets.
9 A Triumphant Return
I think the biggest complaint that ReBoot fans have is that the show ended rather suddenly and without a real conclusion. It’s always sad when a show doesn’t get the ending it deserves. Well, ReBoot fans can rejoice, since ReBoot is coming back!
A sequel to the show is in production as of 2015. It will be titled The Guardian Code, and it will have 26 episodes. The series will air in 2018 in Canada, but there’s no information on a release date for the U.S. While the sequel does focus on a new group of characters, they will meet up with Bob and the original ReBoot cast. It’ll be interesting to see where the sequel takes the story and the characters. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it turns out well.
8 Merging The Villains
How can you not like Megabyte and Hexadecimal? These two characters are the show’s two main villains. They’re viruses bent on taking over the mainframe, and it’s up to the Guardians to stop them. Both characters are quite powerful, and even a bit terrifying. We also find out that the two are actually brother and sister. At one point in the show, the two combine to form one giant virus. But did you know that originally the two viruses were one big virus?
The show’s creator clarified that Megabyte and Hexadecimal used to be one giant virus called Gigabyte. When the Gateway was destroyed, Gigabyte was split into two viruses: Megabyte and Hexadecimal. These two are pretty formidable villains, so combining the two makes a pretty terrifying villain.
7 What's A Little Kiss Between Family Members?
You might have noticed that the tone of ReBoot is pretty different in the first two seasons verses the last two seasons. The reason behind that was actually due to ABC. For the first two seasons, ReBoot also aired in the U.S. through ABC, but ABC had quite the notorious censorship policies. One infamous incident involved ABC insist they take out a scene where one of the characters kissed her brother’s cheek, claiming it could be seen as a forbidden familial relationship. In general ABC wanted the show to be very light-hearted.
Once Disney bought ABC, they canceled ReBoot, but the series continued to air in Canada. They actually incorporated quite a few jokes about ABC and their ridiculous censorship in a few episodes. Most shows do have to deal with some type of censorship, and it’s interesting to see how they deal with it. ReBoot’s reaction to it is one of the more creative elements I’ve seen.
6 A Season Cut Short
The 4th and final season of ReBoot was only eight episodes. But did you know that the season was going to have five more episodes and the last episode was going to be a musical? The last season was originally supposed to have thirteen episodes.
The reason it was cut shorter was mostly due to budget issues. They simply didn’t have the money to make the episodes that they wanted. In fact, the eight episodes that were done were originally created as two movies: Daemon Rising, and My Two Bobs. They were then split up into episodes when they aired on TV. It’s sad that the creators didn’t get to do more with this season, and I would’ve loved to have seen a musical episode.
5 They Could Have Looked Completely Different
The characters in the Mainframe consist of the Binomes, which are blocky and robotic in shape, and the Guardians, who have more human designs and features. But when the show was in its early stages, all of the characters were originally going to be Binomes.
The reason for this original design was actually a technology issue. The creators weren’t sure if they would be able to create characters that looked human enough in CGI animation. If they couldn’t, having everyone be Binomes helped solve that issue since their boxy designs would be easier to do. But as we can see, they were able to create designs that looked human, and ended up going with having the Guardians look more human. It’s interesting to see how technology can sometimes influence design.
4 So, You Like Video Games?
The premise of ReBoot actually involves the Mainframe User uploading games, and the Guardians interacting with those games. As a result, the world around the Mainframe would change and our heroes were put into interesting scenarios. While the show did come up with its own original challenges and games, there were actually several references to franchised video games throughout the series.
In fact, there are over thirty video games referenced in ReBoot. Some of the games referenced include Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball Z, Pokémon, and even Pong, the original video game. There’s even an Evil Dead/Resident Evil mash-up called “Malicious Corpses.” This is a really clever idea for the creators to show their love of video games, and it gives something fun for the fans to enjoy.
3 Shaken, Not Stirred
You likely remember “Firewall,” as it’s one of ReBoot’s more iconic episodes. But what you may not know is that the whole episode is a reference to the James Bond films. The opening theme for the episode even pays homage to the opening credit sequences in James Bond movies, complete with its own song. As a result, it’s the only episode in the entire series to have a completely original title sequence.
There are also several scenes that reference scenes in the movies. For example, the ski race sequence is actually from the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me, where the agent was chased by Soviet agents down a mountain. Even throughout the episode, a modification of the James Bond theme calypso medley plays.
2 Who’s The Person Behind The Computer?
Throughout the show, there has been reference to and talk about the Mainframe User. This character is the one who changes the look of the Mainframe by putting in games, and other actions. It even becomes a big plot point when the User reboots the entire system. But we never actually find out the identity of the Mainframe User. Well, not exactly anyway.
In ReBoot, the User is basically us, as it’s the person who is running the computer that the inhabitants of cyberspace reside in. The users are seen almost as gods, since they do control a lot of the Mainframe and their actions have big consequences in this world. While the residents of Cyberspace are aware of Users, the Users aren’t aware of them. It’s a really clever idea, and it makes me think every time I power up my computer.
1 Mad Max Would Be Proud
Enzo Matrix is quite the interesting character, and he’s the only character to have appeared in every single episode of ReBoot. Starting out as a young, kind hearted sprite, he soon grows up to be much rougher, becoming a pretty strong fighter. Eventually he’s injured badly in a battle, but comes back with a cybernetic eye.
What makes Enzo Matrix stand out is his older design, as it shows the more rough and darker version of him compared to his younger self. But did you know that this design had some heavy influence from the Mad Max films? It makes sense when you look at him; he’s got that rough look of someone who’s been fighting all his life and has been through a lot. It’s cool to see how inspiration can come from some unlikely sources.