For our fourth anniversary, I decided to highlight a favorite show of mine that only lasted four seasons (well, three seasons and a couple TV movies): ReBoot, the first completely computer-animated TV show.
With CGI so prevalent nowadays, everything from series like Veggie Tales to feature films like Avatar, it might be easy to dismiss the comparatively simple ReBoot. The color scheme was basic and the animation seems downright clunky compared to today's standards. But at the time, ReBoot was revolutionary. Because the technology was so new, even though the show was conceived of in the 80's it didn't air until the mid 90's. In many ways, ReBoot could've rested on it's laurels for being the first to utilize CGI in the half-hour TV format.
But in addition to the CGI format, ReBoot also offered fun characters in a fantastic story. The setting of ReBoot was a city inside a computer, called Mainframe. The lives of the citizens of Mainframe were being constantly interrupted by the User loading games. Games were represented by cubes that would descend on part of the city. The citizens within the cube would then reboot into characters of the game, and compete against the User. If they won, the cube disappeared and that section of the city was saved. If they lost, a part of their city would be destroyed and all the people caught within the game would be turned into "nulls," mindless worm-like parasites. That's right, children - in this cartoon, you are the Big Bad.
Enter our plucky hero, Bob (on the left in the first picture). He's a Guardian, charged with protecting Mainframe, and he's one of the few characters who actively seek out game cubes. He befriends a boy named Enzo and his sister, Dot, (also pictured) and the trio fight the User together. They also battle other threats to Mainframe, like malicious computer viruses and creatures from the Web. Every season of the show gets better - better story arcs, better CGI, better everything. In other words, it was Too Good To Last.
But there is an active fanbase - check out the "official" fan site, ReBoot.com - producing things like the awesome interactive webcomic, Paradigms Lost. There's also a rumor of a DVD box set release, which is LONG overdue - seasons 1 and 2 have never even made it to DVD! Fans of the show can check out the TV movies (aka Season 4) on Netflix. Many of us are keeping hope alive for a revival, which could combine today's CGI advances with the stories that made ReBoot so great. Fingers crossed!