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Posts tagged “reboot

CGI Nostalgia

We all remember ReBoot, right? Early CGI cartoon that brought to life the inner workings of computers and the anthropomorphic data living within, excellent story, great characters and villains… I mean, it was kind of trashy, but for a kids show in the mid 90’s it was good stuff, and ran until 2001. And let us not forget Beast Wars which ran from ’96 to ’99, casting fuel on the fire of CGI’s rise to prominence on the animation scene.

But here’s the thing, shortly after these series ended there was a flurry of new computer-animated shows that attempted to ride the popularity of the new and revolutionary animation style available. Today they look dated, the graphics have been outdone a thousand times over, the animation is poor, textures are all plastic and reflect light oddly, and object interactions are entertaining to say the least.

But they’re still well worth a watch! Some of them are approaching twenty years old, and to see the difference in animation quality now compared to then is something truly staggering. The series below have some serious pros and cons, but as fragments of animation history, they are well worth dredging up… if you can find them.

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future

The serialised adventures of a science fiction hero torn straight from the pages of the 1950’s comic strip, and keeping all of the worst science involved, like manta rays that filter feed through the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, advanced civilisations on Mars capable of strip mining Venus, complex and technologically advanced creatures living on orphaned planets that survive by steeling the water of others, and the idea that punching a monitor actually hurts The Mekon.

Each episode was one of a two-parter, embracing the serialisation of stories in the old pulp comics, and racking up suspense to keep people watching. It also meant that slightly longer tales could be told of daring adventure, in which our hero always comes out on top through superior aim, ace piloting skills, and being generally good at being the protagonist.

Max Steel

Josh McGrath became the cybernetically enhanced superhero Max Steel to sell toys for Mattel. A nineteen year old son of a weapons engineer and scientist involved in an accident involving nanotech, imagine a cross between DCs Cyborg, the Borg, and the Energiser Bunny, because his biggest weakness is a limited power supply that causes him to grow weak and potentially die. Don’t forget kids, even superheroes need batteries. Oh but he came with one hell of a battery of villains, Psycho, a heavily modified cyborg with a love of violence and ill-gotten gains, John Dread, the man-behind-the-curtain who craves the tech powering Steel, Bio-Con the man-snake, and John de Lancie!

This one got resurrected, and even had a few films to its name, but the rebooted series and live action film are far better known than the more obscure series that ran from 2000-2001, and it’s hard to come by those old episodes now.

Xcalibur

Here’s my favourite of the lot, a Canal+ import from French-Canada. Though taking the name, the series is wholly fantasy and removed from the Arthurian mythos, combining heavy amounts of magic with some wholly created components. A plucky and upstart heroine is accompanied by a mystic monk, a mighty warrior woman, and an irritating miniature pet dragon as they attempt to free a kingdom from the yoke of an evil sorcerer who dwells in a flying castle. It’s a D&D adventure pure and simple, and I watched it religiously about seven years before I ever played the game.

The people sound like typical fantasy NPCs, in fact you may hear a few familiar voices, I’m fairly sure I heard one or two. You may also notice how tiny the hands are of most characters… uncomfortably small, and there are a lot of cunning uses of hats, bald characters, and skin-tight metal armour so that things look “right”.

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Robot Wars House Robots

If you, like us, enjoyed the legendary BBC series Robot Wars in the late 90’s to early 00’s, then you’ll doubtlessly be either pleased to hear it’s coming back, or anxiously awaiting its return. While the presenter has changed (Dara O’Briain, who I’ve no doubt will do a superb job) the rest appears to remain much the same, including a few returning combatants, and the ever popular House Robots. But a decade on, and a few things have changed…

Oh but the times have changed… and so have the House Robots. (more…)


Kickstarter Highlight – Thunderbirds 1965

September the 30th of this year will be the 50th anniversary of Thunderbirds, originally aired in 1965. How to celebrate such a milestone in the lifetime of a legend?

In addition to the 32 episodes aired on television, and two feature films three episodes were recorded by the original cast for radio broadcast, but never turned into the Supermarionation style: The Abominable Snowman, Introducing The Thunderbirds, and The Stately Home Robberies. With the help of a Kickstarter that began on the 9th of July The Abominable Snowman will now be brought to life in a backer exclusive DVD, in a mere five days from launch!

wpid-Kickstarter-Highlight.jpg

The stretch-goals will help the other two episodes. At the time of writing, around £4000 ($6242) is needed to get the next episode under way, and another 22 days are still on the clock. This is the one and only chance to see all new Thunderbirds as they were always meant to be, complete with pre-recordings of the original cast and reproduced by original crew members in the classic style.


So let’s take a look at what’s on offer to backers:

Pledge £20 or more

DVD

A copy of the Kickstarter exclusive DVD featuring the finished production plus extra features.
PLUS – Your name will be listed in the special thanks section of the disc.

Pledge £30 or more

BLU-RAY

A copy of a Kickstarter exclusive BLU-RAY featuring the finished production with special features.
PLUS – Your name will be listed in the special thanks section of the disc.

Estimated delivery:Dec 2015
Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge £35 or more

DVD + COMMEMORATIVE PHOTO ALBUM

– A Kickstarter exclusive DVD featuring the finished production with special features.
– 48 page retro-style magazine crammed with rare and previously unpublished stills from the original 1965 series of Thunderbirds.

PLUS – Your name will be listed in the special thanks section of the disc.

Estimated delivery:Dec 2015
Ships anywhere in the world

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Pledge £80 or more

DVD + BLU-RAY + COMMEMORATIVE BOOKLET + SCRIPT

– A Kickstarter exclusive DVD AND BLU-RAY featuring the finished production with special features.
– 48 page retro-style magazine crammed with rare and previously unpublished stills from the original 1965 series of Thunderbirds.
– A copy of the script signed by members of the production team.

Estimated delivery:Dec 2015
Ships anywhere in the world

Pledge £150 or more

26 backers Limited (24 left of 50 at time of writing)

PREVIEW SCREENING PACK

An invitation to an exclusive crew screening of our finished production before the discs are dispatched. This is an invitation only event and tickets will not be made available elsewhere.

Also includes:

– A Kickstarter exclusive DVD or BLU-RAY featuring the finished production with special features.
– 48 page retro-style magazine crammed with rare and previously unpublished stills from the original 1965 series of Thunderbirds.PLUS – Your name will be listed in the special thanks section of the disc.

PLEASE NOTE: Date TBC and at producer’s discretion. Backers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation.
Estimated delivery:Oct 2015
Ships anywhere in the world

Thunderbird 3

Leading all the way up to the biggest of the lot:

Pledge £5,000

0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

SCREEN-USED THUNDERBIRD 1 MINIATUREA screen-used Thunderbird 1 miniature used in the production of at least one of our brand new episodes of classic Thunderbirds.Also Includes:

– A Kickstarter exclusive DVD or BluRay featuring the finished production with special features.
– 48 page retro-style magazine crammed with rare and previously unpublished stills from the original 1965 series of Thunderbirds.PLUS – Your name will be listed in the special thanks section of the disc.

Estimated delivery: Mar 2016
Ships anywhere in the world


With everything else Anderson Entertainment are working on right now, this is a massive and brilliant step, and we’re really pleased to see them keeping up the crowdfunding business model, after all, it’s the fans that truly want to see their memories brought to life for a new generation.

This is yet another opportunity to help support something amazing, and get some real cinematic history in the process, and good luck to Anderson Entertainment.