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Ryan’s Rant #2: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?!

My last Stan’s-Soapbox-inspired screed was so popular (in my head) that we decided to make it a monthly feature. So instead of Stan’s Soapbox, I proudly present….

Ryan’s Rant!  #2

Won’t Somebody Think of the Children?!

In our market testing, we hear from kids and adults alike that reboots and sequels are getting old. This isn’t surprising to me when you consider, as our team always does, life from a kid’s perspective.

If you were 11 years old or younger today, something like Iron Man and the MCU been around since you were a baby. Don’t like that, kid? No problem, your other choices are a bunch of other brands that were great in the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s or even older being rebooted and sequelized over and over into a sad, soulless creative endeavor produced by the world’s wealthiest companies to emotionally exploit fan nostalgia. The central planners at these companies will not take creative risks because they know they can slap a popular character license on almost any crap and make millions.

Imagine if that happened when you were a kid…

Imagine, Star Wars, Rainbow Brite, He-Man, TMNT, Strawberry Shortcake, Voltron, Teddy Ruxpin, Garfield, or Indiana Jones never existed, and instead, every year on TV, in toys, and in theaters there were nothing but character’s from your granddad’s generation. Year after year, the big entertainment event is yet another installment of Dick Tracy, Popeye, and Little Orphan Annie — Dick Tracy: Rogue’s Game, Annie 2: The Little Orphan Sequel, Popeye 2: Popeye on the Rocks, Dick Tracy: End Rogue’s Game, Popeye 4: The Legendary Journeys, Annie 5: Annie Meets Frankenstein, Dick Tracy: The Space Patrol. 

And you’d think they’d stop making that stuff your grandparents grew up with when those brands stop making money, but you’re wrong! Then come the reboots (Quintin Tarentino’s Dick Tracy), or, the entertainment industry’s current innovation piece de resistance (which is French for piece of resistance, as we all know): prequels. Ta dah! Now in theaters it’s Baby Orphan Annie! Tell your friends! When those tank, then will you get something new? No! There’s still other, more obscure, characters from your granddaddy’s generation to exploit: Blondie and Dagwood Toys! Ace Drummond Cartoons! Baby Huey: The Live Action Movie (that’s actually CG).

That would’ve been a pretty crummy run, right?

We see this ourselves, and we hear it from kids and families. We know it’s a tough fight to do something about it, but we don’t care. We think it’s lousy that these companies think they can slap together some dumb, old, weak, predictable story and that kids should like it just because it’s from Popular Entertainment Brands, Inc.. They condescend (that means look down on), expecting audiences to spend their hard earned dollars (and in these tough economic times™ to boot) for any old crap that has a large enough marketing budget behind it. They say that Intellectual Property Brand #4A has a “track record” (an industry buzz word for ‘it made money before’) therefore, industry analysis indicates that it will create Q4 revenue projected at blah blah blah blah blah… They think it’ll make money forever even though these brands tank all the time, thus only proving that it’s just as risky to not take risk.

With Panda Mony Toy Brands, today’s kids are getting something all their own. It is so much more rewarding to let my child discover that she likes Shimmer and Shine no matter how much I might try to get her into Ninja Turtles. The silly cartoons from our childhood are not sacrosanct.

Let the kids have their own generation instead of a reboot of ours.