Matthew Braga has written up a rather comprehensive article on the history of not only the beginnings of ReBoot, but of the “Pearson/Blair/Mitchell-era” of Mainframe Entertainment. Below is an excerpt. Click here to read the whole article.
With the techniques and processes that the team behind ReBoot were pioneering, a 3D animated series could be made in less time, and with fewer resources, than the traditional hand-drawn animation that dominated movie theatres and television screens. Computer scripts and render farms would do all of the heavy lifting that rooms of human animators once did. And because everything was digital — mere files on a disk — those assets could be reused effortlessly to make commercials, movies, toys, and games. Think Dot on a lunchbox, flying through the city, or Megabyte’s lair on a lampshade.
Even Pixar, which released Toy Story in 1996 to universal acclaim, would be no match for Mainframe’s efficiency. Where Pixar took years to produce just 81 minutes of footage, the ReBoot team was determined to produce the same amount in a matter of weeks.
The message was clear: Mainframe was going to be the biggest animation company in the world — the Pixar of the North — and ReBoot was just the start.
ReBoot’s influence is everywhere if you know where to look. In the early to mid-1990s, while Disney was in the midst of its hand-drawn animated renaissance — with movies such as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King enjoying blockbuster success — the first generations of computer artists were getting their start. ReBoot was one of the few productions where forward-looking animators and artists could learn to work with computers outside of school. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Finding Nemo, Shrek — all were made with the help of ReBoot alumni.
ReBoot was the brainchild of Ian Pearson, a talented animator and bullheaded Geordie from Northern England who spent the early 1980s in the UK making corporate logos fly around a screen. Neon-tinted wireframes and hard-edged shapes were what passed for groundbreaking stuff. But Pearson had grander aspirations. “He knew what was possible, even if he didn’t necessarily know how to do it,” said Chris Welman, a software developer in ReBoot’s earliest days, and later the company’s vice president and chief technology officer. “He had a good visual eye. He could look at a model and tell the guy who built it what was wrong with it and why it wasn’t beautiful.”
In 1984, Pearson worked with music director Steve Barron on the visual effects for Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” the first music video made with computer graphics. Instead of blocky logos, it featured blocky humans, but the result was good enough that Pearson figured there was potential to do a whole show. Given the state of most computer graphics at the time — primitive, flatly shaded, crude — he came up with a clever conceit. The show would take place in a computer, thereby eliminating the expectation that it had to look remotely realistic.
Pearson’s assistant on “Money for Nothing” was a fellow animator, a jolly, denim-clad man in round glasses named Gavin Blair. Over the span of nearly a decade, the two tossed the concept for their computer-generated show back and forth, and started to assemble a team. Blair roped in John Grace, his former animation lecturer, who made a stop-motion animated television show called Portland Bill in 1983. They brought on Phil Mitchell, an ex-classmate of Blair’s and a gifted animator in his own right who had grown tired of working on commercials. He was a mountain of a man who listened to death metal at his desk while he worked. Collectively, they were known as The Hub.
Do you come from the Net? Is your Format: Guardian? Then you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing this shirt while mending Tears or chasing down Viruses!
The ReBoot Revival store on RedBubble is now open! First featured item is a Guardian Icon shirt. The icon placement was formatted specifically for the unisex t-shirt, but also looks good on other shirt options. The Unisex shirt has 18 color options.
All proceeds go towards keeping ReBootRevival.com online and remaining ad-free.
More Icon colors and other designs coming soon!
More Icon colors and other designs coming soon!
I had to temporarily disable the shirts. Received a message from Rainmaker Entertainment. I hope to work something out, but if not…. then I cannot sell these anywhere (not unless I want to have a lawsuit on my hands, which I don’t).
Uploaded to Vimeo by “A.C.R.O.N.Y.M. digital” on April 19th 2016, this shows off a prototype demo of the digital collectible card game (DCCG) application for ReBoot: The Guardian Code.
Apparently it wasn’t meant to be viewed by the general public as shortly after being posted on the ReBoot Revival’s Facebook Group on July 15th 2016, the video was made private. Fortunately I saved a copy in the event that this would happen (something I highly expected).
A list of roles has appeared on ExploreTalent.com giving us more insight on what the primary characters of “ReBoot: The Guardian Code” will be like:
ReBoot: The Guardian Code is a live-action/CG animated action comedy series about four teenagers who discover on their first day of high school that they’ve been selected to become the Next Generation Guardians of Cyberspace.
Role #1 – Austin
The Skater Dude (In an ideal world, we would love to find someone that is an avid skater). Austin is cool, smart and capable but somewhat aloof and detached. Always moving, never still, Austin is a natural athlete with terrific reflexes, interested in individual pursuits and extreme sports. He’s not team oriented at all. Still dealing with his father’s sudden death a year ago, Austin masks his grief behind his wisecracking, carefree persona and doesn’t want to talk about it – at all. Ever. Austin is a natural leader, he just doesn’t know it yet, and isn’t ready to accept that kind of responsibility. His best friend is Parker. They’ve been like brothers since they were little kids. Austin teases Parker, but he always has his back and knows that Parker has his.
Age: 15 – 16
Body Type: Athletic
Role #2 – Parker
The Techno-Geek. Innovative and daring, Parker is an avid gamer and prides himself on being an A+ student, excelling in math and science. He skipped a grade, has a bit of a superior attitude about being so smart, and he’s sometimes impatient when others don’t catch on quickly enough. When Parker likes something he is excitable and enthusiastic, but he can also be judgmental of things he doesn’t like. Ultimately, Parker wants to fit in, be respected and appreciated, but he also likes being different. It’s become part of his identity, a badge he wears proudly. He’s often awkward, not fully understanding social cues. Parker looks up to Austin but he’s not afraid to challenge him if he doesn’t agree with his point of view.
Age: 14 – 15
Role #3 – Tamra
The Social Media Maven. Tamra is an intense, opinionated, alt chick. But under her edgy, sarcastic exterior she is actually quite sensitive, open and empathetic. Her YouTube channel gives her a voice and a means to share her thoughts and feelings. She enjoys having an online following but isn’t so thrilled when people recognize her in person. She’s not after fame, she just wants to engage. Tamra is into music, video games, and has a purple belt in karate. She has a strong sense of right and wrong and doesn’t trust people who are dishonest and manipulative.
Age: 15 – 16
Body Type: Athletic
Role #4 – Grey
The Jock. Big, athletic and strong, Grey’s a terrific football player, although deep down he doesn’t care for it that much. But he always tries to please so he sticks with the sport at which he excels. A fitness nut, he’s always exercising; push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, whatever. He comes from a military family, and has a tough “drill sergeant” father. While he’s highly competitive, he’s also fair and supportive. The exception to that rule is when rules aren’t followed. Then Grey can be harsh. He needs structure and likes things planned and by the book.
Age: 15 – 16
Role #5 – Vera
Attractive. V.E.R.A. (Virtual Evolutionary Recombinant Avatar) was designed as an adaptive construct with one purpose; to train and mentor the Next Generation Guardians. Her programmer didn’t want her getting distracted, so he programmed her to be focused and determined. But once she’s 3-D bioprinted as a 15-year-old girl, some of her programming is altered, and she becomes more easily distracted. But Vera is a multitasking marvel, exploring all the fascinating aspects of this world and figuring out who she wants to be, while making sure the Guardians fulfill their mandate to protect and defend cyberspace. As an odd duck new human, Vera will provide a lot of comedic relief.
Age: 15 – 16
How do you feel about these characters? Sound off in the comments below!
Note: Original co-creators Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson, and Phil Mitchell are not involved in “The Guardian Code”.
From Triforcefilms, Mr Dooves A Cappella Cover of the opening theme to ReBoot (Seasons 1-2). Quite a unique take on this very familiar theme, I rather like it! Beyond ReBoot he currently has 52 other Saturday morning cartoons sung in similar fashion. His creative costumes also add to the fun!
(Image of “Vector” from Marketwired)
Straight from Corus Entertainment, we have a press release full of information about “The Guardian Code”:
Vancouver, BC and Banff, AB – Corus Entertainment has given the greenlight to Mainframe Entertainment—the television division of the multifaceted Vancouver-based animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment (TSX VENTURE:RNK)—to produce 26 half-hour episodes of a reimagined version of the classic and first-of-its-kind CG-animated television series ReBoot. Reboot: The Guardian Code, a hybrid live-action/CG-animated series to be distributed globally by TWC/Dimension Television (excluding Canada) commences production on the heels of the series’ 20th anniversary featuring cutting-edge technology that will reboot the ReBoot universe to create a groundbreaking multi-platform experience. The announcement was made today at Banff World Media Festival by Jamie Piekarz, Director of Content, Corus Kids, and Michael Hefferon, President and Chief Creative Officer, Rainmaker Entertainment. The series originally premiered on Corus’ kids channel YTV in 1994 and aired until 2001.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Mainframe to bring back an exciting new, reimagined version of this classic animated series to Corus Entertainment,” said Jamie Piekarz, Director of Content, Corus Kids. “The new Reboot will feature the same action and comedy that viewers loved in the original series, but with an updated technological universe that will fascinate a new generation of kids.”
“We are thrilled to receive the greenlight from Corus Entertainment to move forward with the production of Reboot: The Guardian Code,” commented Hefferon. “Technology is ever-changing and Reboot: The Guardian Code will utilize the very technology inherent in the concept of the show—and prevalent in kids’ everyday lives—to drive a new type of relationship across multiple platforms. Reboot: The Guardian Code and associated brand extensions will deliver mass appeal with a technology focus, empowering kids with the tools and confidence to chart their own course in a world that is increasingly dependent on and powered by technological knowledge.”
Created by Michael Hefferon, Reboot: The Guardian Code is based on the original ReBoot created by Gavin Blair, John Grace, Phil Mitchell and Ian Pearson. The YTV series was the first of its kind–a fully CG animated television series. Ahead of its time, the original series electrified viewers with its groundbreaking animation style and stories of heroic Guardians who battled viruses inside computer systems. Twenty years later, ReBoot: the Guardian Code upgrades that original concept for today’s tech savvy kids.
Transcending age groups with appeal to kids, tweens and teens, ReBoot: the Guardian Code is an adventure-comedy series about four teens (Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra) who discover that they’re next-gen Guardians with a mission to save the world, by defending it in cyberspace. The Internet revolutionized the world, but it also left it vulnerable to attack. With the help of VERA, the last surviving cyberbeing from the original Guardian Program, our heroes stream into cyberspace where they use their awesome code-based powers to battle viruses that have been unleashed by a ruthless hacker. Known only as the Sourcerer, he seeks to rule the world by controlling cyberspace. Original fans of the show will be happy to hear that Megabyte will be back and he’s getting a major upgrade. ReBoot will showcase leading edge technologies and bring coding into the mainstream for kids.
When Austin, Parker, Grey and Tamra are not trying to stop viruses from overloading a nuclear power station, or remotely opening a dam to flood a city, or playing Criss Cross Crash Hour with a city’s transportation grid, our heroes are being typical teens: arguing with their parents over curfews; dealing with crushes; or trying to avoid getting suspended for skipping class when they’re really on a cyber mission to save the world!
Over the course of its four seasons in the 1990s, 48 x 22 minute episodes of ReBoot were sold to 84 counties (YTV in Canada and ABC Network and Cartoon Network in the US), with the last new episodes airing in 2001. Complementing the television series was a ReBoot toy line produced by Irwin Toys along with a video game produced by Electronic Arts.
ReBoot: The Guardian Code (Rainmaker Entertainment) presented by Michael Hefferon, follows the adventures of four typical teens whose lives are upgraded in a big way, when they discover they are next-gen Guardians – super cool heroes that stream into cyberspace so they can defend humanity from deadly computer viruses and malware.
Posted on the Canada Media Fund’s website, along side two other children’s shows, we’ve learned our very first details regarding this new ReBoot series. Keep checking in with ReBootRevival.com and both it’s Twitter and Facebook group page for any and all news!
The reimagining of the venerable ReBoot series comes just in time for the 20th anniversary of the original series.
Making its debut on television screens in 1994, ReBoot was centered on the world of Mainframe, where a guardian program sprite and his friends defended the system from superviruses bent on creating havoc and destruction.
Now, 20 years after the debut of the original series, Mainframe is teaming with writers, artists and leading computer industry experts and manufacturers, to create an all-new ReBoot universe that will provide a ground-breaking, multi-platform experience for the next generation of ReBoot fans.
Today has been a very good day for ReBoot fans! Along with an overall site redesign, they’ve added “ReBoot: The Guardian Code” to TV series currently in development. Beyond what is quoted above, and what they’ve stated in previous press-releases, nothing more is known about the series. Keep checking in with ReBootRevival.com and both it’s Twitter and Facebook group page for any and all news!
Can you believe it? 20 years have passed since ReBoot premiered back on September 10th, 1994. I vividly recall my 8yr old self sitting down that Saturday morning to see this brand new cartoon that took place inside a computer. It was love at first sight. The characters, this crazy CGI animation, the colors, computer lingo here n’ there…. it had me hooked. Bob instantly became my favorite, with his heroic actions and cool-guy demeanor. I’d continue to tune-in every weekend until ABC was bought up by Disney and ReBoot (among other non-Disney programing) was canceled. Man… that season 2 cliffhanger… I was gutted… what would happen to Bob?! Of course we all know the answer to that one now, but it would be a couple of years before Season 3 would premiere on Cartoon Network here in the States, but everything looked even more amazing by that point. I was older, the show was more mature… rekindled that love-affair I had with it in no time. Matrix became my second favorite character, his tough no-nonsense attitude appealed to my teenage self (…though I was very happy to see Bob later on!) With the end to Season 3 being pretty up-beat (dealing with the threat of Daemon aside), it seemed as if ReBoot’s story was all done. However, after a few more years progressed… Season 4 premiered and it was great to see everyone again. Thrust into the midst of the war against Daemon, it was a strong first half. I still miss Hex, and hope she’ll return one day. I know that we’re all familiar with how the second half of Season 4 went…. and that’s why this site has existed for the past 7+ years (a little more than 8 if you factor in when I began the idea to revive the series). Hopefully all the talk about the 20th anniversary being an important milestone won’t wind up as more disappointment from Rainmaker.
ReBoot was, and still is a show unique unto itself. It captured the hearts, minds, and imaginations of children, teens, and adults around the world. The fact that so many still recall their very first episode, just goes to show how fondly it still lives on within our hearts 20 years later.
I can’t believe it’s been 20 years – I feel so old!!! I’m immensely proud of what we (emphasis on the ‘we’!) did, and I’m glad we found such a passionate audience. Without you we are nothing. Thank you.
I’m also very proud of the fact that the show had such a positive effect on so many people. I never get tired – and I never will – of people telling me how the show influenced their life for the better. That’s a rare and precious thing.
Stay Frosty, my friends. Stay Frosty. ~Gavin Blair
To celebrate this special event, here in full are the very first, and presently last episodes of ReBoot!
ReBoot’s 20th Anniversary is coming up soon! Please go to http://strawpoll.me/2512335 (or select from the embedded poll below) and select whether or not you’d support a ReBoot soundtrack (which might be a physical CD, or digital download).
This would be like nothing you’ve ever seen (or rather heard) before! Straight from ReBoot’s musical composer, Bob Buckley! No amaturely filtered bits of music with dialog still faintly in the background, this is straight-up recordings from the man himself!
It’s very important to see just how many folks would support this. Nothing is currently in place, this is all preliminary work. Limited editions/1st press bonus tracks could be a possibility, it all depends on if we can get the “OK” from Rainmaker AND how many of you cast your vote. The overall purpose of this poll is to gather as many votes as possible, so that I can show Rainmaker (specifically Michael Hefferon, the current President, as I’ve direct contact with him) that they should give the “OK” to the project and allow Buckley to compose it for release! I can tell Rainmaker it’ll sell many copies and is a worthwhile investment until I’m as blue in the face as Bob, but actual numbers tend to help such things succeed!
Thank you and stay frosty,