ReBoot - A CGI Allegory for Millennial Mainframers (Part 1)
If you’re a millennial like me, there is a significant chance that you saw the show “ReBoot” during your childhood. Due to it’s status as the first full-length cartoon to be fully computerized, this show was quite popular during its run from 1994 until 2001. When the first episode aired to American audiences in October of 1994, the show broke records and overtook Sonic the Hedgehog as the most-watched children’s cartoon. Despite great expense, technical snags, and production delays, ReBoot demonstrated the viability of computer-generated imagery (CGI) for visual storytelling, encouraging the subsequent production of the Transformers: Beast Wars cartoon and Disney’s blockbuster Toy Story in 1995.
While ReBoot offered cool cutting-edge graphics and fun technospeak for the first children to grow up “digitally native” (and many of their parents), there is a high likelihood that the subtext of the show went over the heads of most of it’s audience. Since joining IBM and becoming a Millennial Mainframer, I had the chance to rewatch the first episode of ReBoot, whereupon I made a starting discovery:
ReBoot is an allegory for success as a Millennial Mainframer!!!!
Allegory is a device used to present an idea, principle or meaning, which can be presented in literary form, such as a poem or novel, in musical form, such as composition or lyric, or in visual form, such as in painting or drawing. It is also seen in scriptural passage. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation. Allegory is generally treated as a figure of rhetoric; a rhetorical allegory is a demonstrative form of representation conveying meaning other than the words that are spoken.
This means that the characters and story lines of ReBoot are symbols used to convey the message of how to be successful as a Millennial Mainframer.
You don’t believe me??? Then watch this video and read my analysis below. Note: Stop the video at 9:36 if you want to keep pace with this blog. The remainder of the analysis will be posted next week on May 14, 2012.
I argue that the protagonist Bob is the archetype for the modern Millennial Mainframer.
In the opening scene of ReBoot, we hear the voice of Bob saying the following:
“I come from the net, through systems, peoples, and cities to this place… Mainframe.
My format… guardian, to mend and defend,to defend my new-found friends, their hopes and dreams, to defend them from their enemies”