Just because you like it, doesn't mean it owes you anything.
Back in 1999, something wonderfully tragic happened. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace hit theaters and since, has become one of the biggest jokes in cinematic history. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that was so polarizing that it is almost unanimously hated by its own fans, leaving them with nothing but uncertainty and questions. “How could a franchise so beloved, so rich in story and characters, churn out a movie that trivializes everything it was built on?” “Why the hell was it about some kid?” “Why does Jar-Jar Binks even exist?” “How could George Lucas do this to us, the most passionate and dedicated fans?”
Well, because the movie was for kids.
But let’s take a step back and get some perspective here.
Within the last decade or so, it seems like countless beloved franchises from our youth are getting a new lease on life. That alone sounds like great news to me. Movies like Transformers and the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, come to mind. Unfortunately, shortly after we hear about the imminent re-invigoration of said franchise, we immediately become disappointed, and shortly thereafter, enraged.
Now, if you listen to the large vacuum of space, that is the internet, you’d think that these revitalized versions of old properties failed in a spectacular fashion. I mean, look at the redesign for Megatron, he looks like a magnet was waved over a cluster of metal shavings. Everyone hates what’s been done with him… and of course everyone means, everyone on this forum responding to this thread titled: NEW MEGATRON LOOKS LIKE CRAP.
So why do it then? Why not make a super CG version of the traditional Transformers? Why change everything in service of your movie? Why even call it by a name we recognize if you’re going to change the plots, origins and settings? Clearly no one would want to watch this super gritty garbage. “That doesn’t even seem like a good idea. It’s gonna bomb, and it’ll be fabulous when it does. In your face Michael Bay. Everyone here on Neogedditchan agrees with me, might as well just stop making movies now.”
Did you know that the new Transformers movies made somewhere above 3.7 billion dollars combined? Billion – with a B. Any argument against these movies is immediately invalidated. The numbers tell a story that internet forums do not. Oh, and guess which numbers stockholders give a shit about?
And it’s not just the Transformers. The source of many jokes from last year, the reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, made almost 4 times what it cost to produce. The movie was abhorred by critics and fans alike, but was a financial success. So much so, that a sequel is due out next year.
So what’s the point here? I’m sure you’ve seen the numbers, you know the situation. It still makes you angry to see the hulking garbage monsters the Transformers (or Ninja Turtles oddly enough) have been turned into. Which, is a fair response to what’s happened to our beloved franchises.
But that’s the thing. I can’t speak for anyone else, but from my perspective, I don’t think I’ve actually cared about the Transformers since I was a kid. Sure I’ve kept the pleasant memories they gave me, but I’m not actively pursuing that content anymore. These things that we loved as children, aren’t ours anymore. We remember a version of these things that doesn’t exist and won’t exist again.
And that’s okay.
Let kids enjoy stupid transforming robots, let them enjoy the new ninja turtles cartoons and movies. These things are for kids, they always were, and that’s the way they should be. Sure they don’t look or sound or even act like the things we remember, but that’s the sign of a good product. We want our entertainment to be willing to change up the formula and bring in new, younger audiences. We want them to evolve and exist long after we’ve stopped engaging with them. It doesn’t change what we loved, it just reinvents itself to appeal to a new generation.
I want my kids to watch whatever version of TMNT is on when they’re around. I want them to play a new version of Mario Brothers, even if I don’t understand why Mario doesn’t have a mustache anymore. I want them to like something I liked, even if it is barely the same thing. Sure I might think it sucks, but who cares? As long as they’re happy then I’m sure I will be too.
Long story short, if you have time to complain about this kind of stuff, you have too much free time and no real problems in your life. So sit back, and shut your mouth, cause the world doesn’t revolve around you.