Reboots are, in a word, divisive. Taking an old franchise and giving it new life in the form of a remake or the like can be a huge success or… well, not great. Heck, even before it actually comes out, a reboot can get a ton of scorn just by the fact that it’s different from the original. But different can be good; a different spin on a classic cartoon, comic or movie can be a welcome change to what might have been a increasingly stale property. Regardless, sometimes a derided reboot can end up being great, breaking negative expectations and establishing itself as its own thing. It’s understandable, of course, that fans of the original have thoughts on the reboot, but that’s no reason to sling hate on something that hasn’t even come out, especially when it’s not justified in the end.
It might be going too far to say that some of these reboots were better than the original, but it doesn’t devalue what they tried to do with the source material. Reboots can have a lot to offer if given the chance, but unfortunately, the haters don’t always give it a chance, denouncing the reboot as worse than the original and claiming it ruined their childhood far before it can actually come out. It’s an ugly part of fandom that doesn’t allow for new interpretations of classic stories meant for new generations. Here are 25 of reboots that got a ton of hate, but were awesome in the end.
THE NEW 52
Perhaps one of the biggest comic shakeups in recent time was DC’s big reboot back in 2011. DC was no stranger to reboots by this point, but this was its first major complete re-write in a while, and it got its fair share of hate when it was first announced.
Some of this hate was justified with regards to a number of the titles that came out, but without The New 52, we wouldn’t have gotten some of DC’s best work, like Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo’s Batman, Francis Manapul & Brian Bucellato’s The Flash, and Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman.
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
The original Jumanji is one of those childhood films that many fans hold dear in their hearts and is often seen as one of the best films of its time. The film does hold up and does indeed have a number of fans who were definitely wary of the reboot/sequel that came out in 2017, afraid that it was going to be like very other reboot.
Yet, this wasn’t the case, as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was by all means a fantastic film; great action, lots of fun, and it got much better reception than expected.
Just the idea of a Ghostbuster reboot was enough to get people up-in-arms in the geek community, but the fact that the proposed remake would be comprised of an all-female cast was what really brought the hate on. Many thought this was a terrible idea while others embraced the all-female reboot.
Though the haters might not have seen it, the reboot turned out to be pretty great, updating the general concept with some fun, new ideas and a stellar cast that brought tons of laughs and charisma. Okay, perhaps it wasn’t as great as the original, but it was definitely worthy of at least some praise.
RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Though Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has yet to premier on television, Turtle fans can watch the first few episodes on Nickelodeon’s app and website. We highly recommend checking them out, since the reboot series is wonderfully fun and beautifully animated.
Prior to its release, Rise caught some flack for the Turtles’ designs, the art style overall, the comedic approach, Raphael’s position as leader and April O’Neil’s race. But, none of these things are bad; in fact, they’re part of why the series is so great, offering a fresh update on the Turtles.
It’s hard to imagine with today’s successful anime-styled series (Legend of Korra, Voltron: Legendary Defender and the like) that Japanese-inspired designs could turn away an audience. Yet, when promotional material came out for the 2011 reboot of Thundercats, some fans were sick of these kind of series, despite Teen Titans and Avatar: The Last Airbender being amazing cartoons.
It didn’t get as much hate as other reboots received before airing, but it was enough to turn fans of the original away. That, of course, was their loss, since 2011’s Thundercats was an amazing series that was unfortunately cancelled before its time.
TEEN TITANS GO!
We’re aware that we might get some hate for this, but it’s time to admit that Teen Titans Go! is actually a silly, funny, smartly-written comedy series that doesn’t deserve the hate it continues to get. It wasn’t the continuation of its cancelled predecessor that we all wanted, but it’s a hit with the target demographic and has a lot to offer for older viewers.
Teen Titans Go!‘s only real crime is that it’s too close to the original Teen Titans with its designs and voice cast and that it’s sometimes over-aired. Otherwise it’s a great series.
TOMB RAIDER (2013)
People who loved the original Tomb Raider series and its sexualized Lara Croft very quickly had a bone to pick with the reboot of the character and series, angry that the new version had a lot less of what they wanted in a Tomb Raider game.
We can’t really say that’s a good reason to hate on the reboot, but we can say that the new Tomb Raider game series got amazing reviews and was a really great update that took elements of games like Uncharted, which the original Tomb Raider series inspired, and spun them into a fantastic adventure.
When Speed Racer first hit the screens, it was a disaster; critics hated it, fans of the original hated it and the low box office sales (it came out the same week as Iron Man) would brand it as a flop for years. But fast forward a bit, and the world has found a new love of the film, finding it to be an artful and honest adaptation.
Speed Racer is a masterpiece in many ways, providing uniquely dazzling racing visuals and a simple but earnest plot that was both under-appreciated and panned upon the film’s release.
On the list of “best Batman cartoons,” The Batman might be pretty far down the lower rankings, and fans thought as much when the series first came out. But, in retrospect, The Batman had a lot to offer; bringing new and interesting approaches to the usual Batman mythos that, in modern times, would be applauded for its originality.
The Batman showed us an early-career Batman and had a ton of great designs — like The Joker’s, which veered from the usual “clown in a suit” — both of which make the series worthy of a rewatch.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER
Before The Wind Waker was announced, Nintendo gave fans an idea of what the Gamecube’s technology could do for the Zelda franchise, a presentation that many thought was a teaser for the next game. Some time later, the newest Zelda was announced, The Wind Waker, a cel-shaded, cartoon-styled game that looked nothing like the original Gamecube presentation.
This huge shift in style and tone earned the game a lot of hate prior to its release, but after fans got to play it, The Wind Waker ended up standing as one of the best entries in the franchise.
DMC: DEVIL MAY CRY
It’s easy to see how the above redesign of Devil May Cry‘s Dante would hit fans of the franchise, it’s a huge diversion from the original design and the personality that came with it could easily be considered that of a cliche anti-hero. That said, DmC: Devil May Cry was a rather successful reboot of the franchise.
DmC garnered critical praise, most of the initial hate fading as critics gave the game high scores and fans noted its strong gameplay mechanics.
BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the general consensus on Batman was, for a time, that he was best when presented in a gritty, dark depiction. Everyone loved the gritty approach to Batman, so it’s no surprise that Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which revelled in its cheesiness, got some hate from fans.
Of course, this hate isn’t justified, since the series is one of the best superhero cartoons out there, fully embracing its cheesy and over-the-top version of Batman to make for a great tribute to classic comics.
HARVEY BIRDMAN: ATTORNEY AT LAW
It came as a bit of a shock when Adult Swim decided to repackage Birdman as a legal comedy called Harvey Birdman. Well, perhaps “shock” isn’t the right word, since Space Ghost: Coast to Coast had been released prior and Adult Swim was known for wacky moves, but some people definitely didn’t like the idea of the Hanna-Barbera superhero being repackaged in such a way.
But, Harvey Birdman is still one of Adult Swim’s best shows, and one of its funniest, following Birdman as he defends various Hanna-Barbera characters from legal situations often revolving around their two dimensional character flaws.
MORTAL KOMBAT (2011)
Mortal Kombat is one of those now-classic franchises with a rabid fan community that started out with the very first entry of the series. Because of how far back these fans’ love goes, it’s somewhat understandable that they’d be wary of a reboot; they hope it respects the original and doesn’t cheapen the brand.
This was the feeling when the 2011 reboot of the entire Mortal Kombat franchise was announced, but as it turned out, this new interpretation was an awesome revamping that garnered glowing reviews.
THE DARK KNIGHT
The Dark Knight was the second entry in Nolan’s Batman movie franchise, so this entry might be a bit of a technicality, but the fact remains that the sequel to Batman Begins was not well-received when it was announced. Specifically, fans hated Heath Ledger’s Joker; they hated the actor choice, they hated the makeup, everything was an affront to the fan-favorite villain.
But, when the film actually came out, it was a smash hit and was regarded as the best Batman movie of all time, with Ledger’s Joker being pointed out as one of its best elements. His performance even earned him a posthumous Oscar!
SONIC BOOM (ANIMATED SERIES)
Sonic Boom wasn’t Sonic’s first foray into animated TV shows, as it was preceded by shows like Sonic X and Sonic SatAm. The Sonic Boom games were critically panned, their rushed development leading to unacceptably poor gameplay quality and shoddy writing that was worthy of the reboot’s initial hate.
In short, the Sonic Boom games sucked as a reboot, but the TV series? We recommend giving it a watch, since it’s one of the funniest cartoons out there, incorporating tons of meta humor (including making fun of the Sonic series as a whole) to make for a great show.
BEN 10 (2016)
When promo art and the premise for the Ben 10 reboot were released, many were quick to criticize the show’s more comedic approach and modern cartoon style as being too similar to other Cartoon Network shows, most of them being fans of the original.
The hate didn’t stop there, since fans of the original would continue to criticize the show for being too silly upon its release; but at the end of the day, the show is incredibly fun, doing very well with its target demographic and introducing some cool new ideas to the original series’ setup and lore.
BEWARE THE BATMAN
New approaches to oversaturated franchises should always be welcome, yet this usually isn’t the case when a reboots want to put a new spin on things. This is what happened with Beware the Batman, which got a ton of hate for its visual design and its choice of villains, as well as its supporting cast.
It’s easy to see why people didn’t respond well at first — the series features a Batman who is different from the norm and a cast of obscure villains. But at the end of the day, these new ideas ended up working in the series’ favor, and it’s definitely worth a watch.
The Disney fandom was rather split when word of a Ducktales reboot got out. Some were ecstatic that they were going to get more adventures of Scrooge, Huey Dewey and Louie, but other fans of the original were wary, tossing the usual “my childhood is ruined” argument into the ring.
But 2017’s Ducktales is fantastic; it’s a masterfully crafted, well-written and beautifully animated update to the original that doesn’t reek of modernization and pays tribute to both the original series and the comics it came from, possibly standing as an improvement on its predecessor with its expanded, overarching story.
BE COOL, SCOOBY DOO!
When you look at the art style of Be Cool, Scooby Doo!, it’s easy to see why it got some hate when it was announced; the designs look like they came out of a Seth MacFarlane series or one their many copycats. But when you get past the admittedly divisive art direction, Be Cool, Scooby Doo! is a pretty great reboot.
The mysteries are actually smart and well-crafted and play with the usual format, adding in meta jabs at the formula, all while juggling some amazing comedy. The reboot has some seriously great laughs for all ages and deserves a watch.
The Power Rangers film wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good in the “dumb fun popcorn movie” kind of way. That said, some of the hate that the movie initially got wasn’t completely unjustified, as the suits were indeed hard to look at and the overall dark tone (which was practically abandoned during the climactic battle) was not well-executed.
But, the film also paid strong tribute to the ridiculous nature of the original, because let’s be honest, a plot revolving around a donut shop definitely sounds like something that would have happened in the original series.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014)
With Michael Bay attached, rumors that the Turtles were going to be aliens, and the strange Turtle designs, there were a lot of reasons to hate the 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But all hate aside, the movie was a lot like the Power Rangers film — a fun popcorn flick.
The film is dumb in a lot of ways, but is a decently fun blockbuster, and if nothing else it has some great production value. As for the hated Turtle designs, aside from the weird lips and hulking size, the outfits the brothers wear were actually pretty creative and cool.
THE FLASH (CW)
CW’s The Flash was greatly anticipated by fans of Arrow, and didn’t really receive any preemptive hate; that is, not until some set-photos leaked, depicting the costume in a poor light. Fans were quick to hate on the outfit, as well as Grant Gustin’s slim frame, body-shaming the star until he eventually responded on social media.
However, aside from this small fan uproar, the series premiered to record ratings, garnering a ton of positive reviews for the first season. The Flash might have its ups and downs, but the series is still one of the best parts of the Arrowverse.
Though the series has yet to premier, we couldn’t do a list about hated reboots without addressing the massive controversy surrounding Thundercats Roar. Fans of both the original and 2o11 Thundercats series were quick to jump on the hate train, criticizing the comedy-focused series on it’s incorporation of the so-called “CalArts style.”
The “CalArts” style is both a misnomer and an “argument” that falls apart rather easily, so the haters don’t have much to stand on. Furthermore, from what we’ve seen, the series looks fun, adorable and wonderfully animated, something that people in the animation industry were quick to point out.
SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER
This is another series that has yet to premier, but we have no doubt that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is going to be a smash hit. But, of course, being a reboot of a cartoon from the same era as Thundercats, the promotional material that has been released has gotten a ton of hate from toxic fans of the original.
These so-called fans think that She-Ra’s reboot design veers too far from the original, backing up their argument with generally weak and sexist points that don’t hold up to the quality this show is sure to present.
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