Response to yesterday's release of the trailer for upcoming Jem and the Holograms movie was "truly outrageous," but for all the wrong reasons: fans of the original cartoon series pretty much hated everything about it. So what went wrong?
Here's some background on the franchise: Jem and the Holograms was a cartoon in the late 1980's, now remembered fondly by those fans that watched it. The series was about a music company owner, Jerrica, who had an alter-ego named Jem, the lead singer of a band called The Holograms.
The cartoon was colorful, over-the-top and everything you'd expect from the '80s, and that lasting image has stuck with fans throughout the decades.
Last year, it was announced that a live-action film based on Jem would be coming out, and fans were obviously ready to relive the cartoon on the big screen.
Now, though, after the release of the debut trailer, those fans have taken to the Internet to express their displeasure at what seems to be a complete departure from the original animated show.
The premise of the movie seems to be this: Jerrica releases a YouTube video, becomes a sensation and gets signed by a record company that changes her name to Jem and wants her to become someone completely different.
The main hook of the cartoon was the holographic technology that protected Jem's identity. It's right there in the title! Of course, the folks behind the movie got rid of that, prompting fans to tweet things like this:
Well looks like they went Musical Drama instead of Musical Fantasy for JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS... Sigh
— Harry Knowles (@headgeek666) May 12, 2015
While one site wrote that the trailer was a "pile of hot garbage," other fans took to social media to announce their disappointment.
The Outrageous is lost (#JEMmovie)! It's like a Knight Rider movie about finding a Trans Am, car shows, & not fighting any crime whatsoever. — Athena Stamos (@AthenaStamos) May 13, 2015
Most fans are upset because lots of key plot points from the cartoons aren't even present in the film (at least from the trailer) including the artificial intelligence known as Synergy, which helps Jem protect her identity.
Erm... What part of that #JemAndTheHolograms movie trailer was actually Jem and The Holograms? — Jonathan Norgrove (@Jonamoose) May 13, 2015
Even William Shatner complained about the complete lack of certain items from the '80s cartoon missing in the new trailer.
I watched the Jem trailer. No star earrings? Where are the misfits? — William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 13, 2015
While it's unlikely that Jem and the Holograms will bring longtime fans to the theaters, this is just another example of Hollywood studios thinking they can outthink the source material. By taking away what made the original cartoon so special, Jem and the Holograms looks like a failure in the making. We'd like to think this can be a lesson to studios, but this sort of thing seems to happen over and over. Oh well, there's always the cartoon.
[Photo Credit: Universal]