When a retro cartoon/toy property aimed at boys gets the big screen treatment, the studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars bringing that property to life; just look at the budgets for projects like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Those movies might not be critically loved, or even always loved by the fans who grew up with the original cartoons, but it’s hard to argue that they didn’t get the broad strokes right, or that real money was spent so that they at least looked good, if nothing else.
But when that property is a cartoon and toy line that was aimed at girls, like Jem? Apparently you just strip the core concept down to something barely recognizable. The original cartoon was about a record executive who had a secret identity as a pop star named Jem, who was a holographic creation of a computer AI called Synergy. Jem and the Holograms had adventures and came into conflict each week with their rival band, a group of bad girls called The Misfits. That’s the show in a nutshell.
So the premise of this new Jem movie? According to the official description, “a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden. In Universal Pictures’ Jem and the Holograms, four aspiring musicians will take the world by storm when they see that the key to creating your own destiny lies in finding your own voice.”
So no Synergy, no Misfits, and the Holograms is just a name. Unfortunately, it seems like a generic Disney Channel Camp Rock-style movie that bears little resemblance to the cartoons or toys they are based on. Luckily, there is a modern update of Jem from IDW comics out right now from Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell that takes the original concepts and updates them for today in fresh, fun way. If you loved Jem growing up, definitely read those. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for images from the Jem movie, but just be sure to keep your expectations in check.
HT: Comic Book Movie