ByMatthew Bailey, writer at
Husband. Father. Gamer. Cinema Lover. Mix it all together, and there I am. I love all things pop-culture and coffee; but coffee is the best.
Matthew Bailey

Nostalgia can be a driving force for entertainment, just look at all everything that is coming our way before Labor Day: Ghostbusters, The Legend of Tarzan, Ben-Hur, The Jungle Book, Independence Day: Resurgence, Finding Dory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows. All of these films have a sense of nostalgia to them and it's easy to see why they are so popular since they draw from different generations of viewers.

Nostalgia can be good or bad, so drawing from it doesn't always work. Think Zoolander 2 versus Jurassic World, both films have a sense of nostalgia to them but the first was just bad whereas the second earned $1.6 billion and is the fourth-highest global earner. So sometimes it’s difficult to understand whether something will succeed or not, but recently Netflix jumped on the nostalgia express and brought us a rebooted version of a classic ‘80s cartoon – Voltron. On June 10th of this year, Netflix (in partnership with DreamWorks) released their first season of Voltron: Legendary Defender and it was a smashing success. The success of Voltron leads to wondering what Netflix should develop next. Here are five classic cartoons that should be rebooted on Netflix.

5. ThunderCats

Now I know that there was a recent reboot of the series in 2011, but it failed to really draw in the fans despite its critical reception. The show just felt that it was a marketing ploy for a ThunderCats toy line. Yet, what it was able to do is prove that the show still had a solid fanbase to draw from and could do for a new reboot, especially considering the overwhelming success of Voltron. Rebooting ThunderCats along the same animation style as Voltron would go a long way to establishing the series on Netflix and encouraging follow-up seasons of the show.

4. Johnny Quest

Jonny Quest originally aired in the mid-‘60s and has a massive fan following considering that over the last 40 years Jonny and the team have been rebooted into two additional television series (mid ‘80s & late ‘90s), two television movies and three computer games.

The series follows Jonny as he adventures around the world with Dr. Quest (his father), Roger “Race” Bannon (a special agent and bodyguard), Hadji (Jonny’s best friend) and Jessie Bannon (Race’s daughter — she only appeared in the ‘90s reboot). The adventurers faced various “plausible” mysteries that could easily be translated to modern audiences. Rebooting the series on Netflix would surely draw in the legacy fans as well as introduce new fans to the series.

3. Gargoyles

Just look at how awesome a gritty reboot would look
Just look at how awesome a gritty reboot would look

The cult-classic cartoon from the ‘90s was a great cartoon, albeit short-lived. It had a unique premise that followed a clan led by Goliath that were betrayed by the Scottish humans in the year 994 and are cursed to be frozen in stone until their castle rises above the clouds. Enter billionaire David Xanatos who, a millennium later, purchases the castle and has it reconstructed above his New York City skyscraper, thus waking the gargoyles from their slumber. The gargoyles faced various supernatural threats as they tried to adjust to modern New York. With the Gargoyles loyal fan-base, a Netflix series would easily draw out the legions of fans and could bring a unique twist to the cartoons that are currently on Netflix.

2. Captain Planet

In 1990 the world was concerned with ideas of holes in the ozone, toxic waste and nuclear exposure — and Captain Planet and the Planeteers was created to educate the rising generation of young people as to the varied environmental threats while also naming their villains with pun-tastic names like Looten Plunder, Sly Sludge and Dr. Blight. The issues that were major concerns in the ‘90s aren’t really prevalent now, but in a modern setting the team could face off against the villains who are trying to drill in the Arctic, the climate change, GMOs, fracking, oil spills and deforestation. Putting a slightly grittier filter on it could also make it appeal to a wider audience — new and old fans alike.

1. Sailor Moon

For being a "kids" cartoon in the ‘90s, Sailor Moon featured some pretty progressive content when you consider that two of the Sailor Soldiers were in a lesbian relationship (in the American version they were cousins rather than lovers) as well as having cross-dressing and effeminate characters (who were gender-altered for American audiences). These storylines were unheard of in the ‘90s, but it would fit perfectly in a gritty reboot on Netflix. Sailor Moon was an incredibly popular anime even though the dubbed American version left a bitter taste due to the censorship, the melodrama and poor broadcasting times. Regardless, a gritty reboot would be perfect for the Sailor Moon fans when you consider the collection of original anime available on Netflix: AJIN, Seven Deadly Sins and Wakfu and even the upcoming Perfect Bones.

Regardless of what direction Netflix decides to go, the future looks truly bright considering that they have confirmed their desire to increase the number of original content, both animated and live action. We should see some fantastic shows appearing over the next few years.


Which cartoons do you think Netflix should reboot?


Latest from our Creators