ReBoot is a Canadian CGI-animated action-adventure television series that originally aired from 1994 to 2001. It was produced by Vancouver-based production company, Mainframe Entertainment, and created by Gavin Blair, Ian Pearson, Phil Mitchell and John Grace, with the visuals designed by Brendan McCarthy after an initial attempt by Ian Gibson.
It is the first full-length, completely computer-animated TV series.
The setting is in the inner world of a computer system known by its inhabitants as Mainframe (named after the show's creator, Mainframe Entertainment). It was deliberately chosen due to technological constraints at the time, as the fictional computer world allowed for blocky looking models and mechanical animation. Mainframe is divided into six sectors (moving clockwise): Baudway, Kits, Floating Point Park, Beverly Hills, Wall Street, and Ghetty
Prime. The names of Mainframe's sectors are homages to famous neighbourhoods, mostly in New York City
or Los Angeles
. However, the Kits sector is named for Kitsilano
, a neighbourhood in Vancouver, British Columbia
, Mainframe Entertainment's
home city. Also, Ghetty Prime is a reference to Frank Herbert's Dune
, as Giedi Prime is the home world of House Harkonnen, the villain in the first book of the series. Mainframe is populated almost entirely by binomes, little creatures that represent either 1s or 0s
, as well as a handful of Sprites
who are primarily humanoid creatures of more complex design and are the main characters of the series.
The first season of ReBoot was highly episodic, with each installment being a self-contained episode. Most of the episodes established characters, locations, and story elements, such as the gigantic "Game Cubes". When "The User" loads a game, a Game Cube drops on a random location in Mainframe, sealing it off from the rest of the system
and turning it into a "gamescape". Bob frequently enters the games, "Reboots" to become a game character, and fights the User's character to save the sector. If the User wins a game, the sector the Cube fell in is destroyed, and the Sprites and binomes who were caught within are turned into energy-draining, worm-like parasites called Nulls.
The second season featured an extended story arc that began with the season's fifth episode, "Painted Windows". The arc revealed that Hexadecimal and Megabyte are siblings, and that Megabyte referred to his pet Null, Nibbles, as "father". It also introduced an external threat to Mainframe, "the Web". A creature from the Web entered Mainframe from Hexadecimal's looking glass (which was shattered by Mike), bonding with her. Mainframe's nulls covered her to form a monster known as "Nullzilla". The protectors of Mainframe defeated Nullzilla and neutralized Hexadecimal. The Web creature located Megabyte, took him over and forced him to merge with Hexadecimal, forming a destructive super-virus called Gigabyte. Gigabyte was eventually neutralized as well, but the Web creature escaped into the bowels of Mainframe, where it began stealing energy to stay alive. When the Web creature was cornered as Bob and the others investigated, it escaped Mainframe and opened a portal to the Web. The protectors of Mainframe had to team up with Megabyte and Hexadecimal to close the portal, but when they defeated the Web creatures that had entered the system, Megabyte betrayed the alliance, crushing Bob's keytool, Glitch, and sending him into the Web portal before closing it.
For the show's third season, there was a marked improvement in model and animation quality due to the advancement of Mainframe's software capabilities during the time between seasons. Subtle details, such as eyelashes and shadow, as well as generally more lifelike sprite characters, were among several visual improvements compared to previous ReBoot episodes. In addition, the show shifted their target audience to children aged 12 and older, resulting in a darker and more mature storyline. After severing ties with ABC following the second season, the show actually reached a greater number of households through syndication.
The season started with Enzo, freshly upgraded into a Guardian candidate by Bob during the Web incursion, defending Mainframe from Megabyte and Hexadecimal with Dot and AndrAIa at his side. When Enzo entered a game he could not win, he, AndrAIa and Frisket changed their icons to game sprite mode and rode the game out of Mainframe. The accelerated game time matured Enzo and AndrAIa far faster than the denizens of Mainframe. The following episodes follow adult versions of Enzo and AndrAIa as they travel from system to system in search of Mainframe. The older Enzo adopts the name "Matrix," (previously his and Dot's surname) carrying the aptly named weapon "Gun" and Bob's damaged Glitch. The time spent in games and away from Mainframe has hardened both Matrix and AndrAIa; Matrix has developed a pathological hatred of Megabyte, and has grown into an overly muscled, shoot-first-ask-question-later hero, while AndrAIa has turned into a calm and level-headed warrior.
Matrix and AndrAIa are also shown to have developed a romantic relationship by this time. As the season progresses, Matrix and AndrAIa are reunited with Bob and the crew of the Saucy Mare and returned to Mainframe. Upon return, the heroes fought a final battle for control of Mainframe. Hexadecimal and Megabyte were defeated in confrontations with Bob and Matrix, respectively, but not before Megabyte's handiwork caused the system to crash. All final problems in Mainframe were dealt with by The User restarting the system, setting everything right and restoring everything as it was again for our heroes, with one major exception: younger and older Enzo now exist simultaneously, as Matrix's icon was still set to "Game Sprite" mode. Because of this mishap, he wasn't recognized by the system when it rebooted, so it created a replacement of his younger self.
After the end of the third season, two TV movies were produced in 2001: Daemon Rising, which addressed the problem the Guardians were facing in season three, and My Two Bobs, which brings back Megabyte in a cliffhanger ending. The two movies, broken up into eight episodes in its U.S. run on Cartoon Network's Toonami, revealed much of Mainframe's history, including the formation of Lost Angles, Bob's arrival in the system, and the origin of Megabyte and Hexadecimal.
Initial plans for the fourth season included 12 episodes broken into three films, followed by a 13th musical-special episode, although the final five were never produced.
Following its acquisition by the Rainmaker Income Fund in 2006 Mainframe Entertainment
was renamed Rainmaker Animation. In 2007, Rainmaker then announced plans to create a trilogy of ReBoot
films with illustrator/animator Daniel Allen as the lead character designer. Rainmaker Animation executive vice president Paul Gertz stated, ReBoot
's legions of fans have been incredibly loyal and continue to keep the property alive on dozens of fan sites." In conjunction with the website Zeros 2 Heroes, Rainmaker announced an intention to allow fans greater access to the development of the movie plans and also in development of a ReBoot webcomic
. Fans were given the chance to submit their own art and designs, with the potential to end up as an artist on the project, and their feedback ensured which one of five ReBoot pitches won.
The winning pitch was ReBoot: Arrival. Rainmaker will monitor feedback for the comic but may not use it as the basis for their movie plans. Four ReBoot fans have been chosen to work as artists on the Arrival comic. According to the pitch at the Zeroes2Heroes website, Megabyte's Hunt has developed into a Net-wide war so pervasive even other Viruses are united against it. The Users have gone, spending their time in an unending MMORPG. A sentient System named Gnosis is created as a way to stop Megabyte, but goes rogue and begins enslaving Systems in its attempt to gain User-like powers. Two teams of heroes are assembled to stop Gnosis and bring back the Users, which will include new characters and Lens the Codemaster, who appeared for one episode in Season 2.
The official ReBoot website was updated with a countdown, which ended on May 30 2008, at 12:00am EST. At 12:00am PST, the site was updated to include information about the first webcomic to be created created by the Arrival team, and continuing the community input initiated during the "voting phase". The comic, now named Code of Honor, was viewable after signing up for an account, or using an existing Zeros 2 Heroes account.
The first Paradigms Lost issue (Paradigms Lost) opens with the aftermath of the Hunt - Mainframe is devastated and overrun with Zombinomes, the User is missing, and the entire population is being evacuated to the Super Computer. Worse still, the weakened Guardian Collective is facing viral attacks and uprisings across the entire Net. Turbo blames Bob for this, saying his views on viruses has become widespread and left them weakened. Enzo Matrix, meanwhile, is a star pupil in the Guardian Academy. The viral threat is ended when the Codemasters - first introduced in the episode High Code - pledge their help, offering a firmware named Gnosis. Gnosis is uploaded to every System on the Net, erasing all viruses and ending the crisis. The first issue ends with the Codemasters' Guildmaster activating a "Phase Two" for the implemented Gnosis.
A new countdown appeared on the official ReBoot website on August 18 2008 to launch the second installment of the comic. Updates to the comic will appear every Monday, with 2 pages each update.
On June 1, 2008, it was announced that there will be a trilogy of ReBoot films coming to theaters. Jon Cooksey has been signed to write the script for the first film. Currently, the films will follow a different story from the comic, but the overall plan is to continue the methodology in terms of engaging the fans. As of August 2008, Cooksey was dropped due to Rainmaker deciding to take a different direction with the story. At this time, it is unknown who will replace him.
The main characters included:
- Bob - Guardian #452, acts as the guardian of Mainframe.
- Dot Matrix - the COMMAND.COM of Mainframe, who also owns a local diner.
- Enzo Matrix - Dot's younger brother who idolized Bob as a hero, later grows up to become the renegade simply known as Matrix.
- Frisket - A feral dog that belongs to Enzo.
- Phong - Mainframe's system administrator, serves as a mentor and advisor to its inhabitants and works with Bob in defense of the system.
- AndrAIa - A game sprite and friend (and later girlfriend) of Enzo introduced in season two. The "AI" in her name refers to "Artificial Intelligence".
- Megabyte - A "command and conquer, and infectious" computer virus, and the series' main villain. He is the opposite of Hexadecimal, and is an "Order Virus". Once came from the virus known as Killabyte. Has an English accent.
- Hexadecimal - Megabyte's twin sister (came from the same viral strand: Killabyte), a "chaotic" computer virus, whose face is represented by a series of masks, each portraying a different emotion. She is the opposite of Megabyte, and is a "Chaos Virus". An English accent prevails here too, in the style of a particularly flirtatious (if not, at times, deranged) Honor Blackman.
- Mouse - A freelance Hacker who originally was mentioned briefly, then worked for Megabyte in a one-shot early in the season, but then later switched sides and joined Dot and Enzo to defend Mainframe when Bob was trapped in "The Web". Speaks with a southern U.S. accent, and uses the word 'sugah' a lot as a term of endearment.
- Hack & Slash - The 2 most commonly seen Henchmen in Megabyte's employ. Neither of them are very good at problem solving. During the 3rd season they switch sides and join the "command.com" of mainframe.
- Bob (seasons one, two, and four) — Michael Benyaer
- Bob (season three and four), Glitch-Bob — Ian James Corlett
- Dot Matrix, Princess Bula — Kathleen Barr
- Enzo Matrix (young) — Jesse Moss (season one), Matthew Sinclair (seasons one and two), Christopher Gray (season three), Giacomo Baessato (season four)
- Matrix (adult Enzo Matrix) — Paul Dobson
- Megabyte — Tony Jay
- Hexadecimal — Shirley Millner
- AndrAIa (young) — Andrea Libman
- AndrAIa (adult) — Sharon Alexander
- Phong, Mike the TV, Cecil, Al — Michael Donovan
- Mouse, Rocky the Raccoon — Louise Vallance
- Ray Tracer — Donal Gibson
- Captain Capacitor, Old Man Pearson — Long John Baldry
- Slash, Turbo, Herr Doktor, Cyrus, Al's Waiter (front counter) — Gary Chalk
- Hack (seasons 1 to 2) — Phil Hayes
- Hack (seasons 2 to 4), Specky — Scott McNeil
- Daemon — Colombe Demers
- Daecon — Richard Newman
- Welman Matrix — Dale Wilson
- Gigabyte - Blu Mankuma
was first broadcast on Saturday mornings in Canada
and in the United States
. It was cancelled on ABC when the Walt Disney Company
purchased the network. Episodes continued to air in Canada. Episodes from the second season could still be seen in the U.S. when Claster Television
distributed them for a short period of time during the 1996-97 season. It would be a year before new episodes aired on YTV due to Mainframe's involvement in Transformers: Beast Wars (known as Beasties in Canada)
and Shadow Raiders
, and the third season aired only on YTV at the time. In March 1999, years after Canadian audiences saw the third season, U.S. audiences saw the episodes on Cartoon Network
. Cartoon Network aired season 3, and then looped to seasons 1 and 2.
Production on other series delayed the fourth season of ReBoot,, the eight episodes of which eventually were released in the U.S. as two 90-minute direct-to-DVD features that ended on a cliffhanger season finale. Series creators Blair and Pearson resigned from Mainframe Entertainment in 2004 to form their own independent studio, The Shop.
The show also aired in the United Kingdom in the mid-1990s, on the ITV strand CITV. It was broadcast on CITV's available timeslot of 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., every Thursday. In 1997, CITV aired the first 6 episodes of series 3. CITV stated that they had only bought the first 10 (out of 16) episodes of the show, and would buy the rest if the high ratings continued. On February 12 1998, CITV aired the show again, from the episode "Trust No-one". When "To Mend and Defend" should have aired, the episode "Firewall" aired in its place instead. When "The Edge of Beyond" (Episode 10) should have been aired, no ReBoot episode was aired. Apparently, they showed an earlier episode one week later, that had previously been unaired (Painted Windows).
Possible reason for the Abrupt end was the Increasingly dark and Violent themes in Series 3, deemed by the broadcasters as unsuitable for the younger viewers.
A spinoff called Binomes was planned towards the end of 2004, featuring a family of Binomes who lived on a "chip farm". The series would have been composed of 52 11-minute episodes and aimed at a pre-school audience, but nothing of this project came to pass after the initial announcement.
VHS and DVD release
In the U.S., four VHS tapes were released in 1995 with individual episodes from the first season through Polygram Video. Each release contained a single episode: "The Medusa Bug", "Wizards, Warriors, and a Word from Our Sponsor", "The Great Brain Robbery" and "Talent Night". The UK received two VHS releases, but with two episodes each: Volume 1 contained "The Tearing" and "Racing the Clock", while Volume two had "The Quick and the Fed" and "Medusa Bug". In Australia there were four VHS releases with each containing two episodes, comprising the first eight episodes of season one. However, all the VHS tapes have long gone out of print.
The second season was never released, even though Polygram retained the rights to publish the episodes on home video with their deal for the first season. Despite this, in 2000 Mainframe struck a deal with A.D. Vision to release the third season on DVD Spanning four volumes, all sixteen episodes were published, separated by each story arc of four episodes: "To Mend and Defend", "The Net", "The Web", and "The Viral Wars". ADV planned to re-release these DVDs at a lower price in 2005, but changed their plans as they decided to cancel several of their titles at the time. Some time afterward, the company lost the publishing rights. Much like the first season VHS tapes, the third season ReBoot DVDs are now out of print and considered rare.
Anchor Bay Entertainment released the fourth season in its original form as two films (Daemon Rising and My Two Bobs) on one DVD entitled "ReBoot v4.0" which went out of print in early 2007. It was improperly mastered as the 25 fps source material was treated as 24 fps film speed material, meaning flags were encoded into the MPEG stream, which resulted in the video playing back 4.096% slower and all the voices sounding deeper. Anchor Bay have corrected and remastered the fourth season disc, but it is only available by contacting them for a replacement. The Fourth season has also been released in Australia in its original PAL video format, which is still in print. Germany has DVD (PAL format) releases of all of season two. Russia has DVD (PAL format) releases for the first three seasons (though the first few season three episodes are counted as season two). ReBoot's original format was PAL (origin Canada).
Universal still owns the rights to publish the first and second seasons on home video and will maintain those rights until 2009. As of August 2008, Universal has not released the first and second seasons on DVD.
Season four is no longer available on DVD from Mainframe's web site due to their acquisition by Rainmaker Entertainment.
"Fast Forward: The Making of ReBoot" is a 23-minute episode. The title sequence on the sequence says "Date: February 27, 1995", putting its completion date between the first two seasons.
The show begins in Megabyte's lair, where Megabyte has hacked into the principal office and has created a portal into a parallel universe (our universe), taking him into the offices of Mainframe Entertainment. There the producer, writers and animators discuss how the show came about, how it is scripted, voiced, and animated, and what the staff does in its spare time.
An animation test from 1990 shows an early Bob flying on a surfboard, and an early version of Megabyte, as well as a 1992 test piece from the "Wizards, Warriors and a Word from our Sponsor" episode. It also shows the band Def Leppard's CGI "Let's Get Rocked" music video, which the ReBoot team created.
The special was announced and due to be aired on CITV (during the original broadcast of season one in the UK, but was subsequently pulled from the running order without explanation.
has been the recipient of several awards. The show received Gemini Awards
for Best Animated Program Series for three straight years between 1995 and 1997, as well as a 1996 Outstanding Technical Achievement Award. Other honors include the 1995 Award of Excellence and Best Animated Program from the Alliance for Children and Television and an Aurora Award
Other Gemini Award nominations include "Best Children's or Youth Program or Series" in 1998, and "Best Sound - Comedy, Variety, or Performing Arts Program or Series" for My Two Bobs and "Best Sound - Dramatic Program" for Daemon Rising, both in 2002.
References to computer technology
Several major characters are named after computer terms:
- The character Phong's name can be seen as an allusion to the game Pong—he has a rule that any who seek his advice must first play him in a game of physical Pong—and to phong shading, an interpolation method used in three-dimensional graphics rendering. Phong shading was used to render this character, as opposed to the simpler Gouraud shading used on other characters.
- The villain Megabyte is named after the megabyte unit of data measure. Near the end of the second season Hex and Megabyte are fused, creating the new virus Gigabyte. In Daemon Rising, Gigabyte is revealed to have evolved from a virus named Killabyte (a play on the unit Kilobyte). The power of the virus reflects the magnitude of the unit used as its name. 1,024 kilobytes make 1 megabyte, and 1,024 megabytes make one gigabyte.
- Hexadecimal, the benign virus, is named for the hexadecimal numerical system.
- Dot Matrix's name is a reference to dot-matrix printers.
- An unseen character known as Al (who only yells "what?" when asked anything) may be a reference to A.I. programming. The name Al and the term A.I. are nearly indistinguishable in sans serif typefaces and A.I.s generally take a long time to develop even rudimentary intelligence.
- Citizens of Mainframe who were in a game won by the User become Nulls, and the area on which a game touched down is nullified. In computer science a null is a pointer reference to essentially nothing, giving rise to the idea that the characters are deleted.
- Dot and Bob are a reference to the .bob files the characters were saved as.
- A Frisket is a means of moving an image in a program (like Paint) that protects it from the background.
- The null, Nibbles, is named after a simple yet popular worm-like game. A nybble is also a unit of data equal to half a byte.
For references to computer terminology in the episodes, see List of ReBoot episodes.
Pop culture references
is full of computer and popular culture in-jokes
- The series has numerous references to a sector of Mainframe named "Kits" this is most likely a reference to the real neighborhood of Kitsilano in Vancouver.
- Later episodes featured direct parodies of films (the James Bond oeuvre; Crossroads (1986 film); Star Wars; Toy Story; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Jurassic Park, Evil Dead) and TV classics such as Thunderbirds, Star Trek and The Prisoner. Other binomes to have had quick cameos included Kiss, Sailor Moon, Indiana Jones, and an Elvis Impersonator.
- "My Two Bobs" features a comical opening, which is similar to the Brady Bunch.
- Although the "User" opponents featured in early episodes were usually invisible or designed with a minimalist appearance, increased computer rendering power allowed the third and fourth season game cubes to feature users who were parodies of known game characters and actors. These included:
- A Sonic the Hedgehog/Crash Bandicoot hybrid "Rocky Raccoon", a Beatles reference, no less.
- Ash Williams, in the "Malicious Corpses" game, a parody of the Evil Dead film series, which is furthered by constantly muttering "Groovy" and, when the User is transformed into a zombie, hollering out, "I'm dead before dawn! I'm dead before dawn!" (parodying the demons' cries of "Dead by dawn!" in Evil Dead II, and to From Dusk Til Dawn 2, in which Campbell dies in the first scene).
- Mike Myers in an Austin Powers-style game.
- Brendan Fraser in a game reminiscent of The Mummy. (This same game references the user as 'Raiding the Tomb' and Dot hopes for a pair of .45's when she reboots, both references to the game and later movie Tomb Raider.)
- An Asian game sprite resembling Bruce Lee appears in a sports game, wearing the yellow and black jump suit from Game of Death. This is a nod to Marshall Law, a character in the Tekken fighting game Franchise.
- A trio of golfers made of a shark, tiger and sombrero, referring to the real life golfers Greg "The Great White Shark" Norman, Lee "The Merry Mex" Travino and Tiger Woods.
- Enzo rebooting into Scorpion of Mortal Kombat fame.
- A Pokémon/Digimon/Dragonball Z parody in which Matrix became a gym leader resembling a cross between Ash Ketchum and Goku, Frisket rebooted into a Pikachu lookalike, and Bob was trapped in a little dodecahedron (itself a Star Trek reference) that was supposed to be a Poké Ball of sorts. The User himself looks like Super Saiyan Gohan.
- A Game Cube containing characters from Wacky Races.
- Other Game Cubes included parodies of a variety of action figures from G.I. Joe to Barbie.
- One of the brands advertised on a VidWindow on Baudway behind Dot's Diner is "Calvin Spline", a reference to Calvin Klein.
- Megabyte orders the death of a binome in a redshirt and then says "Resistance is futile" a Borg quote.
- In the episode where Bob fights the fused virus Gigabyte he changes into solid state mode which is a reference to solid state memory as well as an allusion to Solid Snake from the Metal Gear franchise.
- In one episode, you can view a screen that says "Media Offline" which is an error message given to users of the Video editing software AVID when it can not find your file (Usually due to being disconnected from the server)
- The gateway Megabyte builds in the episode "When Games Collide" and the gateway that Welman Matrix builds in the episode "Daemon Rising", resembles a Stargate.
- In episode one of season one, Bob's line "Did I make it?" is intoned and contextualised in such a way as to reference the film Tron, where Jeff Bridges' character asks "Did we make it?" in the same manner.
- In episode three of season one, Bob commands Glitch to complete a BS&P to maneuver through a stained-glass window rather than shattering it, a technique BS&P felt children would emulate (also could refer to a Binary Space Partitioning (BSP) symptom) This was the first of many references to Mainframe's frustration with censorship of the series by the censors of partner network ABC.
- In episode six of season one, titled "The Tiff", Dot’s business associate tells Dot the download from the first national data-bank is late. This is a reference to the First National Bank.
- In the same episode, Bob receives a hologram which is introduced by Mike the TV. The video message begins with Mike saying, “When you care enough to project the very best, send Holomark”. This is a reference to the company slogan of Hallmark Cards: "when you care enough to send the very best, use Hallmark."
- In episode seven of season one, Dot says of the data pirates, "They task me and I shall have them!", a reference to one of Khan's lines from The Wrath of Khan.
- In episode eleven of season one, titled "Talent Night", Dot and a binome named Emma See are giving auditions for the birthday party show. Emma is a program censor who keeps rejecting nearly every act for trivial reasons, to preserve morality or prevent depictions of violence. Her name is derived from M.C, which is Mary Condili, reboot's BS&P person. She heartily approves, however, of a group of male binome singers and dancers called the "Smalltown Binomes", who are an obvious parody of the Village People and sing a song titled "BSnP" in the style of YMCA. In addition, "BS&P" happens to be the initials of Broadcast Standards and Practices, ABC's censors.
- In this same episode, when Megabyte and Bob guitar duel, the duel itself being a reference to the film Crossroads (1986 film). Megabyte appears on stage from a coffin, parodying Alice Cooper, while hack and slash play on a spinning drum set. Megabyte turns his volume to eleven, a reference to Spinal Tap and/or Marshall amplifiers. Bob also refers to the guitar form of Glitch as "B.F.G.", (big fucking guitar) a reference to the BFG9000 (big fucking gun) ultimate weapon of the Doom game series.
- Sal and Harv, the two worker characters from the 1985 Dire Straits music video "Money For Nothing", make a cameo appearance, which is fitting since they were designed and animated by the creators of ReBoot. Primitive by today's standards, the "workers" could be considered celebrities of the computer-generated character set.
- "Talent Night" also featured a comedian named Johnny O'Binome, whose binary joke translates as "Take my wife, please", a cyclopean robot that served as the YTV logo (although in airings outside of Canada, the YTV logo, but not the robot, is omitted), and Captain Quirk, an obvious Captain Kirk / William Shatner impersonation who did the first verse of "Rocket Man" in the style Shatner himself used at the 1980 Science fiction awards ending with Quirk bowing, causing his toupee to fall off, and disappearing in the style of a Star Trek transporter. When Megabyte makes his appearance, he turns the amps on his guitar up to 11. When he leaves, Mike the TV announces that "Megabyte has left the building!".
- In episode twelve of season one, titled "Identity Crisis: Part 1", after they dive into the sewer, Bob says 'kowabunga' clearly a reference to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- In episode thirteen of season one, titled "Identity Crisis: Part 2", Feathers McGraw, the penguin from "Wallace and Gromit", makes an appearance. He also appears in several later episodes, usually walking along in the background. In the same scene, Phong is hiding inside a box that is similar to the one Gromit used to spy on Feathers in "The Wrong Trousers".
- In episode four of season two, titled "Bad Bob" (itself a parody of Mad Max), a binome, upon seeing Mainframe's core corrupted, explains "Maniacs! They blew it up!" - a reference to Planet of the Apes.
- In episode six of season two, titled "AndrAIa", Bob yells at a binome after a game, claiming all he said was "Make it so," to which the binome responds "And 'engage', I said 'engage' more times than 'make it so'". This references Star Trek: The Next Generation. A few seconds after that, Cecil is heard saying "Tea Earl Grey? What is tea Earl Grey, hot?", a reference to Captain Picard's order to the replicator
- In episode seven of season two, titled "Nullzilla", Bob, Dot, Enzo, Frisket, and Mike the TV parody series such as Voltron ,Super Sentai and Power Rangers as they don alike suits and pilot insect-like giant robots to fight the giant monster. "Nullzilla" also pokes fun at the way these shows feature machines which don't really have a plausible way to fit together. Enzo's grasshopper costume & the overblown martial arts moves he performs parody the Japanese Superhero Kamen Rider. A brief scene shows the monster rampaging through the city and binomes fleeing in a style similar to the first Godzilla movie, with their "shadows" giving away the obvious "painted backdrop." Finally, the scene in Phong's study is a nod to Thunderbirds, with Phong filling in for Jeff Tracy.
- In episode nine of season two, titled "Trust No One", a pair of binomes introduce themselves as C.G.I. special Agents Fax Modem and Data Nully. They are obvious direct satires of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the Fox series X-Files. Data Nully is in fact voiced by Gillian Anderson, who plays Dana Scully in the X-Files. The episode title was also one of the X-Files slogans.
- In episode ten of season two, titled "World Web Wars", Mainframers take refuge in a subway station called "Picadilly Circuits", an obvious reference to London's Piccadilly Circus. The Binomes taking refuge in the subway station itself is a reference to Londoners and Parisians taking refuge in their respective subway systems during World Wars I and II.
- Episode one of season three, titled "To Mend and Defend", featured a parody of the Michael Jackson music video "Thriller", where Enzo reboots into a zombie that wore the same clothes as Michael Jackson in the "Thriller" video. Also, he performed some of Michael Jackson's signature dance moves (such as the moonwalk) to Michael Jackson-esque music to get the User to waste ammunition on him.
- A tombstone inside the "Malicious Corpses" Game cube read "Here lies the Mainframe Joint Venture, an unholy alliance," another reference to ABC's decision to stop broadcasting the series on its network (and also to Alliance Communications, part owner of Mainframe Entertainment).
- A reference is made to the Adobe program Photoshop and an advertising catchphrase "Kodak moments", when Mouse says, "Uhh, sorry to break up this Photoshop moment..."
- In episode two of season three, a speech made by Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact is parodied by a binome wearing a Federation maroon outfit and four golden rank pips. Said binome was immediately destroyed by Megabyte's forces.
- In episode five of season three, one of the binomes asks Matrix and AndrAIa upon arrival if they are a good User or a bad User, a reference to The Wizard of Oz.
- In episode six of season three, in the cave right after AndrAIa meets up with the wisps follows them to try and help. As the camera pans of Matrix looking at awards, there is a silver coin with a gold coin inside of it, on it is a binome with a crown. This is a reference to the new Canadian two dollar coin "toonie", and the binome is the side of the coin with the queen. Also in this pan, we see a silver statue that is the original form of Megatron from Beast Wars, also animated by Mainframe.
- In episode seven of season three, there are numerous references to the British television show The Prisoner, such as the hand gesture and accompanying phrase "Be seeing you". Also, the line "Looking out for number one" is said numerous times, possibly referencing the song "Looking out for Number One" by Honeymoon Suite.
- In episode eight of season three, Matrix targets all of the binomes in a Star Wars-style cantina and orders his gun to "Death Blossom Mode' where it begis to spin along all three axis, a reference to the final attack in 'The Last Starfighter'.
- In episode eleven of season three, the episode name: "Web Riders on The Storm" is referencing The Doors song, "Riders on The Storm". Also, at the end of the episode, Bob removes his Web mask in a similar fashion to Predator (alien).
- In episode fifteen of season three, titled "System Crash", Bob's ordeal in the Core Control Room is an allusion to Captain Spock's own ordeal to get the Starship Enterprise away from an impending explosion of the Genesis Device. When Bob returns from the Core Control Room, he inquires, "System...out of danger?" with the same intonation as Spock's inquiry to Captain Kirk, "Ship...out of danger?" Also while in the control room, he responds to one of Megabyte's insults with "I don't believe in the no-win scenario," which is a Captain Kirk quote.
- In episode sixteen of season three, one of Megabyte's ex-sprites exclaims, "Great Norton's Ghost!" a reference to a piece of software of the same name used for imaging computers, as well as alluding to Emperor Norton. The phrase "Great Caesar's Ghost!" was popularly used by Superman supporting character Perry White.
The show's early jokes at the expense of BSP came from frustration encountered by the show's makers by an abundance of script and editing changes that were imposed upon Mainframe before episodes were allowed to air. These changes were all aimed at making the show appropriate for kids, and to prevent even the slightest appearance of inappropriate content, imitatable violence or sexuality.
For instance, the character Dot was considered too sexualized by exposing too much cleavage, so the animators were forced to make her breasts less curvy and form them into a lumpy "monobreast", as lightly referred to by the staff. However, starting with season three, the "monobreasts" of all adult female characters were replaced with more anatomically correct versions. In another case, the word "hockey" was banned from all episodes as in some countries it was supposedly used as a vulgar slang term. In the episode "Talent Night", one scene of Dot giving a kiss to her brother Enzo was cut due to BSP's fear of promoting incest, an insinuation which Pearson described as "one of the sickest things I've heard.
ReBoot The Ride
There have been two IMAX
Ridefilms based on ReBoot
. The first, "ReBoot — The Ride," opened at Sega City@Playdium (now simply called Playdium
) in Mississauga, Ontario
on October 17
. Viewers sit in an 18-passenger vehicle mounted on an orthogonal
motion base. The film is projected at forty-eight frames per second onto a fourteen foot 180° spherically curved screen. The ride played at the Circus Circus
in the Adventure Dome in Las Vegas
and then later was moved down the strip
to The Luxor
, where it ran until 2007.
The second, was named "ReBoot — The Ride V. 2: Journey Into Chaos". This was subsequently opened at Playdium in Burnaby, British Columbia and ran for a brief time.
- In episode 178 of the sitcom Roseanne, a trick-or-treater was costumed as Bob.
- Electronic Arts made a game for the PlayStation of ReBoot, which includes actual original animation from Mainframe Entertainment. The game had a limited print in 1998 and is quite rare.
- United States president Bill Clinton was reportedly a fan of the series.
- MGA released a handheld electronic game based on this show.
- The binome, old man Pearson, may be a reference to ReBoot originator Ian Pearson.
- In the 2001 film AntiTRUST, 5" figures of Bob, Megabyte, Hack, Slash and a 3" Phong can be seen on the main character's desk.
- In the movie Scary Godmother, in the opening sequence, three trick-or-treaters are seen dressed as Enzo, Dot, and Mike the TV.
Throughout the ReBoot series, the creators made use of a variety of music. Here is a list of the episodes and the details of the music contained therein:
- "Talent Night" - A binome named "Captain Quirk" sings "Rocket Man" by Elton John in the Style of Willam Shatner a parody of the "Transformed Man" Album.
- "Talent Night" - Dot Matrix sings "Alphanumeric" to Enzo. The English and French version of this appear as Tracks 2 & 5 on a CD which came free with certain ReBoot Action Figures issued in 1996.
- "Talent Night" - MegaByte and Bob go head to head in a Guitar Face Off. Also appears as Track 3 the 1996 Action Figure CD.
- "Talent Night" - A version of "YMCA" called "BS&P" sung by the "Small Town Binomes" which is a parody of the Village People. Also appears as a French Translation on Track 7 of the 1996 Action Figure CD.
- "Bad Bob" - Whenever Bob is driving his car (with tires for a change) there is very catchy background music playing.
- "Firewall" - The introduction theme and video is a homage to the James Bond title sequences.
- "End Prog" - The mainframers perform a musical at the end of this episode and it is to the tune of the classical Gilbert and Sullivan's "Major-General's Song".
- Official ReBoot Fan website
- Mainframe Entertainment, Inc.
- Press release (January 11 1995). " Alliance Communications and BLT Productions Invite You to Witness the Future of Animation - Reboot - The World's First 100% Computer Generated Weekly Animation Series".
- Schengili-Roberts, Keith. "Reboot Combines Dazzling Effects, Engaging Tales". The Computer Paper. March 1995.
- Murphy, Kathleen. "Cyberscreens". Film Comment Magazine, p.38-43. July/August 1995.
- "The History of ReBoot", "Mainframe City Locations" (2001). The Official ReBoot Website Mainframe Entertainment.
- Miller, Dan R. (2001). "Gavin Blair interview". The Official ReBoot Website. Mainframe Entertainment.
- Full press release documents regarding the show's characters, background, and creators hosted at The Unofficial ReBoot Home Page.
- Interview with Gavin Blair, creator of ReBoot