Reboots are not new to television, but the recent influx of cartoon reboots is new. Younger audiences have long loved cartoons, but their nostalgic love for childhood cartoons doesn’t fade as those audiences age. Thus, the reboot of cartoons from the late 90s and early 2000s has a vast audience of former watchers and watchers of the new generation. Cartoons erase the boundary between adult and children’s shows, especially when it comes to jokes. The comedy in these shows are mainly for children but there seem to always be a few hidden jokes that are meant for the parents.
This is what makes cartoons great and why they are being rebooted so frequently. So why should Dexter’s Laboratory be next? What makes the Genndy Tartakovsky series so special? Well, fans of the show believe that Dexter’s Laboratory was canceled too soon. Not only would the reboot fill the void that the limited story of the show left, but it would also bring a beloved show to a brand-new audience generation.
What is Dexter’s Laboratory?
The classic Cartoon Network series Dexter’s Laboratory centers (shockingly) on a boy genius named Dexter and his hidden laboratory. Throughout the show, Dexter is making crazy inventions but often becomes overexcited and careless. That is because Dexter is still a kid. While he is insanely smart and impressive, he is still a child who can get a little careless and distracted, no matter how cold and distant his genius may be. That’s what humanizes Dexter in a way and makes him relatable to the kids watching the show.
Dexter also has normal kid problems at home. While his parents don’t exactly know or care what he is doing, his sister Dee Dee is overly interested in what Dexter is doing. Dee Dee delights in playing in Dexter’s lab and sometimes wreaking havoc with the inventions he is creating. Dee Dee isn’t exactly the easiest sibling to appease, but who is?
Dexter is even relatable at school. Dexter has a supersmart arch nemesis, Mandark, who is always battling Dexter when it comes to inventions. In fact, Mandark makes inventions whose specific job is to beat Dexter’s inventions. Why is Mandark doing this you may ask? Well, he has a crush on Dexter’s sister Dee Dee. The relational dynamics with Dexter’s school life and his sister, ‘bully,’ and family is totally authentic to many kids. Dexter’s antics are hilarious to audiences but also tell the story of a genius of a child just trying to manage everyday life.
Why Are So Many Cartoons Getting Rebooted Now?
As previously stated, reboots are nothing new in the film and TV industry. However, the rebooting of cartoons may be a bit more of a novel idea. Cartoons like Scooby-Doo have been booted and rebooted so many times they have developed a franchise, but many cartoon series do not get that same treatment. However, Disney has recently rebooted their beloved cartoon series The Proud Family as The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder for new generations on their Disney+ streaming service. The reboot is fairly new but thus far has done quite well among fans new and old.
People who grew up watching The Proud Family can now give a modernized version of the show to a new generation and still enjoy it themselves. Many people who grew up watching cartoons of the late 90s are beginning to have children themselves and thus being able to give their kids the gift of shows they love is amazing. This is similar to the Star Wars’ success with different generations. Having new versions of classic, beloved shows is beneficial for audiences both old and new.
Why Should Dexter’s Laboratory Be Next?
Why not is the better question? It seems that this is the age of reboots, especially those of the cartoon variety, and Dexter’s Laboratory fits the bill. These shows have already been successful once, so why not give them a second shot? Especially for Dexter’s Laboratory, which has a die-hard fanbase years after the show’s premature cancellation thanks to its unique brilliance. Thus, a base audience for the show has already been established. In the film and television industry, anything with a pre-established audience is considered a guarantee to make money, which is why reboots and remakes are so popular.
Dexter’s Laboratory is a hilarious show that combines math and science with the normal cartoon fun and jokes. It features an iconic protagonist who is truly unlike any other cartoon (or even live-action) protagonist on television. Utilizing science, family dynamics, absurdity, and the awkwardness of school, the show was truly ahead of its time, which may have contributed to its untimely demise, but is also what makes it perfect for the modern cartoon reboot.