If you’re like me and you like to reminisce about how fun childhood was then you can’t help but notice Hollywood’s interest in all things that scream 80s cartoons and toys and franchise potential…
From Transformers to G.I. Joe and and now…Jem and the Holograms.
Yep, a live action version of Jem and the Holograms is coming soon to a theater near you (well more like 2016) but anyway…
Some of the more jaded people of this world might ask…What’s the big deal with this cartoon.
Here’s some quick (I hope cool) facts:
1) Jem and the Holograms featured cartoon characters jiving in music videos. I’ll repeat…cartoon characters in music videos! Don’t forget that in the 80s MTV was just gaining ground featuring their iconic music videos. So considering that the concept and technology was pretty new around that time…It was pretty remarkable that they were able to feature music videos in every episode along with original/new songs.
2) In the 80s actors of the non-Caucasian persuasion were far and few between. Sure you had The Cosby show and Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop and the Oprah Winfrey Show but in the 80s Hollywood still had a ways to go in including more diversity in TV and Film. That’s why Jem was groundbreaking. Main characters of African American, Latino, and Asian backgrounds were featured. Plus this cartoon was the precursor to the Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt blended family phenomenon with Jem and Kimber (Caucasion characters) having African American and Asian adopted sisters (Shana & Aja).
3) Girl Power! Girls weren’t just the arm candy of the guys in this cartoon…they were front row center. Jem and the Holograms were in charge of their careers. Their friendships, family and love lives were pushed to the forefront but went hand in hand with their music careers. They didn’t just sing the girls played the instruments too.
So…these weren’t quick facts (sorry) but they were fun! Anyhoo…
Hollywood has just completed casting the iconic main characters:
1) Jem/Jerrica – to be played by Aubrey Peeples (of Nashville fame)
2) Kimber – to be played by Stefanie Scott
3) Shana – to be played by Aurora Perrineau (f the name sounds familiar that’s because Aurora is the daughter of actor Harold Perrineau known for his roles on Lost and Sons of Anarchy)
4) Aja – to be played by Hayley Kiyoko (a Disney/ABC Family alum)
A huge congrats to these actresses but I noticed…they are quite young. Which makes me wonder if the movie will focus on their teen years. An interesting concept because the cartoon took place when the main characters are clearly adults living on their own…
There’s been some rumbling amongst fans about various stuff (from casting, to stylized decisions that take away from the original concept, etc).
At the end of the day am I going to see how this live action version measures up to an 80s cartoon that still has legions of fans in the 21st century?