To Mend and Defend: The Best Episodes of ReBoot
While we take it for granted today, it’s hard to believe how far computer-generating (CG) animation has come in 25 years. We have made major leaps from the rather basic use of rudimentary shapes and flat textures of early CG to the organic facial capture and stunning imagery of modern CG. At the forefront of its acceptance into mainstream culture in the early to mid-90s was a television show from Canada known as ReBoot.
A year before Toy Story landed in theatres, ReBoot hit the airways in North America. Playing off the fact that it’s the first-ever CG TV show, ReBoot is set inside a computer known as Mainframe. While the setting may look innocent on the surface, Mainframe’s denizens — mainly the sprites of Bob, Dot, and Enzo — deals with a host of problems caused by the virus siblings of Megabyte and Hexadecimal, and the random Game Cubes which come from the enigmatic user.
While you may only know of the show thanks to the recent Netflix reboot (no pun intended) and its corresponding backlash, the original show has aged like a fine wine thanks to its impeccable writing, fleshed out characters, and simplistic yet crisp animation. For those interested in checking it out for themselves or want to take a trip down memory lane, all 47 episodes across four seasons of ReBoot are available to watch for free on Shout Factory’s website.
The Tearing/Racing the Clock/Quick and the Fed
Season 1, Episodes 1-3
While the iconic intro does an incredible job of piecing together ReBoot’s premise, the first three episodes set the tone for the series as a whole. Not only do they provide the basic world building for the show, their focus on the three main characters (Bob, Dot, and Enzo) and strong introductions of the villains (Megabyte and Hexadecimal) make these episodes the perfect entry point.
In the span of three episodes, viewers start to get a sense of the characters —Bob as the goofy yet always reliable hero, Dot as the confident and capable businesswoman, Enzo as the naïve yet good intentioned kid, Megabyte as the cold and calculating villain, and Hexadecimal as the absolute wildcard. Also, side characters, such Hack, Slash, Phong, and Al, all get their time to shine.
Wizard, Warriors and a Word from Our Sponsor
Season 1, Episode 9
Although he makes a small cameo in the previous episode (“Enzo the Smart”), this episode serves as a proper introduction to arguably the funniest character in all of ReBoot — Mike the TV! From Bob’s desperate pleas at the start of the episode to Mike’s endless advertisements (Bucket O’ Nothing is comedy gold), Mike is constant source of comedy and a perfect foil for our semi-serious main cast.
While Mike is the star of the show, the Dungeons & Dragons-inspired game and the hilarious situations it puts Mike, Bob, Dot, and Enzo in, makes the 22-minute episode fly by.