ReBoot is the popular Canadian television show. Not Reboot. It was the first computer animated show, and in many ways is still ground breaking in the field of computer animation
ReBoot is the brain child of Gavin Blair and Ian Pearson. The two first met while working on Dire Straits' Money For Nothing music video. It was the first music video to be computer generated. During the production of the video, their computers crashed many times, and the idea for ReBoot was born. In 1989 the two began working at a new company called The Mill in London. There they met the third member of the future ReBoot team, John Grace, and brought in co-worker and college friend Phil Mitchell. In 1992 while working in the United States, Pearson pitched the idea of ReBoot to several broadcasting companies and finally struck a deal with ABC (and later YTV) and decided the show would be produced in Vancouver, Canada.
With new producer Christopher Brough and the team also picked up Kelly Daniels, the new company, Mainframe Entertainment, inc., began working out of small hotel rooms, which they quickly outgrew. After moving several times, when they were ready to produce the first episode, the company had 30 employees.
First aired in September of 1994, ReBoot followed the life of a Guardian named Bob who was sent to the computer/town of Mainframe from the Supercomputer, a myserterious system that is the gateway to "the Net" and the more dangerous "Web." As a Guardian, Bob's job is "To Mend and Defend" his new home, which is always under the threat of the user and from virus attacks.
First Season (13 Episodes)
For the entirety of the First Season, there is no advancing plot from episode to episode besides the growing love interests between Dot Matrix and Bob (discussed later), and the fact that Megabyte, a powerful Virus and the main nemesis of Mainframe, wants to gain access to the Supercomputer.
Second Season (10 Episodes)
At the end of the second season (presumably to try to halt the upcoming hiatus of the show by ABC), the show actually gains some plot. After a mysterious creature opens a portal to the Net, Bob enlists the aide of Megabyte to seal the portal before 'The Web' invades and destroys Mainframe. But much to the expectedness of a show desperate to continue, Megabyte pushes Bob into the portal, in hopes that he can use the portal to travel to the Supercomputer. But Bob seals the portal from the inside, sealing himself in the Net, and a hopeless Mainframe behind.
Third Season (16 Episodes)
With no Guardian to protect Mainframe, Megabyte rallies his forces and lays constant siege upon the Principal Office, where all of Mainframe's code and Energy is stored (basically, take over the Principal Office, control Mainframe, gain access to the Supercomputer). Without Bob, a young Enzo Matrix becomes the city's Guardian, but the people of Mainframe have no faith in him, despite his great ability (given to him by Bob). Early into the season, Megabyte and Hexadecimal are trapped behind a Firewall. In the next episode, however, a game cube descends onto Mainframe and it's a no win situation for Enzo, AndrAIa, and Enzo's dog, Frisket. To avoid deletion, they transform themselves into game sprites and are now helplessly lost in games being played over the Net. After the 5th episode of the third season, Enzo and AndrAla are no longer children. Because of the game hopping, their 'code sped up' and they aged rapidly. They travel from system to system, and Guardian Matrix, AndrAIa, and Frisket save beleaguered systems, one day hoping to find that they are finally back in Mainframe, all while searching desperately for Bob. In their system hops, they eventually run into a Port System (internet server) where they can find a ship to take them to the Web to search for Bob. While there, Matrix learns that all the other Guardians, everywhere, have been infected by the supervirus Daemon (later). Eventually Matrix and troupe make it to the Web and eventually find Bob, who guised himself as a Web Surfer to survive. After finding Bob, the group travels to Mainframe, which has been taken over by Megabyte. With the arrival of Matrix, AndrAIa, GlytchBob (later), Frisket, and the pirate crew that helped find Bob, the system of Mainframe begins to crash. I won't reveal anything after this, but there's a musical finale at the end of the last episode that's worth buying the DVDs for.
Bob - Voiced by Michael Benyaer. Bob is Mainframe's original Guardian and was loved by all. He is willing to help anyone in trouble be it binome or Virus, because he is programmed to "Mend and Defend." Because he is from the Supercomputer, he is smarter and faster than everyone around him, and often his humor goes over the heads of everyone, even those that are watching the show. He loves to goof off when it's possible, and sometimes even when goofing off shouldn't be done, but he is very dependable and trust worthy. He and Mouse once had some sort of relationship, but it is unknown what kind. Throughout the show it is hinted that Bob and Dot are in love, but that love is never fully developed during the shows that aired on T.V. Glytch Bob is a more powerful Bob due to the fusion between him and Glytch (voiced by Ian James Corlett).
Dot Matrix - Voiced by Kathleen Bar. Dot is the older sister of Enzo and is, for all purposes, the matriarch of Mainframe. She is organized, tidy, analytical, and at times stubborn. Her entrepeneurial skills are rival to the best, as she manages or is partnered with every single business in Mainframe. Her own personal work is Dot's Diner, the most popular place to eat in all of Mainframe. She is typically the brains behind anything organized that happens in the show. She has a PDA and is constantly referring to it, which causes her to have an identity crisis when she loses it.
Enzo Matrix - Season 1 voiced by Jesse Moss. Season 2 by Matthew Sinclair. Season 3 by Christopher Grey. And in the movies by Giacomo Baessato. Enzo is a kid. He is hyper, noisey, has no attention span, and doesn't think about the consequences of his actions. He is infatuated with Bob, and is constantly imitating him. Enzo is almost never seen without at least any one of the following: Bob, Frisket, or AndrAIa. He has good intentions, most of the time, but he is always causing problems because of his lack of experience and concentration. When Bob disappears into the Web, however, Enzo is forced to 'grow up' and take on all of Bob's responsibilities as Guardian, a rather daunting task for anyone.
Matrix - voiced by Paul Dobson. Little Enzo all grown up while jumping from system to system with no guiding presence. Matrix is one tough cookie. He is obsessed about being able to beat his opponents, and will do anything to do so. He has a cold exterior but he is always inclined to help out. He is a rough, tough, and merciless vigilante, but only wishes to find his home, and the young boy he once was.
Phong - voiced by Michael Donovan. Phong is the oldest and wisest sprite in Mainframe and works as the Executive Secretary of the Command.com code (he actually is the command.com). He is very wise and always willing to give advice, but only if you can beat him in pong, his favourite game. Phong's character is Chinese (although there are no races inside your computer) and he acts and speaks (with a heavy accent) like a Confucius Zen Master, which often confuses people.
AndrAIa - child AndrAIa voiced by Andrea Libman, grown up AndrAIa voiced by Sharon Alexandera. AndrAIa is an Artificial Intelligence that came from within a game cube, thus making her a game sprite as well. Because of this, she develops abilities that normal sprites cannot. She is in love with Enzo, but would never admit it to him. While she is a child, she is extremely open about her opinions and acts very mature for her age.
Captain Capacitor aka the Crimson Binome - voiced by Long John Baldry. The captain of a ferocious gang of pirates, they once tried to pillage the city of Mainframe, but then decided not to when Dot, using the best of her abilities, convinced Capacitor that trade is more profitable than plunder. The rather humorous Captain later helps Matrix travel through the web.
Megabyte - voiced by Tony Jay. Megabyte is just like an evil mastermind from any James Bond movie. He is a gentleman, with much politeness, up until the point where you get in his way and he has to kill you. He is physically stronger than any other sprite, with the exception of maybe Frisket. He is a computer virus, which means he is programmed to destroy Mainframe. Many a time has he assaulted the Principal Office only to be thwarted by Bob.
Hexadecimal - voiced by Shirley Milliner. Hexadecimal is the viral sister of Megabyte. She wields powers that are unimaginable to most. She lives off chaos, disorder, and randomness. She uses mime-like faces to express her emotions, which are just as chaotic and unpredictable as her personality.
Frisket - is a dog, so he has no voice. Frisket is a dog-sprite that Enzo adopted. Frisket is just as loyal as he is physically strong (able to stop entire tanks with a single bite) and is protective of those closest to him. Except Bob; Frisket gives Bob a hard time.
Hack and Slash - Hack (the red guy) voiced by Scott McNeil, Slash (the blue one) is voiced by Gary Chalk. Hack and Slash are the brainless muscle men employed by Megabyte. They cause a ruckus every now and then but are all but too easily outsmarted by Bob. Eventually they just go "Oh no!" (Hack) "It's Bob!" (Slash) and then run away.
Mouse - voiced by Louise Vallance. Mouse is a martial arts expert, mercenary, and excellent hacker. She was hired by Megabyte to hack Enzo's brain and use him to destroy Mainframe, but Bob informed her she was being back stabbed and would not make it back from her mission. She swore revenge against Megabyte and now helps defend Mainframe. She and Bob once had a relationship of some sort, but it is unclear what kind.
Glytch - a tool with a 'personality' used by Bob and Enzo. It can synthesize any material object instantly, and can pretty much do anything. But doesn't always work.
Mike the TV - is Bob's television. But with his own consciousness, a body, and no remote, he cannot be muted or turned off. As if that weren't bad enough, he's stuck on the 'commercial channel.'
Cecil - is the Maitre'd of Dot's Diner.
Random cool things
ReBoot takes place inside a computer, even cooler, the creators and writers were decent computer buffs, so there's a wealth of random computer hardware and software references. The Principal Office is nothing but the computer's hard drive and processor while the area outside of it, the city of Mainframe is the RAM of the system. This can be deduced by the fact that all games temporarily take up space within Mainframe, but never includes the Principal Office. Enzo's shirt says 01, but then he has a birthday, of sorts, and the number changes to 10. In binary 01 is the number one, and 10 is the number two. The binomes of Mainframe other than the main characters are almost always one of two basic shapes, a long vertical rectangle or a short round ball; 1's and 0's. In one episode Enzo sings "I'm a little source code short and stout, here is my input here is my out." Phong looks like an AI robot from the 1970's. Hexadecimal has a dog-like sprite named Scuzzy. And much much more...
** /\ **
* /**\ *
* /****\ *
* /******\ *
* /********\ *
* /**********\ *
The icon looks something like that (kudos to cbustapeck
for providing the ASCII art
). The icon is visually located on every binome, sprite, virus, and dog. The icons contain the unique programming code for each person, and may therefore be hacked and bar coded (as was done in one episode). The icons also play an important part when the characters are in games. Who ever is in the game double click
s their icon and says the word "REBOOT
!" They then change physical appearance to match that of a character in the game.
The End of ReBoot?
ReBoot was taken off the air in 1998 after the third season, leaving many questions unanswered, primarily about the virus infected Guardians. Well, that doesn't mean the show died. A plethora of toys hit the market, and are available to buy at many Suncoast stores. A Playstation game was apparently released. Posters, calendars, POGs, trading cards, ect. ect. There was also an IMAX movie (!?!?!) about the making of ReBoot. The third season has been released on DVD, but there is no word on when/if the other two seasons will be released.
Two ReBoot movies have been produced, referred to as 'Season Four.' These movies are called Daemon Rising and My Two Bobs. The movies aired on TV in the fall of 2001 (on YTV and Cartoon Network), and they continue the story where season 3 left off. Daemon rising is about the battle Mainframe has against the supervirus Daemon, who infected the Guardians. Two Bobs picks up after that, with the arrival of a second Bob in Mainframe and the return of an old enemy. Beyond these I cannot say anything, for I never saw them :-(
Kudos to cbustapeck for the ASCII.
And thanks to briglass for trying to help with the ASCII ;-)