Saturday, October 18, 2014

What Would Rainbow Brite Do?

The new Rainbow Brite cartoon is garnering mounds of attention. The Rainbow Brite Facebook page received almost 30,000 likes, and the trailer received 70,000 views within the first 24 hours of being announced! I've lost count of all the articles written about the fresh take on our favorite superhero, and have given up the quest to read every tweet that mentions her name. There are just THAT MANY. To me, this shows that Feeln has released the right thing at the right time, and children and adults alike are hungry for more.

But not all of the attention has been positive. Fan responses have ranged anywhere from "OMG YES!! TAKE MY MONEY!!" to "You've ruined my childhood! Leave her alone!" Individuals are going through the four stages of reboot grief in rapid succession, barely coming up for air. While many comments have been gut reactions common to resistance to change, some have offered constructive criticism that I wanted to take a moment to address.

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Concern #1: She seems like a ditzy valley girl with no substance.

First, let's take a moment to remember that all we've seen so far are short trailers for the show. Trailers are meant to grab the attention of the target audience (which is today's children, lest we forget) and hook them into wanting more. What better way to do that than with humor and silliness - kids' favorite things apart from sugar? I am certain that Rainbow Brite will not be that one-dimensional in the actual show.

Secondly, Feeln knows that Rainbow Brite's original fans are now in their 30's and love nostalgia. "Valley girl" speak is very 80's, along with the word "rad" that Rainbow Brite used in the first trailer. It's quite likely that they will be throwing nods to us throughout the series, and her "valley" demeanor may be one of those nods. In case you missed all of the neon colored clothing being sold over the summer, the 80's are back in a big way, and kids are going to eat this up. And again, I don't believe that she will speak this way constantly in the show.

Lastly, Feeln knows that children look for role models in the media they watch and listen to. They know that the original Rainbow Brite was a strong leader with incredible intelligence and wisdom. They don't want little girls growing up to be brainless ditzes any more than you do. Also, you may not realize that the writer for this new show, Rachel Vine, is a mother of a little girl herself. So I feel quite sure that this new Rainbow will be instilled with all of the depth of the original, with some added quirkiness, so that little girls of today will have another strong female character to emulate.

Concern #2: Why couldn't they have left her design the same as the original?

I don't know of any animated shows that have kept the exact same style when creating a reboot. I'm not saying that it couldn't be done, or would be unsuccessful. But that's a very big gamble for a production company to make. With market research, they can find out exactly what today's children already like, and respond to best. And I feel sure that that helped them hone in on a design that would resonate well with the widest possible audience. That doesn't mean that they didn't also take the original fans into consideration. I believe they did - as many design elements are the same or similar to the original. But I think that giving her a makeover for today's generation was a smart move, even if it's a bit jarring to us at first glance.

Conern #3: Why is Starlite a muscle-ripped stallion now?

To be honest, Starlite's redesign was the first thing that I found fault with. When I saw him flex his pecks, my mind immediately flew to Bulk Biceps from My Little Pony and I had a hard time reeling it back in. But after talking to other fans, I believe I have made some peace with the change, and am beginning to understand why they may have gone this direction. Perhaps they wanted to make him more cartoony? The original Starlite design was based on a real horse, and was animated to look realistic. Nothing in this new cartoon looks realistic. Even Rainbow has an enlarged head, huge feet and lacks elbows. This is simply a different animation style from the original, and his design is consistent with that style. And perhaps with My Little Pony being so popular, and the comparisons between the two being inevitable, they wanted to make him look as different from a pony as possible? I don't know, but it would make sense.

Conern #4: Why did she need a reboot at all? She was perfect as is!

I can't argue that the original Rainbow Brite wasn't practically perfect in every way. Why do you think I've loved her since 1984? ;) But personally, 13 episodes have never felt like "enough." All we got was one little season, and the characters had so much potential that was never explored. I'm excited to have a window into Rainbow Land once again. It's also made me sad to see all of her 80's counterparts get rebooted, and Rainbow left behind. I've hated watching her to fade into obscurity. There are many of us who will always love and remember her, and are passing the original on to the next generation. But without a new show, there are many kids who would never be exposed to Rainbow Brite. Especially since the old episodes aren't officially available on DVD. I'm hopeful that this new series will breathe new life into the franchise and keep her rainbow from fading away. Even Jezebel.com reported that she "earned" a reboot, and I fully agree.

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For those of you who are still heartbroken over your beloved childhood friend undergoing a change, I want to offer some encouragement. The original Rainbow Brite has not gone anywhere. Her episodes are still available on YouTube. Her pictures, songs, stories, and more will still be available on RainbowBrite.net and RainbowBrite.co.uk. And her fans and their creations will still be showcased on RainbowBrite.org. My goal since beginning my first website in 1997 was to keep Rainbow Brite from being forgotten, and that goal has not changed. Watching this new show will not damage our memories of the old. And enjoying the new show is not a betrayal to the original.

My final thought about how we, as fans, should react to the new cartoon is simple: what would Rainbow Brite do? Would she insult this newcomer and the individuals who created her? Would she immediately slam the door in the face of something different? Or would she try to keep an open mind until she had all the facts, and welcome the opportunity to make a new friend? I think you know the answer.


Friday, October 17, 2014

#BriteIsBack

It's been three months since Emily Osment's big reveal about the new Rainbow Brite cartoon, and we are finally getting some details!! Feeln, a streaming video-on-demand service, and subsidiary of Hallmark, is heading up the project. And they went public in a big way - by debuting a preview of the upcoming series!


So not only did we get a look at the new design, we got to hear it speak and see it move! The internet exploded with news stories regarding the reboot, and Feeln launched brand new social media pages for the new Rainbow on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Through these sources, we have been able to glean a few details about the new show:

1) Three episodes are in the final stages of development, and they will be premiering via Feeln on November 6th, 13th, and 20th.

2) Apart from the characters shown in the preview, Twink, the Color Kids, Murky, Lurky and Stormy will be in the show. And Stormy was hanging out with the bad guys in the picture they uploaded. Just sayin!

3) Molly Ringwald (yes THAT Molly Ringwald!) will be voicing the Dark Princess.

And just this morning, another promo video was released:


Post by Feeln.

Color me excited!! Renee and I recorded a "first reactions" squeeisode (haha) of BriteCast regarding the preview. And we'll  be keeping you updated on the new show as things develop. So keep your eyes on the rainbow!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rainbow Brite Forever Contest

RainbowBrite.net, in conjunction with Teepublic.com, is hosting a contest! Are you an artist who loves Rainbow Brite? If so, this is the contest for you!

For the next two weeks, we want you to submit your Rainbow Brite designs to be printed on t-shirts at Teepublic.com. The winner will receive a Rainbow Brite t-shirt of their choice from Teepublic, free of charge! Also, artists will receive a $4 commission on every shirt of theirs someone buys at the regular price of $20 - even after the contest ends! (When shirts are on sale for $14, the commission received is $2).

The rules are simple:

1) Upload your design(s) to Teepublic.com using their templates and instructions.
2) In the "Tags" field, include the tag #rainbowbriteforevercontest
3) Make sure you've uploaded your design(s) by midnight, EST, Thursday, October 9th. Feel free to upload as many as you wish.

Renee of rainbowbrite.co.uk and myself will pick our favorite design and announce the winner on Friday, the 10th.

We can't wait to see the amazing designs you create!

Here are some designs that are already on Teepublic, in case you need some inspiration :)


Good luck Color Kids!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rainbow Brite in Pop Culture

Even though she only had 13 episodes, 2 live-action specials, and a movie, Rainbow Brite was hugely popular. Almost daily, I see anything colorful in the fashion world (be it clothing or hair) described as "Rainbow Brite." When 80's kids see a rainbow in the sky, they think of the little girl with a mission. And most 80's girls had at least one Rainbow Brite doll - many of which they still cherish to this day. So it's no surprise that she pops up in pop culture from time to time.

It actually began in the 80's, when Rainbow Brite merchandise would show up in tv shows.

We see an 18" Rainbow Brite doll in Miami Vice's Season 1 episode, "The Home Invaders:"


There was a Rainbow Brite bowl that continuously popped up on Full House:


And I distinctly remember an episode of Who's The Boss where Mona is drinking tea or coffee out of a Rainbow Brite mug. But that image doesn't exist on the internet - yet.

And while she seems to have taken a break from the small screen in the 90's, she has shown up multiple times since the year 2000.

A Red Butler doll appeared in the Reba episode "Core Focus:"



A Rainbow Brite cosplayer showed up in Bones episode "The Princess and the Pear:"


Rainbow Brite bed sheets appeared on the HBO series "Girls:"


A Rainbow Brite doll was animated into the Family Guy episode "Prick Up Your Ears:"


She was parodied on The Soup:


And she's shown up on Robot Chicken five times.

Wikipedia mentions Rainbow Brite being referenced in songs, showing up in music videos, and being drawn into web comics. And check out RainbowBrite.co.uk's 'Rainbow Brite in Hollywood' Facebook album for a few more screen caps. I wonder where she'll pop up next! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Rainbow Land Museum



I was given my first Rainbow Brite dolls for my fifth birthday - back in 1984. So technically, you could say that my collection began then.


Receiving a couple more dolls for Christmas that same year brought my total doll count to four - 12" Rainbow Brite, Starlite, 12" Red Butler and 12" Romeo. Sadly, Starlite and hand-sprite Romeo returned to Rainbow Land at some point in time, but I still have the others :)

(Can you spot the Rainbow Brite stampers I got as well?)

I began actively collecting Rainbow Brite memorabilia in 1995 - when I found a Rainbow Brite record player at a thrift store. I started picking up anything Rainbow Brite related that I could find, at thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales...friends even started giving me childhood items that they were no longer attached to. In early 1998, I discovered Ebay, and the rest is history.

At this point, I've collected more than 1,300 items. To my knowledge, it is the largest Rainbow Brite collection in the world. I've dedicated 500 square feet of my house to displaying my collection, and dubbed it the Rainbow Land Museum. Located in Apex, NC, all fans are welcome to take a tour - just contact me for an appointment. You can view a PDF list of my collection here, and more pictures of the Rainbow Land Museum can be viewed here.

The museum has even been featured in the news! Links are below. And I don't plan to stop adding to my collection any time soon :)

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http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/21/80s-fantastic-woman-turns-home-into-museum-for-cartoon-star-rainbow-brite-4312622/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/this-superfan-has-a-rainbow-brite-themed-home

http://www.uproxx.com/gammasquad/2014/02/home-turned-into-rainbow-brite-museum/

http://curbed.com/archives/2014/02/24/this-is-how-a-rainbow-brite-superfan-does-home-decor.php

http://blog.truffleshuffle.co.uk/index.php/2014/02/the-perfect-way-to-rainbow-brite-n-up-your-house/

http://thisbelongsinamuseum.com/post/77703955464/rainbowbrite

http://international.okezone.com/read/2014/02/24/214/945908/perempuan-as-pamer-koleksi-1-500-pernak-pernik-rainbow-brite

http://www.961kiss.com/onair/tall-cathy-47018/rainbow-brite-themed-house-12093117/

http://www.sickchirpse.com/top-5-weirdest-news-of-the-week-1-is-so-dark/

Friday, July 18, 2014

New Rainbow Brite Cartoon

Yes, the astonishing news is true: Rainbow Brite is making a comeback in a brand new cartoon! Emily Osment, the actress best known for her role as Lily in Hannah Montana, broke the news on her Instagram account with the following image and caption:


"First day on the job! Very stoked to be back doing some animation this summer.See you soon! Love, Emily aka Rainbow Brite"

The script's picture gives us the first episode's title and author: "Cloudy with a chance of Gloom" by Rachel Vine. And Emily lets us know that she'll be voicing our beloved Rainbow Brite herself. But she, and the creators of the new toon have since stayed silent.

Hallmark has privately confirmed that the new cartoon is real - this is not a hoax. But they are not ready to provide further details...yet.

Renee of rainbowbrite.co.uk and myself couldn't wait to squee and speculate together, so we recorded episode 9 of BriteCast: the Rainbow Brite Podcast regarding the news. And while we've been impatiently awaiting the next nugget of information, the internet has blown up over Emily's reveal. I've been attempting to collect links from all of the articles being posted and list them below. If I've missed any, please let me know.

Here's to hoping we get some answers soon! What would you like to see, or not see, in this new Rainbow Brite series? :)

Links:

http://metro.co.uk/2014/07/14/emily-osment-to-voice-rainbow-brite-in-reboot-of-classic-80s-cartoon-4797367/

http://www.disneydreaming.com/2014/07/13/emily-osment-voicing-rainbow-brite-in-brand-new-animated-tv-show/

http://www.themarysue.com/rainbow-brite-reboot/

http://io9.com/rainbow-brite-is-coming-back-to-television-1605550691

http://lezgetreal.com/2014/07/rainbow-brite-gets-series-reboot-osment-voice/

http://www.justjaredjr.com/2014/07/14/emily-osment-just-announced-shes-the-voice-of-rainbow-brite-its-possibly-the-best-news-ever/

http://www.syracuse.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/07/weird_al_word_crimes_female_thor_jeff_goldblum_engaged_rainbow_brite_reboot.html

http://nerdbastards.com/2014/07/15/80s-reboots-roll-on-and-rainbow-brite-is-next/

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/32971/-rainbow-brite-set-to-get-a-tv-reboot

http://965kvki.com/rainbow-brite-returning-to-television-video/

http://geektyrant.com/news/rainbow-bright-is-being-resurrected-for-tv

http://www.seventeen.com/entertainment/reviews/rainbow-brite-remake-emily-osment

http://www.omgblog.com/2014/07/omg_grab_the_vicks_vapor_rub_h.php#axzz37pOQB0q1

http://www.avclub.com/article/much-delight-ravers-everywhere-rainbow-brite-getti-207000

http://gaygeekguide.com/2014/07/17/rainbow-brites-coming-back-to-tv/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/16/rainbow-brite-reboot-tv-show_n_5591265.html

http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/rainbow-brite-reboot-emily-osment/

http://www.elle.com/fashion/trend-reports/rainbow-brite-inspired-fashion?src=soc_fcbks#slide-1

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/news/a29177/rainbow-brite-is-getting-a-reboot/

http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/07/17/the-80-s-are-back-again-rainbow-brite-to-return-2073337

http://emily-osment.us/2014/07/projects-emily-to-voice-rainbow-brite-in-reboot-of-classic-80s-cartoon/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/29/retro-kids-toys-comeback_n_5631689.html

Friday, April 11, 2014

30th Anniversary Rainbow Brite Art Show

In recent weeks, Hallmark headquarters put together a Rainbow Brite exhibit for her 30th anniversary. It was designed to provide inspiration for their creative employee teams, and is currently being shown to employees in their 9th floor gallery. It is not open to the public, but thankfully a good friend of mine, Justin Perryman, is related to a Hallmark employee and was able to take a tour himself. He took these pictures, and was given permission to share them with the world. Some of the artwork was just for fun, but some may be used in future projects, so let's keep our fingers crossed! :) All info and images are ©Hallmark Cards, Inc.

In the first section of the exhibit, you will find merchandise, protoypes and custom dolls:








In the second part, you'll see more prototypes, publications, merchandise, and storyboards:









You can even get your picture taken wearing a Rainbow Brite snuggie! ;) You're so cute Justin!


There is also fan art created by Hallmark employees:










But my favorite part of all are the big screen tvs around the exhibit showing Rainbow Brite episodes, pictures of Rainbow Brite fans, and never-before-seen video of relaunch ideas!




We can only cross our fingers and hope that Hallmark is cooking up something new and wonderful for our favorite super hero, and will hopefully make this exhibit available to the public in the future :)