February 20, 2016
I got Jem and the Holograms from Netflix, so we came home to watch it. The movie was very different then then 80s cartoon. It wasn’t necessarily a bad interpretation, but it wasn’t great either. A fan made the movie, which was cool. But the movie didn’t do that well at that box office. Many of the fans of the original just weren’t able to get into something that was so different from their childhood memories.
The biggest changes to the Jem story had to do with technology. Jerrica or Jem became famous because of her YouTube video. Synergy is no longer a magical hologram who transforms Jerrica into Jem, but a robot who holds a holographic message from Jerrica’s father who passed away. The music is catchy, but I missed Jerrica’s work at Starlight Foundation and the whole battle with the Misfits.
Both the cartoon and the movie dealt with Jerrica struggling with her duel identities. The public persona and who she was as a person were not always the same person. The cartoon made it feel like her secret identity was that closer to a spy than a star though. The movie used the idea of the paparazzi and pressure to perform as the basis for her struggle, which wasn’t near as convincing or dramatic as the original. Both included a love interest with the character Rio, but in the cartoon Rio seemed to be closer in age to Jerrica. In the movie it felt as if Rio was 30 and Jerrica was 16. In any case, the fashion in the movie was a good 80s homage, but they movie lacked the original vibe of the cartoon.
While She-ra was my favorite cartoon back in the 80s, I still enjoyed Jem. I even had a cassette tape filled with songs I’d recorded from the show. Who could forget the catchy tunes like, “Twilight in Paris” or “Fallin in Love With A Stranger” or “Love Unites Us” or “Can’t Get My Love Together.” That cassette is gone with all my others, but luckily you can still find original Jem episodes and songs to download or play on YouTube.
P.S. If you are curious , you can even catch interviews with Samantha Newark (speaking voice of Jem) and Britta Phillips (singing voice of Jem) on YouTube as well. Britta Phillips went on to be in the movie Satisfaction with Justine Bateman and to be in the band Luna in the 90s. Although Samantha Newark didn’t sing the songs for Jem, she is a singer and has produced a couple of albums as well!