The first trailer for Jem and the Holograms has arrived just in time for Pitch Perfect 2’s opening weekend! A few months ago, I expressed some hesitation about the reboot after finding out that it was about a young artist being discovered on social media and what happens when she has to split time between two identities rather than the actual plot of Jem. Obviously Jem’s story needed some updating, the cartoon having premiered thirty years ago, but I hoped that the movie wouldn’t deviate quite so far from the original source material. The trailer dashes those hopes.
From the press release:
As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden. In Universal Pictures’ Jem and the Holograms, four aspiring musicians will take the world by storm when they see that the key to creating your own destiny lies in finding your own voice.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up series, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), the musical adventure stars Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis. Jem and the Holograms, based on the iconic Hasbro animated TV series, is written by Ryan Landels and produced by Chu, Jason Blum for Blumhouse Productions, Scooter Braun for SB Projects, Bennett Schneir, and Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis of Hasbro Studios.
Check out the trailer here:
Now, let’s go over some things.
TEN THINGS MISSING FROM THE JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS MOVIE TRAILER
- THE MISFITS
How do you have a Jem and the Holograms movie without rival band The Misfits to challenge them with attitude and mischief-making? You don’t. That’s the answer.
- THE STINGERS
I mean, this one was a longshot anyway considering they’re only in about ten Jem episodes near the end of the series, but still. I’m sad we won’t be seeing the biggest egos and mediocre con artists around. No Misfits definitely means no Stingers.
- THE ORIGINAL MUSIC
From the trailer, it sounds like Jerrica/Jem (Aubrey Peebles) will be singing some new ballads and bubblegum pop tunes. Sorry y’all, I’m not here for it—give me the ridiculous ‘80s pop crafted specifically for the cartoon. Case in point:
Come on, there’s no beating it.
- ACTUAL HOLOGRAMS
In the show, Jem existed as a hologram superimposed onto Jerrica’s being, called forth with a “Showtime, Synergy!” in a flash of hot pink light. Now Jem exists as a product of make-up, colored hair extensions, and marketing. Laaaaame.
Since Jerrica’s transformation into Jem is wholly based in carefully applied costume changes, it sounds like we’re not going to see the Jem Star-earring controlled supercomputer whose holograms made the whole cartoon possible.
- JEM STAR EARRINGS
There is a moment in the trailer when Jerrica/Jem clutches her plastic earring and says, “Showtime, Synergy,” as an homage to the whole Synergy thing. However, if she’s wearing gaudy plastic earrings anyway, why can’t they be the Jem Star earrings? Inquiring minds over here. Let’s just pretend like she doesn’t turn herself into a surfboard in this gif.
- ERIC RAYMOND
Misfits manager Eric Raymond has become ERICA Raymond, the Starlight Enterprise Executive. Rather than Jerrica’s rival and Misfits co-conspirator bent on making sure the Holograms don’t become successful, Erica is the one who turns Jerrica into Jem with her marketing concepts and then attempts to split the group apart. She’s pretty much Fiona in the Josie and the Pussycats.
- THE ROCKIN’ ROADSTER
I guess when no one in the band is old enough to drive, there’s no need to include the Holograms’ bangin’ car.
- STARLIGHT MANSION
In the cartoon, Jerrica and her sisters run a home for foster girls as part of the Starlight Foundation. In the movie, they girls live with their aunt (Molly Ringwald)
- UNIQUE STORYLINE
Rather than follow the plot of the Jem cartoon, it appears that they went for a combination of The Cheetah Girls and Josie and the Pussycats, sans the satire on the pop industry and rampant consumerism. Like, that awful Disney Channel original movie Pixel Perfect had more in common with Jem than this, the film that shares its name.
At the end of the trailer, Jerrica’s voiceover explains the point of the movie. “Everyone has a secret identity—which one’s the real you?” Her question brings up good points about celebrity culture and social media. That could be interesting, if only they hadn’t attached the Jem name to this product.
Jem and the Holograms premieres in theaters October 23, 2015.