In fact, Jem and the Holograms’ $1.3 million box office was so low that it was actually a flop of historic proportions. Of course, the lesson Hollywood will take from Jem’s failure isn’t to be more faithful to the source material. Instead, Jem will be used as another example of why a female-led superhero franchise will never succeed; coincidentally on the same day Supergirl on CBS is poised to prove the opposite is true. And no, you did not read that wrong. Jem was — and is — a superhero property.
The glamour of being an adult female rocker. The glitter of Synergy’s earrings. The fashion era that embraced shoulder pads. The fame associated with traveling around the world. From what has been revealed by director Jon M. Chu and his recently announced cast, none of this will be a focus of the live-action Jem and the Holograms film.
Do you know what’s truly outrageous? I’m 33 years old, have no kids, and still watch cartoons. There’s one in particular that I just started watching again, and after not seeing it for 16 years I was reminded of both the hilarity (shoulder pads!) and the groundbreaking diversity of cartoons in the 80s. If you didn’t guess it by the post’s title, I’m referring to Jem and the Holograms, an animated series created by Hasbro, Marvel Productions, and animation studio Sunbow Productions.
As a young girl growing up in the 80s, there were plenty of cartoons I could watch to justify my love for cuddly teddy bears and rainbow colored horses. There was also She-Ra, He-Man’s empowered twin sister. She represented two dreams of every little girl: being a princess and kicking bad guys’ butts. However, looking back at the variety of cartoons geared toward young girls, there wasn’t much cultural diversity, and there weren’t many realistic female characters that young NOCs like me could look to as role models.