Jem and the Holograms – Nostalgia Critic

It’s truly, truly, truly pathetic. One of the worst adaptations ever has to be seen to be believed. How does the Jem and the Holograms movie compare the 80s cartoon?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

148 comments

  1. hahaha! and i thought the dukes of hazzard 2005 was a bad adaptation!

  2. This movie looks even worse when compared to the Kelly Thompson/Sophie Campbell comic that started around the same time. 2015 provided two examples of what a modern version of Jem could look like, and surprising no one that version that actually respected the source material is the one that connected with audiences.

    • It saddens me that you are extremely right, that comic is so great and it makes me sad there aren’t more people reading it 🙁

    • TheIdiotAlchemist

      Agreed. The comic is amazing and people should read it and ignore this insult of a movie. Cute art, every character looks different, interesting color palette, and it actually has the damn Misfits. Even William Shatner called out the trailer for this movie for not showing the Misfits.

    • Another vote that if you loved Jem, you should pick up the comic. It has the right balance between modern day and ’80s cheese. In fact, the annual special had the Jem characters falling asleep and spoofing ’80s classics like the Muppet Babies and Mad Max.

      Anyway, the comic deserves heaps of praise, and while some things have changed to increase representation (lesbian and transsexual characters), the spirit is clearly that of the original show.

  3. Wait a second. Film does everything totally wrong with barely any money used showing on screen, pulled after two weeks?

    Is this movie secretly “Springtime for Hitler”?

  4. I watched this in a theatre. I. Watched. This. In a theatre.

    WHY DID I DO THAT????

  5. Maybe the Dad was in a car crash or something like that. But more to the point, why does it even matter how he died? I’m not trying to defend this film, but I really don’t get why you brought that up.

    • Probably because it’s a pretty big detail to leave out when the entire film is about fixing her dead father’s robot. Sure, there’s some band BS in there too, but that plotline really is the biggest focus of the movie and it’s the only thing that really goes anywhere.

    • It was also set up in the movie that the dad was preparing to be gone, like he was suffering from a terminal illness.
      Maybe he DID die in a crash or something, but since it was never specified how he died (other than some illness hints), I see why Doug/Critic pointed it out.

      • To be fair the cartoon never really explained what the father died of either, but at least he look kind of sickly in the final flashback scenes of a backstory episode where they found his diary.
        It was presumably some terminal illness as he was trying to complete synergy in his final years and find a safe place for his oldest daughter to reach her. Synergy was a lot more powerful in the cartoon, which is how they could get around that question of “why don’t they patent the android to get out of debt.” You know the old, “Oh my, I have create something more powerful than I could ever imagined! This must never be known to the public or else..someone evil..might evil…something!”
        So yeah some parts of the backstory were a bit confusing, but it was still better explained that we’ve got here.

  6. Also, wasn’t one of the executives Black Willy Wonka?

  7. I briefly remember seeing this show as a kid but didn’t care for it since it was all about He-Man and all the macho 80’s toons for me.

    Why the fuck did JEM get a movie and not a proper reboot of He-Man? In fact, we need a proper live action Thundercats movie.

    Oh Doug and Malcolm, you look so good with pink hair. 😛

    • Short version: they already had the Jem rights, so they just slapped the name on an unrelated script because “they both involve singing.” Stuff like He-Man would have involved more work, and this studio runs on ‘cheap and nasty’.

    • There actually was a reboot of He-Man where it got a cartoon a while back, but I don’t remember anything major about it. Same goes for Thunder Cats, they got a rebooted cartoon and it was pretty good, but it was eventually canceled for some reason. As for movies…….. Weeelllll……………….. It’s probably for the best that nobody tries to make a live action He-Man movie again……

    • I kind of paid attention to it when I was a kid. It was the 80s and I was the only boy in a house with three girls. I had to stretch to try and find “common media ground” and this was closer than stuff like Rainbow Brite and The-My-Little-Pony-Series-I-DON’T-Watch.

    • Whisky Tango Foxtrot

      They actually re-made the He-Man movie about five years ago. They just changed the title to Thor.

      One of the few instances where the remake was substantially better than the original.

  8. ilovethings andstuff

    apparently the director said he intents to make a crossover film between Jem and the Holograms with Transformers and G.I. Joe…. why?….

    • IDK about Transformers, but considering Jem was apparently as much of an adventure show as it was a show with actual danger and stakes and stuff as it was a show about 80s Hannah Montana, a Jem/G.I. Joe crossover could actually be pretty cool…… But it would have to be the FUN G.I. Joe and the GOOD Jem to work in any way at all and we really haven’t got either of those things yet, soooo….

  9. prime-10@hotmail.co.uk

    What’s so great about Doctor Suess? It all looks so weird to me. I mean Ninja Turtles is something weird too but it’s still awesome.

    • Doctor Seuss was a huge writer of children’s books that put a lot of style and creativity into everything he did while actually giving good morals to kids through his rhymes. Comparing that to Ninja Turtles is really just comparing apples to oranges because that series is about adventure and distinct, colorful, characters and Doctor Seuss is about delivering very powerful life lessons to much younger kids in a very unique way.

      • More than just the unique, immediately distinct visual style and his ability to convey powerful messages in a way that children could understand and absorb(no joke, this guy wrote a children’s book that was all about Cold War paranoia, the arms race, and mutually assured destruction, while the Cold War was still going on); Doctor Seuss also used inventive rhymes and surreal humor in the hopes that he would not just help children learn how to read, but inspire them to want to read. That might not sound like much now, but in the late 1930’s, when he started writing, that was revolutionary. In those days teaching children to read was mostly done by drilling simple words into their heads through endless, dull repetition and making them enjoy reading wasn’t even close to the list of priorities. In fact, he was challenged to write The Cat in the Hat after a study showed that a significant number of school children were not learning to read because the books they were being taught with were too boring to keep their interest. He wrote 60 books over the course of a career that spanned 53 years and his work left an indelible mark in the imaginations of countless children.

        Comparing Doctor Seuss to Ninja Turtles isn’t comparing apples to oranges, it’s comparing apples to small blocks of wood; i.e. these are two things that are so different in form, function, and material that I don’t really understand why they’re being discussed at the same time.

  10. Wait… Was that Ke$ha at the end… It was her :O

    • Yeah, it was her.

      The end credit teaser actually looks like it would be for a legitimately better movie. Ke$ha looks like she would have been a great Pizzazz.

      Though the teaser was probably a lie considering how little the writers seemed to understand the main cast.

  11. …Doug, I’m sorry for bringing this up and everything I really am, but are you ok? Since April you haven’t had your wedding ring on. I’m not trying to start anything and I know it’s bad bringing up someone’s personal life but I just think about how hard going through something like that is and then I think about what happened to Jewario and Robin Williams and I just need to make sure you’re ok. I’m sorry, and I hope I’m wrong. If I am I will gladly take the hate that comes with making a comment like this. Please be ok.

  12. OMG Doug you are ROCKING that hair AND make up! You should make it your thing! Not even kidding!

  13. This beats the Masters of the Universe adaptation as the worst.

  14. Honore de Ballsack

    well, the original cartoon wasn’t exactly Shakespeare.

    • Neither was TMNT, but even the worst movie adaptations of that series tended to at least got the basic premise right! This feels more a TMNT movie if the characters were just ordinary turtles for most of the running time and only became mutants right before they introduced the villains at the very end!

      • oh that actually very close to what this movie was. That like an entire movie of a young april O’neal trying to save her pet turtle from a fire in her father lab a nd at the end of the movie she loses them in a sewer with a vile of ooze that turn them into mutant.

  15. Blaze The Movie Fan

    I’m glad I didn’t see this movie.

  16. Here’s my view on movies that are based on Saturday morning cartoons. Transformers: seeing. G.I. Joe: seeing. Jem and the Holograms: …REALLY!? Also, this movie is from the same director as G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and I really enjoyed both G.I. Joe movies; I have even collected the action figures and vehicles to go with my Transformers movie figures. Okay, let’s see if this movie is as crappy as everyone says it is.

    • There are two reasons why I was one of those thankful enough NOT to see this movie. 1. I didn’t care about it, and 2. I was more interested in seeing Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

      I wonder if in the days when Molly Ringwald starred on movies like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink, she would later star or appear in crap like Not Another Teen Movie and this.

      About the found footage stuff, this WAS produced by a horror movie company that gave us the Paranormal Activity series, Area 51, and The Gallows. …I guess it’s both their strength and their weakness.

      You plan on reviewing Norm of the North, right? ‘Cause I hear it’s this year’s Foodfight.

      The girls being amazed by the curtains reminds me of Leslie from Bridge to Terabithia being amazed by EVERYTHING.

      Thank Christ BB-8 came around to make 51N3RG.Y (Synergy) immediately obsolete.

      With all of Jem’s narrating and v-logging, I’d rather see Katy Perry: Part of Me again, a movie I actually DID see in theaters and enjoyed more that what I’m seeing from this movie.

      Dear Rob Scallon,
      You should REALLY sue the makers of this film for all the $2.3 million it made at the box office just for using random footage of you, just so you can play HAPPIER music.

      I can already tell you that Kesha (who plays Pizzazz, the lead Misfit) is a better singer than Jem.

      I wouldn’t really call this movie bad, but more of “meh” and uninspired. I never watched the cartoon series, mostly because I have a penis, but these are just my honest thoughts.

      For the love of God, Doug, STOP BASHING THE PHANTOM MENACE OVER THE HEAD WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER. It’s getting old.

      • “I can already tell you that Kesha (who plays Pizzazz, the lead Misfit) is a better singer than Jem.”

        Well the Misfits do say there songs are better!

        Strangely I would almost rather they make movie about them (unless that movie was anything like this)! The things I’ve grown to respect about Jem in hindsight is that for all the usual cartoon corniness and absurdity, they didn’t always go for the usual b/w morality in the long run. The Misfits are bad role models by design, but there not evil.

        They act more like a real rock band with their anything for a good time antics and they all had sad reasons for being the way they were. There some genuine depth within that mean girl posse I think young people could still learn from and we never really so how they got started as band, so why not try to build from that. And least by honest, the bad girl band just seemed to have more fun.

        I know some have snarky commenter suggested this movie was a Misfits plot to destroy Jem, but I disagree. If the Misfits were behind it, there own movie would have premiered the same week!

  17. Doug… you GOTTA stop with the Pokémon jokes. Or at least do some research on the series so that you don’t look like you’re constantly bashing something you don’t like or understand. I wouldn’t mind you making jokes about Pokémon if they came from a respect and understanding about the series, but you clearly don’t have that. Il Neige and FilmBrain can make those kind of jokes because they clearly are fans of the series or at least did some research on it to make it seem critical, but also loving.

    Conversely, I thought this review was pretty funny, and I’m EXTREMELY glad my fears of this being a clipless review were unfounded.

    • oh, so it’s not a clipless review? oh cool, that means I can watch it.

    • To me it didn’t really feel like there was a Pokemon joke here. Just an admission there were strange cartoons you grew up with that I didn’t and we all something we remember fondly from are childhoods that’s kind of acquired taste. Still, I agree it’s easier to find humor in something if you really understand it’s appeal or are familiar with it’s overall history even if it’s not your thing.

    • Oh come on! All he did was list Pokemon as an example of cartoons that actually weren’t that great but are fondly remembered because they’re nostalgic, and even listed it alongside shows that he loves to bits. If that doesn’t show he understands the appeal of the anime, I don’t know what does.

    • Emperor.Hampton

      Because you have to like and be a fan of something to criticize it, right? It’s not like almost all of the internet hates and thus mocks and criticizes Twilight, and rightfully so.

      Look, I’m a massive Pokémon fan, but making a throw away joke, hell, just a visual making a point, is perfectly okay. The show was a marketing push to help sell the games. That’s what it is. Thus, him bringing it up is perfectly right. It’s not like he’s reviewing one of the movies. He did that once, and hasn’t done it again because he knows that the franchise isn’t for him at all. If he continued to keep reviewing the movies, especially the really bad ones, then I would have an issue because he’s harping on something he doesn’t like. That’s my problem with Spoony’s Final Fantasy videos. He very clearly hates JRPGs as a genre, and Final Fantasy in particular, yet he continued to make video after video ripping into the series for being in a genre he doesn’t enjoy. Doug isn’t doing that, he makes very occasional throw away jokes about Pokémon. And honestly, he really doesn’t make that many. I can think of one other one besides the review of the first movie, and that’s the Pokémon commercial in one of the commercial specials.

    • I’ll admit, as a longtime fan of Pokemon, I too found some of his shots towards Pokemon a bit annoying (Especially since the Game Series was really moreso made to increase communication between people which is why trading and battling are emphasized so much). But this one wasn’t too bad and luckily he doesn’t do it too much. But I think he should avoid doing too many since it is obvious he doesn’t understand the series completely.

  18. Critic may I just say THANK YOU for tearing this piece of shit apart. As a fan of the original show I was beyond pissed when I saw this, hell I don’t think I’ve seen an adaptation this bad since Avatar: The Last Airbender got shamalized.
    Honestly listing everything wrong with this movie would take way too long but Emmett Benton(that’s the dad’s name by the way) completely ignoring Kimber’s existence in the recording is even worse once you realize that it was Kimber, not Jerrica who he was closest to in the cartoon.

    Oh and did you know that the woman Rio talks to at the end is Christy Marx, the original creator and head writer of Jem? Yeah she wasn’t too happy with this piece of garbage either.

    • THANK YOU so much for pointing out the Emmett relationship to Kimber slight! That was one of the most offensive things about this adaption to me. I had only watched a few episodes as a kid and than many years later started watching episodes on youtube just for a laughs but than I discovered the episode Father’s Day.

      That episode (and the one scene in the episode Scandal where Synergy tries to remind Kimber what her father told her to do when facing a judgmental public) reached a level of depth and melancholy so beyond what I’d expect in a cartoon show that it still surprises me. For this movie to completly distort one of the best character arcs in a series that didn’t have many was such an insult.

    • Also do you Christy or does only else who really followed the original show remember the anti-drug episode Alone Again. I ask is this because at 20:40-22:12 our supposed first performance by “JEM,” sound a lot more like that performance of a deeply depressing song by a deeply depressed orphan in THAT EPISODE, right down to the use of the word ALONE! Are inspirational heroine people!

  19. The fact that the main actress physically resembles Bella from Twilight also doesn’t really help things…

  20. One can only hope Hasbro revives the franchise fore a new animated series.

  21. GenrlContctUnit Arbitrary

    in reality wouldn’t the head of a major record label have a golden parachute deal?

  22. It seems like a rite of passage for your favourite show as a kid to get a terrible modern reboot. My punishment is coming next year in the form of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. #prayforme

    • Stay strong, my friend. More people know about internet critics and if the ongoing fight against copyright asswipes is any indication, they seem these reviews as a legit threat to their business. Why do you think the second Bay Ninja Turtles movie underperformed compared to the first one? Because people may FINALLY be waking up and taking a closer look at the people who make them.

  23. I barely ever comment here, but I felt like coming here and saying that this is one of NC’s finest in a long while.

  24. This is what I’ve noticed about Hasbro’s movies as of late.

    Transformers = bad but makes money hand over fist.
    G.I. Joe = bad but it made enough money for an even worse sequel
    Ouji = bad but I think it made it’s budget back.
    Jem and the Holograms = So big it’s one of the biggest flops of all time

    All of these are bad just horribly bad. I think Hasbro turned away once they saw the money roll in. They probably even figured Jem would be an acceptable loss because they knew they would make the money back from Transformers.
    All things considered I’m really hoping there is enough pressure on them to make sure the MLP movie is both good and makes money. Otherwise I’m sure they’ll just write it off as a loss then reboot Transformers and make all the money back.

    It’s all about the money.

    • so .. what you thought of battleship?

    • The MLP movie is an animated movie produced by the people responsible for the show.
      These guys also have some experience with converting MLP into theatrical films with both Equestria Girls and Rainbow Rocks seeing limited theatrical release.

      So on in all I’m not too worry about it.

  25. Kinda sad, the wasted potential here. They could have made a nostalgic eighties sci-fi meets pop star film that would have attracted fans of the original show, eighties music/tv fans, Hannah Montana fans (because of the whole secret identity thing)…etc. The zany uniqueness would have sold it – even though the show is dated it could still appeal to the modern generation. Instead they thought the way to appeal to everybody was to say “look, here’s all your favorite social media sites! I’m current!”

  26. I’ve watched a bit of the original cartoon. I found it OK, but was drawn away from it by its tackiness, especially the songs and especially the way they constantly repeated the titles of them in the verses and choruses. But I can respect anyone who likes it, and I have been reading a bit of the modern comics and quite like them.

    The fact that this movie was produced by a studio that specialises in horror films explains a lot, and I mean A LOT about the directing of this movie and how annoying of stereotypes the girls were!

    I’m not sure if this movie was even released in cinemas in Australia. I never saw any posters or trailers for this at all outside the internet! The first time I ever saw anything of it outside the internet was the DVD of it. I guess even the marketing and distribution department realised how shit the movie was!

  27. Can you talk about the MTV series Good Vibes and Daria?

    And on a side note, I mention this all before, why don’t you review a classic horror like this one I’ve finally found after all these years after just seeing a few scenes of it and never knowing how it ended. It’s called Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. You might like it. Maybe.

    Also what do think of these TV series shows called:
    John Doe
    Forever Knight
    The Misfits (British Show)
    Misfits of Science (Movie and series)
    and The Zeta Project
    (I think some of these shows are like Sonic the Hedgehog a.k.a. Sonic Sat a.m. They all have incomplete ending.)

    P.S. Is there anyway you can review the Japanese versions of Ironman, Wolverine, X-men and Blade? I’d also really like to hear what you think about the FX series Archer and Chozen.

    P.S.S. And I never found out if you were going talk more about the Disney Afternoon shows Gummi Bears, Chip N Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Talespin(even the hour uncut movie special I found about it) and Darkwing Duck. Also you never answer my question, If you hate the Goof Troop song: “Gotta Be Gettin’ Goofy” then does that mean you hate The Darkwing Duck Rap?

  28. That revelation at the end… you really should have called up Spoony and borrowed his “Betrayal” theme. Just swap out X-Com for Jem and it would have been even more fitting.

    https://youtu.be/wt39TNCpRTg

  29. Never saw the series, but have seen the E-Rod’s review as a fan of the series. But hearing that they used your testimonies on why you love Jem just for talking about this movie is definitely more than a slap in the face. It’s spitting on it, giving it a nasty scar, and slapping a penis on the face of fans. That is uncool.

  30. This was more good work, but if you want to see what happens when an old fan reviews this film, check out the Blockbuster Buster’s review.

    Not trying to diss on Doug or anything because this was entertaining too, just saying he points out each and every time the studio slapped the fans across the face.

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