Please excuse any ineloquent remarks in this article, as my current rage stroke is preventing me from articulating my thoughts well. You see, the world has somehow decided that it’d be just fine to hand one of the most appreciated pieces of science fiction cinema to the man who has directed Hop, Alvin and the Chipmunks and (it gets better) Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Tim Hill is signing on to direct a reboot… it’s hard to actually get this out… of Short Circuit.
Now, let’s be fair. Hill does have some quality credits to his name: he was a writer on the Nickelodeon cartoon series Rocko’s Modern Life. But his directing exploits over the past decade have done little to impress. Reviving age-old childhood cartoons and concepts seems to be his M.O., but their manifestations usually turn out lacking in substance and style alike. One can argue that it’s always difficult to replicate the charm of the original works in a revival film. But I’d counterpoint then: DON’T REMAKE THEM. I wouldn’t be on board with any director rebooting Short Circuit. Even the attachment of some of my favorite filmmakers would inspire trepidation (Wes Anderson’s Johnny 5 would be an insoluble narcissist, Darren Aronofsky’s Johnny 5 would induce his own death, slowly and somberly, and Charlie Kaufman’s Johnny 5 would be built as a video camera, filming the very movie that he’s in), so I’m certainly not too keen on what Hill’s interpretation promises to be.
But, as this project does indeed seem to be underway, let’s look for the positives. Dan Milano, writer for Robot Chicken, is on board. Whether you are a fan of the twisted stop motion series or not, I would assume you agree that the minds behind it clearly have a dedicated esteem for cult classics of the 1980s. I’d trust that, at the very least, Milano loves and appreciates the nuances of Short Circuit as much as I do. And that’s something.