5 Biggest Announcements About the Upcoming Paramount Plus
I don’t know about you guys, but if you’re a millennial, then odds are you got your daily entertainment fix from one of three entities. There’s Warner Bros with the likes of the Looney Tunes and Cartoon Network. Disney’s flexed its creative muscles in both the cinema and on the TV for years. And then we’ve got Paramount with its thousands of movies and army of Nicktoons. These three factions have going at it for years, and with the outbreak of the streaming wars, the fighting’s grown. With Disney+ on the verge of 100 million subscribers and HBO Max churning out films and classic cartoons, Paramount’s making its move. On March 4th, 2021, Paramount launches its own streaming service, Paramount Plus. And this could be a potential game changer in the streaming wars.
At first, I didn’t think that Paramount Plus was something to take seriously. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized “Oh my gosh, they have the firepower to win the streaming wars.” With the new streaming service on the verge of launching, I’m here to talk about the five biggest announcements regarding Paramount Plus.
Two Words: Avatar Studios
Ask me what the greatest cartoon of all time is, and I won’t hesitate to say “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I mean it; I’ve been a fan of Avatar since day one. And I consider the night the series finale aired to be one of the best nights of my life! This past summer, Avatar: the Last Airbender was re-added to Netflix, and soon followed by its sequel, The Legend of Korra. And the two just exploded in popularity. Avatar remained the most-watched thing on Netflix for months. As a result, the franchise saw a massive resurgence in popularity. Now, Nickelodeon/Paramount/Viacom are capitalizing on this by expanding the franchise. Thus, we got the announcement of Avatar Studios.
On February 24th, Paramount Plus’ official Twitter account and various news outlets announced the creation of Avatar Studios, a studio at Nickelodeon dedicated exclusively to the expansion of the Avatar franchise. What’s more, not only are the series co-creators helping to lead this studio, but they’ve already got a new animated film in the pipeline.
While I applaud the chance for more Avatar content, Paramount has a reason for this decision. Of all the show’s Nickelodeon’s churned out, Avatar had the most potential to create a thriving expanded universe. One that could rival the likes of Marvel, DC, or Star Wars. In other words, Paramount’s banking on Avatar being their solution to Star Wars. And given how awesome the franchise is, they may stand a chance.
The Entire Nicktoons Arsenal Brought to Bare
When I was growing up as a kid, there was only one place I’d go to watch cartoons after school: Nickelodeon. Honestly, it wasn’t until I was ten that I saw the likes of Cartoon Network or Disney Channel, both of which had amazing shows. However, I still consider the late 90s and early-mid 2000s Nickelodeon the contender for best cartoons. Sadly, many of those cartoons are either relegated to reruns on secondary channels or lost to the passage of time. That is, until now.
On day one, Paramount Plus plans to put bring its massive arsenal of Nicktoons and sitcoms to bare. All the cartoons and sitcoms that we grew up with will be accessible on a single platform. Spongebob, Invader Zim, Rugrats, Fairly Odd Parents, Avatar, Dora, Blues Clues, and those are only a few that we can name. In addition, Paramount Plus will be giving us all new, original content, like Spongebob: Kamp Koral, the revival of iCarly, and even a live-action Fairly Odd Parents. Admittedly, I think the last one’s not needed, but that’s besides the point. Having this much of Nickelodeon’s archives available could give Paramount Plus an initial edge on HBO Max and Disney+, both of which are still adding classic cartoons and shows.
The Rugrats Returns in CGI Animation
Before there was Spongebob, there was Rugrats. Premiering more than thirty years ago as one of the original Nicktoons, Rugrats ran for more than thirteen years and was a staple of kids entertainment for millions everywhere. It got video games, merchandise, comic books, movies, and even a spin-off show. And now, Paramount Plus aims to bring these babies back for a new generation. Even better, the original cast will be reprising their roles.
I’m still on the fence about the new animation style. It lacks the same appeal of the classic show in CGI form. However, I think it can grow on me. And as long as the revival’s good, I think it will be worth it. Who knows. If it lasts long enough, I could end up showing it to my future kids one day.
Beavis and Butthead are Back in Town
There comes a time in every society when they reach peak levels of stupidity. And when that time comes, we rely on people to come up with hilariously scathing commentary on the way culture’s progressing. In the 1990s, MTV was blessed with the likes of Beavis and Butthead. And now, so will Paramount Plus.
From what I understand, Beavis and Butthead will be available in its entirety on Paramount Plus. And when the second series revival premieres on Comedy Central, odds are it will stream on there as well. But the biggest piece of news related to these two snarky couch-potatoes? They’re getting another movie exclusively for the streaming platform! In the words of those two idiots: “This kicks ass.”
Sponge on the Run Finally Gets Its Debut in America
This is something that should have happened a long time ago. Originally meant to premiere in theaters in the summer of 2020, Spongebob’s latest film, Sponge on the Run got delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. The problems didn’t stop there, however. Paramount repeatedly failed to give fans a clear timeline for a release date in America. Then, to add insult to injury, the film was released sporadically overseas while American fans were left high and dry. Now, months after several other countries got to see it in theaters or on Netflix, Sponge on the Run will be available in the US on-demand and on Paramount Plus on launch day.
Personally, I think this is a negative rather than a positive in regards to Paramount. Their failure to give a clear answer about the film’s release date in America has left many fans frustrated. In my opinion, I think having it on their new streaming service is a gesture that came too little, too late. Many fans will have already watched the movie through other means! So, good going, Paramount.
Paramount Plus Is Coming Out Swinging
Okay, so most of these announcements have to do with Nickelodeon or other cartoons, but right now, that may be the best option for Paramount Plus. Nostalgia’s one of the most powerful weapons in the entertainment industry right now, and given how many hit shows Nickelodeon’s given us over the years, Paramount has nostalgia in spades. If they were to leverage that, they might stand a chance against Disney+ and HBO Max.
Nickelodeon has the potential of shifting the balance of power in the streaming wars, and until now, they’ve been limited to Netflix and other platforms. Having their entire army of Nicktoons under one roof could drive millions of nostalgia-driven millennials to this new streaming platform. At the very least, I’m interested in seeing how things turn out for them.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!