The Good Old Days
We’re living in the year of the reboots. They’re everywhere; in our movies, our music, Netflix Original Series. Why are we obsessed with dredging up these old ideas when so many fresh themes are at our fingertips?
Part of the ritual of growing up a millennial are the beloved animated Disney films. When given the opportunity to watch these classic films come to life, why not take it? Seeing Emma Watson wear the classic Belle dress transports us back to watching VHS tapes on the couch at home. It’s not a coincidence that Beauty and the Beast is the top grossing movie of 2017, according to box office reports. The movie has made $504,014,165 since its original release in March. The opening week nearly reached $180,000,000.
Chasing after that feel good vibe that accompanies nostalgia lets us return to simpler times. Living in a global climate where it feels like one tragedy follows the next, these reboots that pop up grant us a trip to our childhood. Being a child means fewer responsibilities. Because most of our childhoods were spent obsessing over Disney films, these hold a special place in our hearts. Make no mistake, Disney has us covered. A live action Mulan, Aladdin, and The Lion King are all future plans the franchise is bringing back.Sometimes, the nostalgia doesn’t have to belong to us specifically to be enjoyed. We saw first-hand in 2014 how Nicki Minaj dominated the charts with her hit single “Anaconda”. The tune didn’t just have a catchy chorus; Minaj did something special. She connected modern hip-hop with one of the most iconic rap songs. Sampling lyrics from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” she combined today with the past. Not only does the song have over 3 million views on YouTube, but Minaj was nominated for four music awards in 2015. Grace’s 2016 song “You Don’t Own Me” saw success for the same tactic used by Minaj. The song sampled from the 1964 song performed by Lesley Gore. Grace takes the original lyrics and pairs them with a verse featuring rap artist G-Eazy to add a modern twist to a classic.
Just because us millennials were too young in 1992 to remember the exact day “Baby Got Back” dropped, doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the songs. It’s a fantasy escape, painting a non-existent moment in history where time stands still and everything seems perfect. It’s our new mixed with the old. The same phenomenon surrounds the 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It. We may not have been awkward preteens in the eighties like the characters, but we can appreciate the retro innocence surrounding them.
Living in a world where everything appears to be a nod to the past, it’s not hard to understand why. The answer is simple: we’re obsessed with nostalgia because we can escape through it. It’s one of the few ways we can leave all the shit 2017 has handed us, if only for a moment.
Photography by: Laura Kanihan