Nickellennium Retrospective: Dracophile’s Book of the Future

I’m on a roll with these “10 Years After” columns, really. I’ve done Pokemon, Ace of Base, and the actual 00’s decade itself. In the aforementioned article about the decade in review I had a section about how far Nickelodeon Studios has fallen from grace and a phrase from what I wrote got me thinking; the phrase in question being “somewhere around the Nickellennium the train derailed and crashed through the side of the Fail Station”. The “Nickellennium” as it was called was part of a whole Y2K marketing thing that Nickelodeon started to ring in the new millennium, and while the previously mentioned quote was only part of a larger joke it actually reminded me of said marketing campaign. I started thinking about Nickellennium.

For those of you who are too young or just don’t remember, Nickellennium was actually a six-hour long movie (no commercial breaks either) that cataloged the thoughts, dreams, ideas, and hopes of kids from around the world as to what they thought about the future. It really was a monumental undertaking and likely the last good thing Nickelodeon has ever produced, but I mean… seriously, putting an 11-year-old in front of the camera and asking him about the future is only going to end in him saying something he’ll regret when he’s in his 20’s. I thought about it and wondered what it would be like to revisit that production a decade later to gauge either how close or how far we are from everything that was said in the film because I’m expecting it to be hilariously skewed towards “THIS MILLENNIUM SUCKS SO FAR”, but mostly just because I’d like to make sure Frank (9, Georgia) cringes when he is reminded “in the future maybe we can talk to dolphins”.

Nickelodeon aired Nickellennium only once (four times on January 1st, 2000) and has never aired it again since. I scoured the Internet for copies of the film (either VHS or torrent) and came up with nothing. Not even a YouTube mashup, just two commercials. I went as far as contacting Viacom in regards to obtaining a copy as well as explaining my reasoning about “you should air it again since it’s been a decade”… but since they are Viacom they ignored my letter completely. I didn’t even get a form letter in return, I guess Viacom doesn’t bother to contact you unless you infringe their copyrights by uploading a homemade iCarly music video celebrating your love interest in Miranda Cosgrove on YouTube (not speaking from experience of course). My last resort was to get in touch with my awesomely cool friends at Everything Is Terrible! to see if perhaps somewhere in their vast library of VHS tapes they had a copy of Nickellennium but sadly they did not. They get a special shout-out anyway though because of the aforementioned amounts of awesome they possess. Buy their movie. I mean it.

By now you’re probably saying “welp Dracophile looks like you can’t find a copy of it may as well not post anything” but that’s where you’re wrong. More wrong than the dolphin guy. Nickelodeon went all out with this year 2000 stuff and they published two books that were essentially Nickellennium without the wacky zany musical interludes about the future and spaaaaaace. One of them is called The Future According to Kids, and you bet your ass I tracked down a copy of that. If I can’t relish in the memories of Y2K by sitting on my butt and watching a grainy VHS tape I can do so with a brightly colored book. My intentions were to revisit the thoughts and hopes of the children interviewed and gauge how close (or far) we are to their aspirations, and damn it that’s what I’m going to do. But first, let’s start with the other of the two books, ______’s Book of the Future, a blank “scrapbook” that you could fill out with your favorite things at the time of the new year and other little odds and ends like “the price of a gallon of gas in 2000” so that when when our SUV’s drink all of the dinosaurs we can look back and say “wow I remember when $3.00 a gallon was cheap!”

I bought a copy of this book secondhand and one of two things was going to happen, either it was going to be filled out by someone already and I could make fun of his (or her) thoughts on the future or it would be blank and I could scribble in some witty banter on my own time. Turns out both are true! The previous owner of this book managed to write his name on the cover… and nothing else. I guess he did that so he wouldn’t forget his name in the new millennium. Anyway, here’s some scans of Danny’s Dracophile’s Book of the Future.

(Click any page to enlarge it.)

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– Dracophile