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The Mighty Orbots 

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A mild mannered human youth secretly leads a squad of uniquely designed robots in the defence of Earth.

Creator:

Barry Glasser
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1  
1984  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Sherry Alberoni ...  Bo 1 episode, 1984
Julie Bennett Julie Bennett ...  Boo 1 episode, 1984
Jennifer Darling ...  Dia 1 episode, 1984
Barry Gordon ...  Robert Simmons 1 episode, 1984
Jim MacGeorge Jim MacGeorge ...  Bort 1 episode, 1984
Bill Martin ...  Tor / ... 1 episode, 1984
Don Messick ...  Crunch / ... 1 episode, 1984
Noelle North Noelle North ...  Oh No 1 episode, 1984
Gary Owens ...  Narrator 1 episode, 1984
Robert Ridgely 1 episode, 1984
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Storyline

In the future, Earth is threatened by various enemies, but none worse than the organization called Shadow, lead by the cybernetic menace known as Umbra. Against this, the Galactic Patrol strives to protect Earth, but the mild mannered young scientist, Robert Simmons, does more. In times of peril, he secretly fights as the leader of the Orbots, a team of unique artificially intelligent robots each equipped with their own unique capabilities that are invaluable in this war. Together, whether individually or united as parts of a giant combined robot, they represent Earth's most powerful defense. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broots See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 episodes)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The series drew a lawsuit from the toy company, Tonka, on the allegation of basing the cartoon on their GoBots franchise, which was adapted from Bandai's Machine Robo line. Although that lawsuit proved to be baseless, the legal complications led to Mighty Orbots being canceled after one season. See more »

Quotes

Bort: Maybe you should reprogram me so I don't change shape anymore, Rob.
Robert Simmons: Oh, don't be silly, Bort. I built you to be versatile. We never know what kind of machine we might need out there.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Dexter's Laboratory: Last But Not Beast (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mighty Orbots: An Animator's Short Analysis
1 November 2013 | by vocaltaffySee all my reviews

I'm going to write this review from an animation student's perspective- on the care that Tokyo Movie Shinsha took into doing the following: Art/Animation, Character Personalities, and Storyline. For those readers looking for a quick review, this isn't one of those. But if you want a closer look at this gem, you might not mind.

Art/Animation:

The backgrounds are well-drawn and detailed. While they aren't at the level of Frank Frazetta's (Fire and Ice, Heavy Metal) painstakingly picturesque detail, they surely do the job nicely.

Osamu Dezaki, famous for Golgo 13 and Space Cobra, uses cel shading heavily in this series, and does a thorough job at painting such gorgeous cels here. Another critic noted Dezaki's use of 'dancing light' across objects and characters; Dezaki doesn't let up here, either.

Shingo Araki (Saint Seiyu) and Skip Jones (Secret of Nimh, Space Ace) served as key animators for this show.

If you watch the animation frame rate (or are a nerd about that stuff, like me), you can look at how the smooth the animation moves, and several dynamic angles you see the characters move in. The frame rate seems to average between 24fps-30fps. It's literally a mini-feature film! In Mighty Orbots, TMS created a show that supersedes brown budget (TV cartoons) production values.

Personality: You get the idea that the animators followed the model sheet specs carefully because each and Every character has a personality--from their movement and mannerisms down to their walk and run pattern.

For instance, take the blue Bort, the shape-shifter of the group, suffers from personality disorder. It's as though his virtue of changing anything the Orbots need to fight the bad guys at the moment- serves as a vice to his own self.

Bo (orange) the assertive sexpot, and Boo (yellow) the shy robot, are the two sisters with occasional sibling rivalry.

Bo has the stronger personality of two girls; she also has control over the elements. She puts her power of manipulating earth, fire, and- you get the idea- to use when danger calls for quick solutions. As I had a crush on her as a little kid, I feel like they made her too sexy for a kids' cartoon... not that there's anything wrong with that.

Boo uses magic of illusion and her magnetic field to the Orbots' advantage whether in battle or out. I felt like they underused her abilities.

And Crunch (purple/black) the stout droid cares mostly about eating metal and boulders. He serves to energize them when they need a power boost.

Tor the big red robot, isn't exactly an oaf, but he is a bit narcissistic. When they form the giant robot, he serves as the torso that Commander Rob controls them.

And the little robot precocious Ohno favors Shirley Temple a lot, and the Orbots have distinct traits, even if they teeter on the edge of stereotyping.

Voice Acting: I enjoy the stellar cast of talent. Don Messick (Astro from the Jetsons and hundreds more) and Barry Gordon (best known as the voice of Donatello for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1987-) do an awesome job here. So do Jennifer Darling, Jim MacGeorge, and several others who have gone on to do Bionic Six. The actors do their jobs very well, and as a method voice actor myself, I really appreciate it.

Storyline: There's a solid storyline here with a unique directive for each episode. Rob created these robots as part of the Galactic Patrol, a police unit that saves monitors criminal activity, namely started by Shadow. I could go into more detail here, but I want to address one factor that most discerning viewers take into consideration:

There is NO sense of continuity between the episodes.

As a viewer, you want to be able to watch the first episode and watch the next and have them address something from a previous episode. Or better, a character will undergo some change or deal with an issue that lets you see how he or she grew- or deteriorated- from it. But none such here.

Flaws: These have been pointed out before in TV Tropes. I will, too.

1. Rob Simmons vs. Commander Rob Bespectacled Rob Simmons the Scientist is the prominent- no, the ONLY blond character who appears consistently in each episode- to serve as main character in this show. Rob's leader Rondu knows his alter ego as Commander Rob sans glasses. Rondu's daughter Dia largely ignores Rob's requests for a date. Yet Dia goes gaga for Rob in his Omnisuit? Really? Rondu addresses Galactic Patrol Rob as 'Commander Rob'. Commander Rob. Rob. Does Dia really MISS the connection? I think, even if you're a little kid watching this, at some level you realize that they ARE the same person.

2.Voice of the Narrator I like Gary Owens' voice as the announcer of the show. He makes some key points where there's a major shift in the action. But do we HAVE to hear him comment on EVERYthing as obvious as a clogged toilet Every. Single. Minute?!

3.Lack of recurring villains Umbra is the only villain who appears in every show. Nowhere in the series do we have any other villain appear more than once, ever.

4. Size issue As individual robots the Orbots range between 1.7 meters (5'8") to 2.8 meters (9'). But when the Orbots form the giant Orbot, something odd happens. The Orbots grow to be 30-50 times their regular sizes.

Summary: All rants aside, I enjoy watching this show and the personality and all the producers, voice actors, writers, and animators have injected into it to make for a moment in my childhood that I fondly remember.


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