Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
|Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?|
Comic science fiction
|Created by||Greg Miller|
|Developed by||Mike Stern
|Directed by||Greg Miller
Steve Socki (supervising director)
|Voices of||Macintalk Junior
Gary LeRoi Gray
Dee Bradley Baker
Jeff Glen Bennett
Kevin Michael Richardson
|Theme music composer||The Invisible Car|
|Opening theme||"Do the Robot"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||13 (27 segments)|
|Executive producer(s)||Greg Miller|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original run||July 12, 2002– November 14, 2003|
Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (usually shortened to Robot Jones) is an American animated television series that aired on Cartoon Network from 2002 to 2003. The show centers on Robot Jones, a robotic teenager attending a suburban middle school. The show is the 12th series to fall under the Cartoon Cartoons label.
Greg Miller's original series pilot aired on Cartoon Network on June 16, 2000, in a contest featuring 10 animated shorts to be chosen for a spot on the network's 2001 schedule. During the weekend of August 25–27, 2000, all 10 pilots aired as part of a 52-hour marathon called "Voice Your Choice Weekend", in which viewers would vote for their favorite pilots. While The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy won the contract with 57% of the vote, Robot Jones came in second place with 23% and was given its own series run beginning June 25, 2002. After waning support from the network executives, constant time slot changes, and steps to redevelop the series (including re-casting the voice of Robot), Greg Miller left the show and Robot Jones was left to air its second and final season.
Robot Jones's animation technique is different from most American cartoons from the early- to mid-2000s. The show is animated with traditional cel animation, at a time when many American cartoons had switched to digital ink and paint (possibly due to the 1980s settings), and arguably was the last United States cartoon done by cels altogether judging by its premiere and one of the last cartoons animated dependently with cels at the time as well as fellow Cartoon Network original series, Ed, Edd n Eddy (although it switched to digital ink and paint by season 5 around a year after Robot Jones ended). The show was animated at Rough Draft Studios at Seoul, Korea.
In 2005 the series returned sporadically in reruns on The Cartoon Cartoon Show on Cartoon Network, along with shorts of other series that ended during that time period, such as Mike, Lu & Og, Time Squad, and others.
As of May 3, 2013, Cartoon Network had not yet indicated publicly whether or not the show would return in reruns on the revived block, Cartoon Planet, or be made available for consumer purchase.
The protagonist is Robot Jones, a short automaton who lives in a small city in Delaware in a futuristic version of the 1980s. Robot attempts to learn of human nature by attending Polyneux Middle School, where he meets three new friends: Socks, a taller boy with curly blonde hair; Mitch, a headphones-wearing boy whose eyes are hidden by his long hair; and Cubey, a shorter boy with spiked black hair who wears big, square sunglasses and a Pac-Man T-shirt. He also meets Shannon, a girl he has an unrequited crush on, because of her large orthodontic appliance and metal prosthetic leg.
In each episode, Robot, usually with the help of his friends, gets himself into a situation brought on by his social ineptitude and others' lack of understanding. In some episodes he is tormented by genius twin brothers who look nothing alike, Lenny and Denny Yogman. At the end of every episode, except "Cube Wars" and "The Yogmans Strike Back", Robot makes a data log entry, in which he states conclusions that he has arrived at on humanity.
The opening sequence of the show, in which Robot Jones is assembled in a factory and then inserted into a school bus, is an homage to the opening sequence of 1980s children's show You Can't Do That on Television, which starts with a similar animation of children being assembled in a factory and poured into a school bus.
At the end of the intro where the title of the show is spoken, the "...Robot Jones" part is done by a Macintosh Macintalk voice known as Trinoids. Robot Jones is voiced by the Macintosh Macintalk voice Junior in the first season and Bobby Block in the second season. The first season episodes featuring Macintalk voice were later re-dubbed with Bobby Block's voice.
- Robot Electro Jones (voiced by Macintalk Junior in season one and Bobby Block in season two) is a robot who does whatever he can to fit in the human society, which can sometimes go awry. Whenever the day ends he adds to his memory called Data Log Entry something he learns through the experience. His brain is a giant light bulb. Macintalk Junior was replaced by Bobby Block to prevent a lawsuit from the Apple company. Moreover, Block's voice was also used to dub over the season one episodes.
- Dad Unit is Robot's father. When he says something, he often says it three times; one example would be "Listen to your mother! Listen to your mother! Listen to your mother!" as said in the inaugural episode. He has one hand, wears a tie and in his focus on tasks he often gets into shenanigans such as smashing through walls. He is voiced by Macintalk's 'Ralph' voice, which was also used for the voice of Auto in WALL-E.
- Mom Unit (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is Robot's mother. She is pink in color and her hands look like the ends of a gas pump's hose which she uses for giving fuel to her fellow units. She seems to generally have a no-nonsense attitude.
- Timothy "Socks" Morton (voiced by Kyle Sullivan) is the best friend of Robot Jones. He is quite a fanatic to rock music. He has blond curly hair and wears a green jacket.
- Charles "Cubey" Cubinacle (voiced by Myles Jeffrey) is the shorter friend with dark, straight hair, sunglasses with window blinds for lenses, and roller skates. He is a video game lover.
- Mitch Freeman Davis (voiced by Gary LeRoi Gray) is a lad often seen wearing headphones, a red sweater and sandals. His eyes are obscured by his long hair. In "Scantron Love", his last name was Davis.
- Lenny and Denny Yogman (voiced by Josh Peck and Austin Stout respectively) are the notorious young genius twins of the show. They wear red hats that resembles the 1980s band Devo's energy dome hats, yellow shirts, and black sneakers. Lenny is tall while Denny is short. They do whatever they can to take Robot's brain.
- Shannon Westerburg (voiced by Grey DeLisle) is a girl whom Robot loves because she has more mechanical attachments than any human he has ever seen, specifically a large orthodontic appliance and a prosthetic leg. She is unaware that Robot has a crush on her and typically finds him more of an annoyance than anything else. Shannon talks with a lisp.
- Mr. McMcMc (voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Rip Taylor in the series) is Robot Jones' math teacher.
- Clancy Q. Sleepyjeans (voiced by David Koechner) is the school janitor.
- Mr. Workout (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is the Gym teacher in Polyneux Middle School. He forced Robot to take a shower in "P. U. to P. E.".
- Ms. Rucoat (voiced by Grey DeLisle) the English Teacher.
- Principal Madman (voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Jeff Glen Bennett in the series) is the principal of Polyneux Middle School. His mustache resembles that of Adolf Hitler's; as such, he is very tyrannical to his students.
- James Nob (voiced by Gedde Watanabe) is the tyrant owner of Nob's Arkaid, where Robot and his friends hang out. He keeps telling kids that they're breaking his arcade machines, every time they play with them. In "Hookie 101", it is revealed that his arcade gives a discount on game tokens during school hours.
- Gramps Unit (voiced by Macintalk's 'Zarvox') is Robot Jones' grandfather. Gramps Unit sounds like Robot Jones' father, but he could be the dad of either Dad Unit or Mom Unit.
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|Pilot||1||June 16, 2000|
|1||6||June 25, 2002||September 13, 2002|
|2||7||October 3, 2003||November 14, 2003|
|Title||Directed by||Original air date|
|0||1||"Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||June 8, 2000|
|Robot Jones learns that he has been put into a human public school that he must now attend. While in class, he believes that the problems are too easy which results in him getting sent to the principals office for being a smart alec to the teacher. Later the same day as all of the school kids are eating lunch, the principal trips on a wire which he later finds out is Robots charger cable. After finding out it was Robot Jones, he gives him three months detention for tripping him, which angers Robot Jones so much that he starts malfunctioning and scares away everyone. Later, he rants about the humans in the hallway and almost gives up completely on them, until he develops a crush on a girl who is wearing braces. He then realizes that humans are not all that bad and that he needs to study more on them.|
Season 1: 2002
|Title||Written by||Storyboarded by||Directed by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Electric Boogaloo / The Groovesicle"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||July 12, 2002|
Electric Boogaloo: Lenny and Denny Yogman try to trick Robot Jones so they can steal his brain.The Groovesicle: Robot Jones watches a music video on TV with his friend Socks about a man and his dog.
|2||2||"P.U. to P.E. / Vacuum Friend"||Greg Miller||Kevin Kaliher and Mike Stern||Greg Miller||July 19, 2002|
P.U. to P.E.: Robot Jones fears taking a shower in gym class because he thinks he will rust.Vacuum Friend: Robot Jones befriends a vacuum cleaner after thinking humans and robots cannot be friends.
|3||3||"Cube Wars / Sickness"||Greg Miller||Greg Miller and Mike Stern||Greg Miller||July 26, 2002|
Cube Wars: Everyone becomes obsessed with solving their Rubik's Cubes, but Robot Jones' superior mind allows him to solve it almost instantly. The Yogmans sabotage Robot's cube, however, and he begins to malfunction.Sickness: The Yogmans prank Robot Jones by inserting a virus-filled floppy disk in Robot's disk drive, and he becomes very ill.
|4||4||"Parents / Embarrassment"||Greg Miller||August 2, 2002|
Parents: Robot Jones must bring his parents to parent-teacher night at the middle school.Embarrassment: Robot Jones wants to ask out Shannon to the Harvest Dance, but his nervousness causes his exhaust to malfunction whenever he gets near her.
|5||5||"Politics / Growth Spurts"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||August 9, 2002|
Politics: Robot Jones runs for student council president.Growth Spurts: Robot Jones modifies himself to be tall enough to be on the basketball team.
|6||6||"Jealousy / Scantron Love"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||September 13, 2002|
Jealousy: Another robot named Finkman becomes infatuated with Shannon, and Robot Jones gets jealous.Scantron Love: Robot gets romantically involved with his history class' Scantron machine.
Season 2: 2003
|Title||Written by||Storyboarded by||Directed by||Original air date|
|7||1||"Gender / Math Challenge"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||October 3, 2003|
Gender: Robot Jones wonders about his gender, as he was never assigned one being a robot.Math Challenge: Mr. McMcMc challenges Robot Jones to a math competition to determine who is the smarter one of the two.
|8||2||"Family Vacation / Hair"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||October 10, 2003|
Family Vacation: Robot and Socks go on a spring break vacation together with their families, but Robot's parents are clueless as to how a vacation works.Hair: Seeing other boys in school with hair makes Robot want hair of his own to impress Shannon, but he has trouble finding a hairstyle that suits him.
|9||3||"Garage Band / Work"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||October 17, 2003|
Garage Band: Robot, Socks, Cubey, and Mitch form a garage rock band together. They focus more on being cool rather than actually practicing songs, which confuses Robot.Work: Robot Jones gets a job with Dad Unit at the robot factory to make extra money.
|10||4||"The Yogmans Strike Back / Hookie 101"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||October 24, 2003|
The Yogmans Strike Back: The Yogmans hypnotize Robot's friends Cubey, Socks, and Mitch and turn them into an amalgamation robot called the "Monstrosity".Hookie 101: Robot, Socks, Cubey, and Mitch all play hookie.
|11||5||"House Party / School Newspaper"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||October 31, 2003|
House Party: Robot Jones throws a big party at his house while his parents are away.School Newspaper: Robot Jones gets a job for the school newspaper and writes stories about Principal Madman.
|12||6||"Safety Patrol / Popularity"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||November 7, 2003|
Safety Patrol: When Robot Jones is put on the school's safety patrol, he enforces the rules very strictly.Popularity: Robot Jones sends a decoy version of himself to school so that he can attend a robotics expo, but the decoy ends up becoming popular with his classmates.
|13||7||"Summer Camp / Rules of Dating"||Greg Miller, Chris Reccardi and Paul Tibbitt||Chris Reccardi and Paul Tibbitt||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||November 14, 2003|
Summer Camp: Robot Jones tries to impress Shannon by showing off his woodsman skills at a summer camp.Rules of Dating: Before Robot can go on a date with Shannon, he must remember to abide by the rules of dating for robots.
- DeMott, Rick (May 10, 2000). "Cartoon Network Navigates 10 New Pilots". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- Schultz, Paul (July 30, 2000). "An Animated Election". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- Dempsey, John (August 29, 2000). "'Billy & Mandy' beats out 'Robot,' 'Longhair' to get greenlight". Variety. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
- DeMott, Rick (August 28, 2000). "Only One Grim Survivor Of Cartoon Network’s Voice Your Choice Weekend". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- Macmillan, Alissa (February 22, 2001). "'toon Net Sets 2 New Series". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- Owen, Rob (July 11, 2002). "'Robot' premieres". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Block Communications). Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- Sissario, Ben (July 14, 2002). "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; A Retro Robot Who's Big for His Age". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2 December 2012.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (24 June 2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House LLC. p. 1505. ISBN 978-0-307-48320-1. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- Official website (archive)
- Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? at the Internet Movie Database
- Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? at TV.com
- Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? at the Big Cartoon DataBase