My Life as a Teenage Robot
|My Life as a Teenage Robot|
|Created by||Rob Renzetti|
|Theme music composer||Peter Lurye|
|Composers||James L. Venable|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40 (75 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Rob Renzetti|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Production companies||Frederator Studios|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nelvana International (Canada)
|Original network||Nickelodeon (2003–05)|
Nicktoons (2008–09)[Note 1]
|Original release||August 1, 2003 –|
May 2, 2009[Note 1]
|Preceded by||Oh Yeah! Cartoons|
My Life as a Teenage Robot, or Teenage Robot (abbreviated as MLAATR), is an American animated superhero comedy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Frederator Studios in association with Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Set in the fictional town of Tremorton, the series follows the adventures of a robot girl named XJ-9, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called, who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal human life as a teenager.
Renzetti pitched the series to Frederator Studios' animated shorts showcase Oh Yeah! Cartoons and a pilot titled "My Neighbor is a Teenage Robot", which aired on January 5, 1999. Viewer approval ratings led to the commissioning of a half-hour series, which premiered on August 1, 2003; after airing its first two seasons, the series was cancelled in terms of production due to poor ratings.[better source needed] The completed third season eventually aired on Nickelodeon's spinoff network Nicktoons from October 4, 2008, to May 2, 2009. The series totaled three seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes.
My Life as a Teenage Robot is set in the fictional town of Tremorton and its themes focus on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage issues and other conventions and drama of the teenage and superhero lives mixed up with a combination of action, adventure, sci-fi fantasy and comedy sequences. The series follows XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye), who is a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art sentient gynoid automaton robot girl created by her mother Dr. Nora Wakeman (Candi Milo), an elderly robotics scientist, five years before the series. Jenny is Earth's protector, armed to the teeth with a wide range of weapons and devices, but all she really wants is to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season 1, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1–8.
Jenny's friends are her next-door neighbors Brad (Chad Doreck) and Tuck Carbuckle (Audrey Wasilewski). Brad is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first human friend Jenny makes, while Tuck is Brad's rambunctious younger brother who usually tags along on adventures. Another one of her friends is Sheldon Lee (Quinton Flynn), a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is obsessed with her. Jenny often rejects his romantic advances, but still cares for him as a friend.
At high school, Jenny has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust cousins, Brit (Moira Quirk) and Tiff (Cree Summer), the popular girls in school. Dr. Wakeman often tries in vain to control her creation and keep her daughter focused on protecting the planet Earth. Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus (Eartha Kitt), wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly-human life.
The special of the series, "Escape from Cluster Prime", shows that the alien planet is actually a peaceful paradise for every kind of robot. It's also revealed that Vexus has made Jenny out to be a villain because of her constant refusals to join, branding her responsible for destroying the missing components that allow robots to transform, while they are truly hidden by Vexus, to control the population.
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|Backdoor pilot||January 5, 1999||Nickelodeon|
|1||13||August 1, 2003||February 27, 2004|
|2||14||December 8, 2004||September 9, 2005|
|3||13||November 17, 2006[Note 1]||March 30, 2007[Note 1]||Nicktoons (U.S.)[Note 1]|
Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Fred Seibert's and Frederator Studios' Oh Yeah! Cartoons. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor was a Teenage Robot", which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, Time Squad, Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, and Samurai Jack, Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the Teenage Robot series.
Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenage girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenage girl.
The show's crew revealed on their blog on October 17, 2005, that the show had been cancelled, and that the third season would be the last: "The executives love the show but the ratings aren't good enough for them to give us more episodes." Following the series' cancellation, Renzetti left for Cartoon Network Studios, working on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and The Cartoonstitute, before moving on to the Disney Channel to become supervising producer for Gravity Falls. The third season aired on Nicktoons from October 2008 to May 2009, officially concluding the broadcast of the series in the United States.
Broadcast and home media
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Nickelodeon premiered My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003, at 8:30 PM.[better source needed] The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block called SNICK in Fall 2003, and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup in 2004 to June 2005. The first season ended on February 27, 2004, with "The Wonderful World of Wizzly / Call Hating".
The second season (which was originally set to air on October 1, 2004) was pushed back to December 8, 2004, with the Christmas episode "A Robot for All Seasons". A new second-season episode was not aired until January 24, 2005. In the second season, a 48-minute, two-part TV movie entitled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006) aired. Since the series' cancellation, reruns continued to air on Nicktoons until April 14, 2013, and again from December 13, 2015, to May 15, 2016. As of 2022, the entire series is now streaming on Paramount+.
The episodes "See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Future Shock", "A Robot for All Seasons", "Hostile Makeover", and "Gridiron Glory" were released on Nick Picks DVD compilations. As of December 12, 2011, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on DVD exclusive to Amazon.com in region 1. The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.
|Nick Picks Vol. 1||1||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||May 24, 2005||9a|
|Features "Hostile Makeover".|
|Nick Picks Vol. 2||1||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||October 18, 2005||9b|
|Features "Grid Iron Glory".|
|Nick Picks Vol. 3||1||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||February 7, 2006||6a|
|Features "See No Evil".|
|Nick Picks Vol. 4||1||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||June 6, 2006||6b|
|Features "The Great Unwashed".|
|Nick Picks Holiday||2||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||September 26, 2006||14|
|Features "A Robot For All Seasons".|
|Nick Picks Vol. 5||2||1||Paramount Home Entertainment||USA||March 13, 2007||15a|
|Features "Future Shock".|
|The Complete First Season||1||13||CreateSpace||USA||December 12, 2011||Season 1|
|This three-disc release contained the entire first season.|
|The Complete Second Season||2||12||CreateSpace||USA||December 12, 2011||14–21, 23–26|
|This three-disc release contained twelve episodes from the second season, excluding "Escape From Cluster Prime".|
|The Complete Third Season||2, 3||14||CreateSpace||USA||December 12, 2011||22 and Season 3|
|This three-disc release contained twelve episodes from the third season, plus one episode from the second season, "Escape From Cluster Prime".|
|The Complete Series||1-3||39||Beyond Home Entertainment||Australia||February 5, 2012||Whole series|
|The entire series is included.|
Sean Aitchison from CBR wrote positively of the show stating, "Aside from the look of the show, My Life as a Teenage Robot had a fun premise that made for some great action comedy storytelling, and it definitely holds up [in modern day]. Though the show's depiction of teendom is somewhat outdated, the cliches actually end up working in favor of the humor. Though there's not a lot of story progression throughout the series, My Life as a Teenage Robot is still a whole lot of fun." Joly Herman of Common Sense Media wrote more negatively of the show, saying that, "Though it looks cool and has an upbeat energy, the show can be a bit of a drag. Some kids may enjoy it for the mindless entertainment it intends to be, but know that there are much better uses of a free half-hour."
Awards and nominations
|2004||31st Annie Awards||Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production||Rob Renzetti for "Ragged Android"||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Television Production||Joseph Holt for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|
|Seonna Hong for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|
|Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production||Janice Kawaye as "Jenny"||Nominated|
|Candi Milo as "Mrs. Wakeman"||Nominated|
|56th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation||Seonna Hong||Won|||
|BMI Awards||BMI Cable Award||Peter Lurye for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Won|||
|James Venable for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Won|
|2005||32nd Annie Awards||Best Animated Television Production||My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|||
|Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production||Alex Kirwan for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|
|Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production||Candi Milo as "Mrs. Wakeman"||Nominated|
|2006||33rd Annie Awards||Best Animated Television Production||My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|||
|Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production||Bryan Arnett for "Escape From Cluster Prime"||Nominated|
|Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production||Alex Kirwan for My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|
|2007||Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated||My Life As A Teenage Robot||Nominated|||
Jenny was featured as a playable character in the PlayStation 2/Wii and Nintendo DS versions of Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots with Janice Kawaye reprising her role as the character Jenny also appears as a playable character in the official mobile game Nickelodeon Super Brawl Universe.
- Baisley, Sarah (August 1, 2003). "My Life As A Teenage Robot Premieres". AWN, Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
- Heffley, Lynne (August 1, 2003). "'Teenage Robot' bolts to Nick's spinoff club". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "Oh Yeah! Cartoons". Frederator. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 417–418. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- "Amazon.com: Watch Oh Yeah! Cartoons! Volume 2 | Prime Video". Amazon. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". The Teenage Roblog. October 17, 2005. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 17, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "XJWriter is No More!". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 25, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
-  Archived November 27, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Schedule for "My Life as a Teenage Robot" on Nicktoons
- "Complete list of prime-time Emmy nominations". The New York Times. December 31, 1969. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "My Life As A Teenage Robot: The Complete Series". Beyond Home Entertainment. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Aitchison, Sean (October 14, 2017). "Keep It 2000: 8 Cartoons From The '00s That Hold Up (And 7 That Don't)". CBR.
- Herman, Joly (August 1, 2003). "My Life as a Teenage Robot review". Common Sense Media.
- "31st Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "My Life As A Teenage Robot Awards & Nominations". Emmys.com. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "2004 BMI Film/TV Awards". bmi.com. May 12, 2004. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "32nd Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "33rd Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "2007 Golden Reel Award Nominees: Television". Motion Pictures Sound Editors. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "Janice Kawaye (Visual voices guide)".
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