Robot Taekwon V

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Robot Taekwon V
Robot Taekwon V 1976.jpg
Poster for Robot Taekwon V (1976)
Hangul 로보트 태권브이
Revised Romanization Roboteu taegwon beui
McCune–Reischauer Robot'ŭ t'aegwŏn pŭi
Directed by Kim Cheong-gi
Produced by Yu Hyun-mok
Written by Ji Sang-Hak
Music by Choi Chang-Kwon
Cinematography Cho Bok-Dong
Edited by Yoon Ji-Young
Distributed by Yoo Productions
Seoul Donghwa
Release date
  • July 24, 1976 (1976-07-24)
Running time
85 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean

Robot Taekwon V (로보트 태권 V) is a South Korean animated film directed by Kim Cheong-gi and produced by Yu Hyun-mok, the prominent director of such films as Obaltan (오발탄) (Aimless Bullet) (1960). It was released on July 24, 1976, immediately becoming a hit in the late 1970s, and consequently inspired a string of sequels in following years. Robot Taekwon V was released in the United States in a dubbed format under the name Voltar the Invincible. Robot Taekwon V became the first Korean film to receive full digital restoration treatment in 2005.


Dr. Kaff (or Dr. Cops; 카프 박사 in Korean), an evil scientist bent on world domination, creates an army of giant robots to kidnap world-class athletes and conquer the world. To fight off this attack, Dr. Kim creates Robot Taekwon V. Kim Hoon, the taekwon-do champion and the eldest son of Dr Kim, pilots Robot Taekwon V either mechanically or through his physical power by merging his taekwon-do movements with the robot.

Comic relief is provided by Kim Hoon's younger buddy, elementary school student Kim Cheol. He has fashioned himself as "Tin-Can Robot Cheol" by cutting eyeholes in a tea kettle and wearing it on his head. Kim Hoon's girlfriend, Yoon Yeong-hee, is a pilot and taekwon-do practitioner. She can also operate Robot Taekwon V with buttons and levers, and pilots Kim Hoon in and out of the robot.[1]


The Japanese giant-robot manga and anime Mazinger Z was popular in South Korea at the time of Robot Taekwon V's creation, and Kim Cheong-gi freely discusses the influence of Mazinger Z on his cartoon, saying he wanted to create a Korean hero for Korean children. In order to emphasize the Korean ties of the film, he had leading characters perform the traditional martial art, taekwondo, and gave the robot the ability to do taekwondo kicks.[2]


The original print of Robot Taekwon V has long been thought lost, and for years the only available print was incomplete and in very poor condition. However, a duplicate print was discovered in a warehouse of the Korean Film Commission in July 2003.[3] Beginning in August of that year, the Korean Film Council made the film the subject of a 2-year restoration project budgeted at 1 billion won. 72 people were involved in cleaning up and digitizing each of the 108,852 frames. The original mono soundtrack was transferred to Dolby Digital 5.1. The restored version premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival on October 6, 2005.[4] In late 2006 Taekwon mania soared to new levels with a celebrity attended gala event in Seoul celebrating the 30th birthday of the robot and film. In 2007 yet more giant 3 meter tall size statues of Taekwon V have appeared around Seoul; instead of fronting art galleries in the hip areas of Hongdae and Insadong, one of the statues landed outside of the National Assembly (parliament) building. The restoration was widely released in early 2007 and set a new record for domestic animated films, attracting over 600,000 viewers in 18 days.[5][6]


Robot Taekwon V has inspired a number of film and comic book sequels. The film sequels include:

  • 로보트 태권V 우주작전 (Robot Taekwon V: Space Mission) (December 13, 1976)
  • 로보트 태권V 수중특공대 (Robot Taekwon V: Underwater Rangers) (July 20, 1977)
  • 로보트 태권V 대 황금날개의 대결 (Robot Taekwon V vs. Golden Wings Showdown) (July 26, 1978)
  • 날아라! 우주전함 거북선 (Fly! Spaceship Geobukseon) (July 26, 1979)
  • 슈퍼 태권V (Super Taekwon V) (July 30, 1982)
  • '84 태권V (84 Taekwon V) (August 3, 1984)
  • 로보트 태권V 90 (Robot Taekwon V 90) (July 28, 1990)


  1. ^ "'Robot Taekwon V' gets back again". Han Cinema. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  2. ^ O, Youn-hee (September 13, 2003). "Classic 'Taekwon V' reanimated". Korean Film Commission (KOFIC). Archived from the original on 2004-03-04. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  3. ^ "New print of Robot Taekwon V discovered". October 31, 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  4. ^ "Korean News in Brief: September 10 [Robot Taekwon V, Sugar Cube, Oscars, Conmen Tactics, Box Office, Quiz]". September 10, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  5. ^ "Taekwon V Sets Korean Animated Film Record". Animation World Network. February 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  6. ^ Paquet, Darcy (February 5, 2007). "'Murderer' kills at S. Korea box office". Variety. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 


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