Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
|Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?|
|Genre||Science fiction comedy|
|Created by||Greg Miller|
Greg Miller (Season 1)|
Rob Renzetti (Season 1)
Steve Socki (Season 2)
Macintalk Junior (season 1)|
Bobby Block (season 2)
Gary LeRoi Gray
|Theme music composer||The Invisible Car|
|Opening theme||"Do the Robot"|
Mike Stern (season 2)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||13 (26 segments) + 1 pilot|
|Executive producer(s)||Greg Miller|
|Producer(s)||Rob Renzetti (Supervising Producer)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
Cartoon Network Studios
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||July 19, 2002 – November 14, 2003|
Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (usually shortened to Robot Jones) is an American animated television series created by Greg Miller for Cartoon Network, and the 12th of the network's Cartoon Cartoons. The show centers on Robot Jones, a robotic teenager attending a suburban middle school.
The series centers on Robot Jones (Macintalk Junior; Bobby Block), who, as his name suggests, is a robot 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 makes three new friends: Timothy "Socks" Morton (Kyle Sullivan), a tall boy who loves rock music; Mitch Davis (Gary LeRoi Gray), a headphones-wearing boy whose eyes are hidden by his long hair; and Charles "Cubey" Cubinacle (Myles Jeffrey), a shorter boy who loves video games and wears a Pac-Man T-shirt. He also meets Shannon Westerburg (Grey DeLisle), a girl he has an unrequited crush on, because of her large retainer and metal prosthetic leg.
In each episode, Robot, usually with the help of his friends, does whatever he can to fit in the human society, which sometimes goes awry and gets himself into situations brought on by his social ineptitude and others' lack of understanding. In some episodes, he gets into a conflict with genius twin brothers who look nothing alike, Lenny and Denny Yogman. At the end of most episodes, Robot makes a data log entry, in which he states what he learned that day and what conclusions 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.
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 contest 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 cancelled during its second season.
Robot Jones's animation style can been seen as a throwback to 1970s and 1980s cartoons such as Schoolhouse Rock!, with an intentionally messy and rough look. The artistic style seems to be influenced by Paul Coker and Jolly Roger Bradfield. The series' animation technique is different from most American cartoons from the early 2000s. It was 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). The show was animated at Rough Draft Studios at Seoul, Korea.
After being cancelled, the series continued to air for a few more months throughout 2003 and 2004, before being removed from the network's schedule. From 2005 to 2008, it returned sporadically in reruns on The Cartoon Cartoon Show, along with segments of other Cartoon Cartoons from that time period.
As of 2016, it has not been made available for consumer purchase.
- Robot Electro Jones (voiced by a text-to-voice program in season one and Bobby Block in season two and the redubbed reruns of season one) is a robot who does whatever he can to fit in the human society, which can sometimes go awry. He is specifically a KX8 model, developed and produced by JNZ Robotics. Whenever the day ends he adds to his memory called Data Log Entry something he learns through the experience. His "brain" resembles a giant light bulb. Macintalk Junior was replaced by Bobby Block in season two.
- 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.
- Mitchell "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Principal Sam Madman (voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Jeff Glen Bennett in the series) is the principal of Polyneux Middle School. His mustache and haircut resembles that of Adolf Hitler; as such, he is very tyrannical to Robot. He is afraid of technology as a whole, as seen in "Sickness", "Parents" and the pilot episode.
- Lenny and Denny Yogman (voiced by Josh Peck and Austin Stout respectively) are notorious young genius brothers and the main antagonists of the show. They wear red hats that resembles the 1980s band Devo's energy dome hats, yellow shirts, green shorts, and black/white sneakers. Lenny is tall while Denny is short. They do whatever they can to take Robot's brain, as they believe that stealing it will allow them to "rule the school". Lenny mentions in "The Yogmans Strike Back" that he plans to it to "Brainwash the principal, and abolish PE forever!"
- 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 but is sometimes friendly to him. Shannon talks with a lisp.
- 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 Dad Unit & Mom Unit. It is shown in "Vacuum Friend" that he strongly dislikes humans and wishes for machines to take over from mankind as rulers of the planet. However, he cares deeply for Robot, as seen in "House Party".
- Mr. McMcMc (voiced by Maurice LaMarche in the pilot and Rip Taylor in the series) is Robot Jones' math teacher. Like most of the staff at Polyneux, he is very childish and also extremely insecure about his intelligence, as seen in "Math Challenge".
- Clancy Q. Sleepyjeans (voiced by David Koechner) is the school janitor.
- Mr. Workout (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is the PE teacher in Polyneux Middle School. He forced Robot to take a shower in "PU to PE", resulting in him being electrocuted inadvertently by Robot. He later appeared in "Growth Spurts" with little impact on the plot, alongside an unnamed bearded coach.
- Mrs. Raincoat (voiced by Grey DeLisle) the English teacher.
- James Nob (voiced by Gedde Watanabe) is the 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.
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|Pilot||1||June 16, 2000|
|1||6||June 25, 2002||October 13, 2002|
|2||7||October 3, 2003||December 11, 2003|
|Title||Directed by||Original air date|
|0||1||"Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?"||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||June 8, 2000|
|Robot Jones is informed by his parents, Mom Unit and Dad Unit, that he has been put into a human public school that he must now attend. While in math class, he believes that the problems are too easy for him, which results in him getting sent to the principal's office for being condescending to the teacher. Later the same day as all of the school kids are eating lunch, Principal Madman trips on a wire which he later finds out is Robot's charger cable. After finding out it was Robot Jones, he gives him three months detention for tripping him, which angers Robot so much that he starts malfunctioning and firing lasers out of his eyes, setting the room on fire and scaring 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 named Shannon because of her braces, which he designates as "high metal content". 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||Greg Miller and Mike Stern||Greg Miller and Rob Renzetti||September 6, 2002|
Electric Boogaloo: Lenny and Denny Yogman try to trick Robot Jones into being his friend so they can steal his brain.
The Groovesicle: Robot Jones and Socks watch "The Groovesicle" on TV featuring a video by "The Lavender Fudge Experience".
|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, Kevin Kaliher and Mike Bell||Kevin Kaliher and Mike Bell||Greg Miller||July 26, 2002|
Cube Wars: Everyone becomes obsessed with solving their Rubik's Cubes (called Wonder Cubes on the show), 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, Dave Smith and Paul Tibbitt||Dave Smith and Paul Tibbitt||Greg Miller||August 2, 2002|
Parents: Robot Jones must bring his parents to parent-teacher night at the middle school. When his parents embarrass him, Robot Jones attempts to manually override them to control their behavior, but fails.
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||Kevin Kaliher and Mike Stern||Greg Miller||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, Clay Morrow and Walt Dohrn||Clay Morrow and Walt Dohrn||Greg Miller||September 13, 2002|
Jealousy: Robot Jones feels jealousy towards an android named Finkman who proves more popular with Shannon than he does.
Scantron Love: Robot pretends to love the school Scantron machine in order to get the answers for his history tests. However, things do not go as planned.
Season 2 (2003)
|Title||Written by||Storyboarded by||Directed by||Original air date|
|7||1||"Gender / Math Challenge"||Greg Miller, Kevin Kaliher and Charlie Bean||Kevin Kaliher and Charlie Bean||Steve Socki||October 3, 2003|
Gender: Robot Jones struggles to understand the differences between human boys and girls, never being assigned as either (despite possibly being male).
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, Clay Morrow and Chuck Klein||Clay Morrow and Chuck Klein||Steve Socki||October 10, 2003|
Family Vacation: Robot and Socks go on a spring break vacation together with Robot's family, but Robot's parents are getting the wrong idea about them.
Hair: Seeing other boys in school with hair makes Robot want hair of his own to impress Shannon, but he cannot get any because of his robotic body.
|9||3||"Garage Band / Work"||Greg Miller, Brian Larsen and Mike Stern||Brian Larsen and Mike Stern||Steve Socki||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 at JNZ Robotics to make extra money.
|10||4||"The Yogmans Strike Back / Hookie 101"||Greg Miller, Kevin Kaliher and Charlie Bean||Kevin Kaliher and Charlie Bean||Steve Socki||October 24, 2003|
The Yogmans Strike Back: The Yogmans hypnotize Robot's friends and turn them into an amalgamation robot called the "Yogstrosity".
Hookie 101: Robot, Socks, Cubey, and Mitch all play hookie.
|11||5||"House Party / School Newspaper"||Greg Miller, Clay Morrow and William Reiss||Clay Morrow and William Reiss||Steve Socki||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"||TBA||TBA||Steve Socki||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||Steve Socki||November 14, 2003|
Summer Camp: Robot Jones tries to impress Shannon by showing off his nature skills at a summer camp.
Rules of Dating: Robot attempts to impress Shannon, but his efforts are marred by restrictions enforced on him by the "Laws of Robotics".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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