Welcome to another edition of the Daily Cartoon on Car JoeMez! Make sure to check out the latest episode of The Car JoeMez Podcast where we set the wheels in motion for our first contest and discuss the final installment of the Wolverine trilogy, LOGAN, on iTunes, Soundcloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It’s good. Listen to it.
Today’s cartoon is Robocop: The Animated Series! If you don’t remember this existing, you’re most likely not alone. It only lasted 12 episodes in 1988 and then faded into obscurity to only be viewed by idiots like me who can’t get enough of shit like this.
Listen, I love Robocop. I loved the movies, the NES games and especially when he saved Sting from the wrath of the Four Horsemen at Capital Combat ’90.
Seriously, hearing the announcers get excited as Robocop meanders his way down the entrance ramp is my everything.
As for this cartoon series, I’m going to admit to having never seen it, but being really excited to get this viewing underway. I mean, it’s fucking Robocop, it’s just has to be good. Now they did temper down the tone of the movies to make it more appropriate for kids to watch, but still. It’s going to be awesome. I can feel it in my bones.
If you’re not familiar with Robocop, here’s a brief background: Detroit cop, Alex Murphy is brutally murdered by a gang of violent criminals, but is revived by a mega-corporation with robotics and returns to the force as a superhuman cyborg law-enforcer named Robocop.
Simple enough, right? Good, good. Let’s watch a cartoon!
Robocop: The Animated Series: E. 11: “Into The Wilderness”
Originally Aired: December 10, 1988
We open on a plane where OCP – the company that built Robocop – is traveling with our favorite cyborg police officer to a showcase in Los Angeles to show off their work and, hopefully, sign a contract to produce Robocops for the LAPD. Terrific. Just collect a bunch of already dead cops and turn them into cybernetic freaks. No sweat.
The plane has a sudden malfunction and is going down. The passengers all skirt tragedy with the help of parachutes, but Robocop’s prime directive is to protect the innocent so he needs to rescue the pilot who has been injured. Robocop grabs the pilot, fits him with a parachute and tosses him out the emergency exit to narrowly escape, but this leaves Robocop to crash and burn with the plane.
Apparently, nobody is looking for Robocop and he’s found by a woman named Claire who is an environmental biologist. She’s been working to help protect endangered species and water supplies and came across the crash site. Robocop – being from Detroit…in the future – has never seen a deeply wooded area before and seems to like it.
Claire shows Robocop a stream that has been contaminated and is littered with dead fish. Robocop follows the stream to search for the source of the contamination which leads to a OCP plant that is actively de-foresting the area. Robocop rips a cyclone fence straight out of the ground and arrests the plant manager for breaking the law. One of the underlings informs the big boss that Robocop is in town and he decides to release the robotic hounds on our hero.
Robocop fends off the cyborg dogs (seriously), but sustains major damage. He’s down to only 25% of his reserve energy and Claire says there’s a dam nearby and maybe they can build a makeshift charger to restore Murphy’s strength. Unfortunately, the logging crew is still looking to rid themselves of the Robocop threat and sends a giant, Transformer-looking wood chipper called The Ravager after him. Just when it looks like they’ll be able to plug Robocop into the nearest power outlet, the Ravager captures him. This may prove fatal as his energy level is dangerously low.
Claire returns to the wood cabin she’s been staying at to find Lewis (Robocop’s partner in Detroit), Dr. Tyler (the scientist from OCP who created Robocop) and Lt. Hedgecock (another cop who is decidedly anti-Robocop) waiting inside. They all escaped the plane crash and after finally locating the debris, followed tire tracks to the cabin hoping to find Murphy. The now quartet just casually drive on to the logging site and retrieve Robocop with basically no resistance.
They get Robocop to the dam where Dr. Tyler builds an electric chair to act as a charging bay in about 8 seconds. They hit the switch and Murphy jumps up like Popeye after eating a can of spinach. All seems good, but then SUHPRISE! The Ravager appears, but is no match for a fully charged Robocop. Murphy blasts the Ravager in its robotic leg which sends it toppling off the top of the dam and into the stream hundreds of thousands of feet below. Probably not that much, but it’s a fucking drop and a half.
With the Ravager out of the way, Robocop returns to the logging site to place the correct parties under arrest for their destruction of the environment. He’s confronted by The Old Man, the very top guy at OCP who reminds Murphy that he still works for OCP. Robocop responds that he’s a police officer first and The Old Man should watch himself or else he’ll have no problem making sure he also spends time behind bars.
FUCK YES ROBOCOP! This cartoon was…ok, so it wasn’t amazing, but Robocop is the bee’s knees and in a setting where he’s fawning over the wondrous view of trees and animal life, he’s fucking spectacular.
Sure, the tone is mellowed since this was pushed to kids while the movies are pretty fucking no-joke violent as Robocop tries to cleanse Detroit of the underbelly that infests it, but it’s not like this destroys the aura of Robocop. He’s still legit and strikes fear in the hearts of your everyday criminals. Just like he should.
There’s only 12 episodes in this series so I’ll apt to check out some more here and there, but I don’t feel the need to absolutely watch the whole series. I may…I may not. I love the movies. If I’ve got a Robocop itch to scratch, it’ll be with a rewatch of the movies.
I found a few episodes of this on YouTube and, as far as I know, there’s never been a Region 1 released DVD of this series that I can find. Feel free to let me know otherwise if you’ve got better intel than I do. All in all, it’s a worthwhile watch if you’re a Robocop fan just to see him in a different medium still being awesome.
See you tomorrow.