Animation / Cubix: Robots for Everyone

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cubix_robots_for_everyone.jpg
♪ Robots for Everyone! ♪

Cubix: Robots For Everyone (2001) was a short-lived Korean All-CGI Cartoon, set in the future not so far away where robots capable of emotions and independent thought are commonplace.

The plot revolves around a boy named Connor and his robot Cubix, a Super Prototype made of modular blocks who can transform into any number of useful forms. Along with his friends from the local robot repair shop (the "Botties"), Connor and Cubix battle the evil Dr. K as he tries to collect a mysterious substance called Solex that's causing robots to go berserk.

The series was licensed and dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment. Viewers in the U.S. can watch it on Hulu.

Examples:

  • Adaptation Expansion: 4kids worked together with Cinepix to produce the show. As such the Korean version came first and the English version was based upon it, with several scenes featuring new animation being created solely for the English version. For example, more scenes were added into the first episode showing the Botties warming up to Connor as he works on Cubix.
  • The Ahnold: Maximix, a deliberate parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks with a thick Austrian accent.
  • Almighty Janitor: The Janitor Robot in "Tyrannix". He's really Grixkey (read: Wayne Gretzky), the former star player of the hockey-like sport played by robots. Dr. K might be the one behind his current occupation.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The names of Dr K's robots usually begin with "K". Dr K even muses that when he captures Cubix for himself, he'll keep the name but spell it with a "K".
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: While most of the International dubs used a cover of the English theme song "Robots for Everyone" there were some exceptions.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Cerebrix has no offensive capabilities but as his name suggests, he is essentially a brain on legs. He can hack and/or analyze just about anything and can replicate any frequency he comes across, allowing him to jam the enemies' weapons while the others do the hitting.
  • Badass Boast: Dr K's password "The password is I'm Dr K and you're not!" Later Kilobot would put his own twist on it to taunt Dr K.
    Kilobot: "The password is I'm Kilobot and you're not!"
  • Bare Your Midriff: Abby's outfit.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Kilobot's signature EPU absorption theme was actually first used in the episode "Magnetix Personality" during Kan-It's rampage.
  • Bowdlerise: The infamous "Burping Bubbles" scene in "Tommorows Robot Today". In the original the bubbles were explosive, whereas in the dub they're still explosive but are filled with gas that makes people burp.
    • In "War Triangle" Dr K. discusses his evil plan using Gingerbread Cookies embedded with gumdrops. In the original version the cookies were action figures (with gumdrops on them). This change was likely made due to the fact that Dr K. proceeds to eat a gumdrop in the scene and 4kids didn't want to give kids the impression it's okay to eat toy parts.
  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his multi-colored shapeshifting super-powered Robot Buddy.
  • Can't Catch Up: The other robots in regards to Cubix. Due to the fact that Cubix runs on solex. Maximix eventually suffers a crisis in confidence as a result in "The Importance of being Maximix".
  • Chest Blaster: Cubix combines this with a Battle Aura to push enemies off of him. Kolossal has a solar cannon he only uses once. Kulminator has two: a Gatling-like beam and a Solex-powered Disintegrator Ray.
  • Cool Big Sis: Hela is this towards the Botties.
  • Combining Mecha: Katastrophe has two main parts that can operate separately or join together.
    • In "War Triangle" Kilobot forcefully combines with Cubix's body to take control of him.
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: Solex-infected robots are prone to going on a rampage.
  • Curse Cut Short: Averted in Kubix!!!, where Mong does a song and dance in front of a sleeping Kolossal and when the Botties try to warn Mong that it's waking up, he believes that they're attempting to do this.
    Mong: Lighten up! There's nothing wrong with saying rump.
  • Disney Death: Cubix twice near the end of Season 1.
    • And Maximix at the end of season 2, who is killed by Kilobot, and is brought back using the data that Kilobot had absorbed from Maximix in an earlier episode. Subverted somewhat as Maximix lost some of his memory as a result.
  • Disappeared Dad: And Missing Mom. Both Conner's mom and Hela's dad are dead. It turns out that Hela's dad, Dr. Nemo, had just been kidnapped.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Cubix can parts-shift to form vehicles for Connor, including a hover scooter and helicopter. On top of that, Cubix even has smaller gadgets built into his cube parts that can be used in other situations.
  • Dub Name Change: 4Kids localized many of the original Korean character names for the English dub. Connor was originally "Haneul", Abby was "Yuri", "Chip was "Min Woo" and Kolossal was "Scavenger" to name a few.
    • In the Japanese dub, Connor is named "Ichiro", Cubix is "Kombock", "Bubble Town" is "New Musashino City" and Doctor K is "Professor K".
    • Mong's name was redubbed as "Mark" in the UK broadcast after there was some controversy about his character. MENCAP complained that the character of Mong makes fun of people who are Mongoloid but it probably wasn't intentional on the creators' part. Ironically Mong was the only Bottie to retain his name from the original Korean version.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Dr K is genuinely surprised when it seems as though Kolossal has betrayed him alongside Kilobot.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dr K is reunited with Klank, the robot equivalent to his childhood teddybear only for him to be damaged beyond repair in a nearby fight. Dr K is so distraught he bursts into tears and orders everyone to retreat despite having the upper hand during the battle.
  • Enemy Mine: In the series finale, The Botties and Dr. K team up to stop Kilobot from taking over the world.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Cubix not only is made of cubes, but also features the colors on a standard Rubix cube (red, green, yellow, blue, white, and orange). May qualify as Fridge Brilliance.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Abby still wears her midriff bearing top even in cold weather.
  • Expy: Kilobot resembles the Astranagant from Super Robot Wars Alpha (who was created by combining the data of many robots), and similar to its pilot Ingram Prisken, he betrays his master.
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Near the end of the first season, the Botties take control of Dr. K's other robots when fighting Kolossal. Of course, they barely have a clue what they're doing.
    Dr K: (to Konfusion) You're not guarding the junk, you are the junk!
  • First Episode Resurrection: No one had been able to repair Cubix until Connor came along in the first episode.
    Chip: We all really tried, but none of us could fix him up.
  • Foreshadowing: In the fifth episode, Mong suspects a robot eating alien is behind the disappearances. Guess what turns out to be The Man Behind the Man?
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of Dr K's robots the aptly named "Krab".
  • Girlish Pigtails: Abby supports these.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Cubix does this every time he faces the possibility of dying.
    • In "Office Politix" a bunch of Antix attach themselves to him and prepare to self destruct, so Cubix gives Connor one last smile before flying skywards to save everyone from the blast.
    Connor: Cubix wait! I have to save you!
    Cubix: (smiles) Save you!
    • In "Kuliminator" Cubix does the same thing as he shuts down apparently for good.
    Connor: I knew you'd be okay as long as you didn't run out of solex.
    Cubix: (smiles) Out...of...solex...
    • In "War Triangle" Cubix assures Connor of their friendship with a smile as Kilobot seemingly destroys him.
    Cubix: (smiles) Connor, you're my friend! Friend... friend...
  • Heel–Face Turn: Konfusion after it becomes apparent Dr K. doesn't care about him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Cubix sacrifices himself to stop the Kuliminator at he cost of using up all his solex. He gets better.
  • Heroic Second Wind: On occasions Cubix's desire to protect his friends allows him to come back from the brink of defeat.
    Connor: Cubix! We need you!
    Cubix: (powers up) Need you!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Kilobot was defeated when the heroes used his own giant Zombot monster to drain him of his EPU energy. Considering Kilobot's method of gaining his powers, it's ironic and poetic.
  • How We Got Here: "The Underground of Bubble Town" begins with the Botties trying to save a Sewwix from Dr. K. As Cubix falls to his doom, the action freezes and Connor rewinds all the way back to the night of a blackout to begin the episode properly.
  • Hulk Speak: "KOLOSSAL CRUSH!"
  • Humongous Mecha: Dr. K uses his evil autonomous versions to battle the kids. They later turn out to have internal cockpits. Also, Kulminator and Kontraption.
  • Insert Song: There were a few insert songs used in some episodes. Though some were only present on the DVD release.
  • Kill It with Fire: At least two Solex-infected robots had spouted flamethrowers and torched everything around them.
  • Leitmotif: Cubix has one for his transformations.
    • A twisted remix of it is used for Kilobot's transformations.
  • MacGuffin: Solex isn't even explained in the first few episodes. Dr. K wants it, and he goes out and gets it while the kids try to stop him. It's later revealed to be a powerful source of fuel, and is used later to move a giant robot.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. K definitely counts.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Cubix gets one "The Power Module" towards the the end of season 2.
  • Mickey Mousing: The English version's BGM is often tailored to the precise movements onscreen.
  • Mouth Flaps: Expected from a Korean CG series dubbed into English. Largely averted for the robots, none of whom have movable mouths in the first place (and whose lines are noticeably less awkward as a result).
  • Multiple Personalities: The aptly-named Konfusion.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Dr. K's combat robots, even if they aren't up to par with Cubix.
  • Narrator: Connor, for at least seven episodes in the first season anyway.
  • Never Say "Die": Unusually (for a 4kids dub) averted in the first season, though played straight in the second. First example would be in Episode 1 where Connor jokes his dad would kill him for running away. Then in Episode 2 Connor outright states his mother had died years ago. Then in Episode 5 where Hela claims her father died in an accident. And in Episode 7 Hela at one point states "Are you trying to get us killed!?"
  • No Export for You: For some reason, the Japanese dub skipped two episodes "The Iron Chef" and "Crash Test Pest".
  • Only One Name: All the human characters, save for Hela Nemo.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Kilobot (disguised as Maximix)
    Kilobot: Standing by, NOT!
  • Power Copying: This is Kilobot's special ability. He can copy the information of any robot he absorbs, gaining their powers and the ability to shapeshift into them. But as a trade off, he also gains the weaknesses of every robot that he changes into.
    Mong: Maximix put that down!
    Kilobot: (as Maximix) Yeah, right away.
    Mong: Ha, it worked! The program you copied includes the order to follow every instruction I give.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Some of the BGM in the Korean version was stock music that had been featured in other shows such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Megas XLR and Spongebob Squarepants. For example:
  • Robot Buddy: "Robots for Everyone" is the show's tagline, and also the in-world tagline of RobixCorp, which offers hundreds of models from pet-like companions to kitchen assistants to construction bots.
  • Robot Master: Nearly every human in the show except Connor's dad.
  • Rocket Punch: Yes, Cubix can do this.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Inversed. Some robots that were clearly modeled with feminine voices in the original Korean dub are given masculine voices in the English dub and are referred to with male pronouns. Some examples would include Don Don, Cerebrix and Diagnostix.
    • Raska's alien form was explicitly female in the original Korean version too though the English dub gives her alien form distinctly a male voice.
  • Ship Tease: Abby and Conner.
    • As well as Hela and Conner's Dad.
    Mong: Maybe they're an item...
  • The Starscream: Kilobot eventually becomes one after he can no longer stand Dr K's humane idiocy.
    Dr K: You're a lot smarter than I thought.
    Kilobot: (to himself) Yeah, I am.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Throughout the first season, Cubix spoke like a parrot, repeating whatever words he heard his friends say. In the season finale, after being brought back to life after his Heroic Sacrifice to save Bubble Town from the Kulminator, he gains the ability to speak his own words.
    • In the original Korean version, Cubix never spoke at all until the season finale.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Solex makes the infected robots gain powers that seem rather implausible.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In the first season, Dr. K was working along with an alien creature to gather the Solex for their plan.
    • In season two, it was inverted into The Robot In Front Of The Man when Kilobot, who looked like at first he was obeying Dr. K's orders, turned out to have his own plans and in the end, double crossed Dr. K and nearly lead an army of robots in the conquest of the world.
  • The Power of Friendship: Cubix runs off of this, and it brings him back to life. Especially on more than one occasion.
    Nemo: You can fix Cubix you know.
    Connor: Professor Nemo? I-
    Nemo: There's something Cubix needs that only you have. Cubix gets his ultimate power from something much greater than just his EPU.
    Connor: But what can I give to him? [...] I want you to come back Cubix, I miss you. Cubix you're my friend. (Cubix comes back to life)
    Cubix: Friend!
  • The Reveal: It turned out that Raska, the attractive model who was the spokesperson for RobixCorp was actually the alien creature who was working with Dr. K in disguise.
  • The Virus: This was how Kilobot's Zombot army worked. They would touch a robot and drain them of their EPU energy, turning them into Zombots as well, then the new Zombots would repeat the process.
  • This Is a Drill: Krab hoists an energy-equivalent weapon, and Cubix sports a Drill Tank mode.
  • Tim Taylor Technology: In a pinch? Need to save your friends? Overclock your super-powered reactor and save the day! Justified as Cubix is powered by Crystalized Solex which in theory grants him near limitless power.
  • Tomboy: Abby qualifies as one.
  • Transformation Sequence: Stock footage used several times per episode, on account of Cubix's many forms.
  • Transforming Mecha: Cubix, although he parts-shifts instead of an actual transformation between pre-defined modes. This gives him a surprising amount of versatility.
    • Maximix can also turn into a bike.
    • Kilobot later mimics Cubix's part-shift powers, first to change into a condor-like form, then again while disguised as Endurix and a third time to stop Cubix himself from recombining his separate pieces, hijack those parts, and try to pulp them in between his own.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: In "K's Kages" while the gang is captured, a nearby Hop2ix randomly bursts into a song to explain what's going on.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: This happened to many of the robots that were infected with Solex. Kilobot also did this in the season two finale. In an interesting twist, Kilobot's Keystone Army of Zombots did the same thing to him when the heroes reprogrammed them to attack him.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: "In the future, not so far away..."
  • Undying Loyalty: Kolossal to Dr K. In "Final Showdown" despite apparently betraying Dr K, he has a change of heart and decides to protect his master from Kilobot.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Old video recordings on Klank show Dr. K as a bright and happy child who enjoyed building robots and playing with Klank.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Kilobot was a Knight of Cerebus in a rather light hearted show.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Cubix and the gang foil Kilobot's plans, he becomes enraged and attempts to wipe Cubix out by crushing his EPU with his bare hands.
    Kilobot: Cubix, there is one way I can stop you for good... And that's to crush your EPU with my bare hand!
    Cubix: Nooo!
    Kilobot: (laughs) Yes!
  • The Voiceless: In the original Korean version, Locomotor (i.e. Maximix) had no voice. Also Cubix did not speak at all until the season 1 finale.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Many robots in the show are capable of this, including Cubix.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Kilobot gains this ability after absorbing Endurix's data. Cubix later gains this ability too with his new booster pack.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Subverted. The main cast all love their robots very much, Hela even points out that because of their EPU's "robots have feelings now", however robots are typically considered more expendable than human beings as they can often be rebuilt good as new.
    • Case and Point: In "Dondon for Dinner" a Solex infected Disposix consumes three other robots and the Botties just shrug this off as the robots' EPU data can easily be transfered into new bodies.
  • Wingding Eyes: Cubix employs these. His eye monitor will often display various symbols to express his mood. Some other robots such as Don Don are also capable of doing this too.
  • Wrench Wench: Abby and Hela, both members of the Botties.
  • X-Ray Sparks: The manner in which Dr. K creates Kilobot, much like a certain other monster.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Dr. K's robots follow a theme of starting with "K", e.g. Kolossal, Katastrophe, Krab, Klawber, Kannon, Kuliminator, Kontraption, Kilobot and even Kan-it, Konfusion, and Klank. Most of the manufactured robots from RobixCorp end with "ix," i.e. Diagnostix, Hop-2-ix, Lectrix, etc.
  • You Meddling Kids: Said by Dr. K on at least one occasion.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Animation/CubixRobotsForEveryone