Literature: Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot

...and new.
Ricky Ricotta is the fictional hero of a series of adventure novels for children written by Dav Pilkey (best known for his Captain Underpants books), and illustrated by U.S. artist Martin Ontiveros.

In each book, Ricky Ricotta, a mouse, with the help of his mighty robot, saves the world from an evil villain. Also, the books each have a villain from a different planet in order from closest-to-sun to farthest-from-sun excluding Earth as the villain of the first book is from Earth. The reader could see the villains being jailed in each series and later notice the familiar villains from previous books. So far, the villains being jailed are Dr. Stinky McNasty, Mr. Mosquito, Victor von Vulture, Major Monkey, General Jackrabbit, Sergeant Stinkbug, and Uncle Unicorn.

The books are especially appealing to young children because each contains a "Flip-O-Rama" section. In these sections, the reader can "animate the action" by quickly flipping between sets of pages. The result is a simple stop-motion cartoon. The sections are usually devoted to fight scenes between Ricky's Robot and villains.

Books include:
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (2001)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (2003)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (2005)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun (2006)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune (2014)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Un-Pleasant Penguins from Pluto (2015)

The first three books were originally published as Ricky Ricotta's Giant Robot. Dav Pilkey stopped using the word Giant in the year 2002 after many young fans pointed out that the Robot really isn't a giant. He's just 12 times taller than a mouse, so he's really only about two-and-a-half feet tall. Many young readers suggested the adjective "Mighty" instead, so after careful consideration, Pilkey changed the title on all the books.

Description copied and pasted from The Other Wiki.

It has been announced in October 2013 that the series is finally resuming with a new artist, Promoted Fanboy Dan Santat. To that end, the first seven books will be relaunched with Martin Ontiveros' illustrations replaced with Santat's.

These books contain examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Every book title besides the first one, after the "vs." part.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Inverted with the Robot. It was built and programmed to destroy the city but it refused to do so, and turns good instead, protecting the city thereafter.
  • Alliterative Name: Ricky Ricotta.
    • Also, the villains starting with Mr. Mosquito.
  • Annoying Younger Cousin: Lucy, who, as Ricky puts it, is "a little pest!"
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Grow-Big Gumballs used by Sergeant Stinkbug causes anybody who eats them to grow bigger, eventually reaching gigantic proportions.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Many of the mice aren't seen with any footwear.
  • Bathroom Break-Out: Ricky does this to stop a Mad Scientist.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, Ricky, easily annoyed by his robot's gigantic size given that he's a little mouse, makes a wish at night that the Robot should find another friend his own size so he won't have to hang out with him all the time. However, it turns out his wish has inspired a plan by the villains, who sent a giant unicorn robot to fight with the Robot. Thus, Ricky changes his mind about his wish and ventures out to get his robot back from the unicorn robot.
  • A Boy and His X: A mouse boy and his mighty robot.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Lucy, again
  • Berserker Tears: Lucy's reaction to being told by Ricky that if they don't destroy the evil robot in book 7 that there will be no more sweets in the world. Lucy does NOT take that well.
  • Bully Hunter: Ricky becomes one in the first book after saving the robot from Dr. Mc Nasty.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Every book in the series ends with the villain getting thrown in jail next to the villains from the previous books.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the first book, the Robot's evil creator, Dr. Mc Nasty, tries to punish him by zapping him after he refuses to destroy Squeakyville. But then the Robot was saved by Ricky...
  • Development Hell: An eighth book called Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune was scheduled to succeed after Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, but unfortunately, it never got off the ground for years due to a Schedule Slip.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Ricky's last name was based on cheese (get it?).
    • So are all the other mice in Ricky's town.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Robot himself.
  • Everytown, America: Squeakyville.
  • Four-Fingered Hands
  • Fossil Revival: General Jackrabbit uses his DNA with fossil skulls to create the Jurassic Jackrabbits. Sounds a lot like Jurassic Park.
  • Funny Animal: The entire cast.
  • Gentle Giant: The Robot.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The first seven books will be rereleased in May, July, and August 2014, with new full-color artwork by Dan Santat, who will also do the artwork for the next two books.
  • Humble Kid Hero: Ricky.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Robot, again. Note that this is only in relation to a mouse, in human size, he's only 2.5 feet.
  • Hypno Ray: There's one built by the villains in Voodoo Vultures from Venus to hypnotize everyone in Squeakyville to give them all of the town's food supply. Then the villains from Uranium Unicorns from Uranus build one to make the Robot fall in love.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ricky in the first book.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: In this series, the planet Saturn has become a massive dumping ground due to all the stinkbugs making it so. If you've read the story, you'll see exactly what we mean.
  • Mad Scientist: Every single villain.
  • Mass Hypnosis: In Voodoo Vultures from Venus, the eponymous vultures hypnotize the citizens of Squeakyville into giving them all of their food.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The citizens of Squeakyville in Voodoo Vultures from Venus, and the Robot in Uranium Unicorns from Uranus. They all have the spiral-eyed variation.
  • Nice Mice: Ricky and most of the other Squeakyville citizens.
  • Once per Episode: The Robot fighting the villains and throwing the chief one to jail.
  • Punny Name: Ricky's full name is a play on both the word "ricotta"note  and the name of actor Desi Arnaz's character, Ricky Ricardo, from the show I Love Lucy.
  • Schedule Slip: After Uranium Unicorns from Uranus was published because Dav Pilkey was taking care of his father.
  • Shout-Out: One book features "Hate Potion #9", a reference to the song "Love Potion No. 9".
  • Show Within a Show: "Rocket Rodent" in Voodoo Vultures from Venus. It was Ricky's favorite show. The titular character is similar to Sparkster.
  • Shrinking Violet: Ricky himself.
  • Tagalong Kid: Lucy.
  • Take Over the World: It seems that this is the intent of every villain in the series. For Dr. Mc Nasty, he simply wants to take the city over. For the other villains, they just aren't content with living on their home world for one reason or another. Admit it. None of them have ever played Master of Orion, so none of them know that in the game, there are technologies that can improve a planet's climate.
  • Theme Naming: Lucy was named after Lucille Ball, who had a TV show called I Love Lucy, where she was married to a musician named "Ricky Ricardo". Also, Lucy's mother and father, Aunt Ethel and Uncle Freddy, were named after Fred and Ethyl Mertz, two other characters from the same show.
  • Tickle Torture: Done by Ricky to Victor von Vulture in order to escape him in Voodoo Vultures from Venus.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Well, the Robot.
  • Try and Follow: In Uranium Unicorns from Uranus, Ricky does it to Lucy by telling her that everything she loves would be destroyed. She bursts into tears.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The Robot in the first book, towards Dr. Mc Nasty.
  • Unicorn: Uncle Unicorn and his Uranium Unicorn flunkies.
  • Versus Title: Every single book ever. Except for the first one, at least.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
  • World of Funny Animals
  • You Dirty Rat: Dr. Mc Nasty in the first book.

Alternative Title(s):

Ricky Ricotta