Hostile Animatronics

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Fun, Family, and Fatalities!

Ah, animatronics, a staple at any "child friendly pizza house" or amusement park. Too bad they're terrifying. And sometimes, they'll come to life and try to kill you.

Now, the animatronics don't have to actually kill anyone, or even, strictly, be trying to. They just have to attack.

Subtrope of Killer Robot. Compare Monster Clown, another trope about a source of light-hearted entertainment being evil. May be combined with Robot Clown.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: In the episode "Pierrot le Fou", it's unclear whether the robots at Space Land are actively trying to kill Spike, or if they're just getting in the way, but they cause plenty of mayhem, and a giant one ends up crushing the bad guy to death.

    Film 
  • Westworld is the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker. A robot gunslinger in a theme park goes berserk and starts shooting guests for real.
  • Downplayed in Wonderful World of Disney TV movie The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper. A carnival's animatronic Frankenstein-type monster is used to capture a pair of baddies. One of the bad guys shoots the monster, which stops working but falls on him, keeping him pinned until the police show up.

    Literature 
  • In the Kingdom Keepers series, the Mooks usually take the form of animatronics wandering outside the attractions where they are usually found.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During the Doctor Who serial "The Chase" an animatronic Frankenstein's Monster (built for a funfair Haunted House) destroys a Dalek.
  • Saturday Night Live had the Merryville Brothers sketches. Two cast members would ride a fun house coaster past animatronic singers, then the ride breaks down, trapping the riders in one room. They would then be menaced by three increasingly creepy robots (played by Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and that episode's host) while the mechanics try to fix the ride.
  • Red Dwarf: In the episode "Meltdown", the crew find a planet built as a theme park, occupied by "wax droids" of historical figures. Over the millennia, the droids have broken their programming and are now engaged in a planetwide war between the good and evil characters. One side somehow ends up enlisting Rimmer as their new military leader in order to break the stalemate. He... technically succeeds.

    Music 

    Video Games 
  • Five Nights at Freddy's and its sequels (probably the most well-known examples of the trope nowadays) revolve around playing a deadly game of "Red Light, Green Light" with killer animatronics at a shabby family pizza joint haunted by the ghosts of murdered children. The player has to keep an eye on Freddy Fazbear and his friends and make sure they don't get past their meager defenses. The latest game, Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, plays it utterly straight; the animatronics aren't even haunted this time, they just want you dead.
  • Epic Mickey
    • Played with in the first game. The game features animatronic versions of Disney classics such as Donald Duck and Goofy, but while they appear terrifying, thanks to their missing parts, they are actually just as friendly as the characters they were built to look like. On the other hand, we have the Beetleworx, a bunch of killer robots inspired by the animatronics at Disney World. The "Small World" clock tower might also count, having been equipped with mechanical arms to try and crush Mickey.
    • Double subverted in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, where we learn that, in the first game, the Mad Doctor turned himself into an animatronic so he could control the Shadow Blot. However, in this game, he has turned good and wants to help save Wasteland. But then it turns out that he was lying, and he becomes the Big Bad.
  • BioShock Infinite features the Motorized Patriot, which at first appears to be a George Washington animatronic built with the technology available in 1912, almost as if the Hall of Heroes is Columbia's version of the EPCOT Center's Hall of Presidents - until their second function is revealed, at which point you find yourself face-to-face with a clockwork Terminator brandishing an enormous Gatling gun which is proclaiming things such as The Lord judges, I act.

    Websites 
  • SCP Foundation has SCP-492 ("Animated Cloth Dummy"). According to "Captain Jack" (SCP-492's nickname), the animatronic dinosaurs in the dinosaur ride kept trying to eat him, thus indicating hostile intent. However, 492 himself is quite benign.

    Western Animation 
  • The Gravity Falls episode "Soos and the Real Girl" has the AI Giffany possess the animatronics of Hoo Ha Owl's to get Soos back for leaving her.
  • The Simpsons In the S6 episode "Itchy & Scratchy Land", a malfunction in the animatronics' programming causes them to attack the park guests.
  • An early and non-lethal example in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Charlie the Funland Robot was an amusement park attraction that had started malfunctioning and running around at night causing trouble. It was one of the few villains on the show who wasn't a crook in a mask.
  • The Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Spirit Journey Formation Anniversary" features a run-down family restaurant whose stage features a pair of banjo-playing animatronic scorpions, with envenomed tails.
  • On Kim Possible Señor Senior Jr. steals a couple of animatronics for a party. His dad secretly upgraded them with laser eyes.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Fuzzy Dice", the animatronics at the Fun Fun Zone turn out to be the Capicola Gang, a band of disguised mobsters who hid a stash of diamonds from their last robbery in the eponymous fuzzy dice and sabotage anyone attempting to get enough tickets to win it. Naturally, they go after Mordecai, Rigby, and their friends.


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