Western Animation / Robotix

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Robotix is a 1985 animated series based on the Milton Bradley/Hasbro toy of the same name. The original toy was of the construction type, similar to the Erector Set and K’Nex, that included motors, wheels, and pincers.

The series follows the conflict between the peaceful Protectons and the warmongering Terrakors on the alien world of Skalorr, and a group of humans who get caught up in the conflict. It was produced by Sunbow Entertainment and Marvel Productions, and was animated in Japan by Toei Animation, which also animated other cartoons featured on the Super Sunday block.

Unlike most animated shows, Robotix was not a 22-minute cartoon, but was rather a series of fifteen six-minute shorts that aired as part of the Super Sunday half-hour with other animated shows, including Jem and the Holograms, Inhumanoids and Bigfoot And The Muscle Machines. While Jem and Inhumanoids had enough success to be turned into full-fledged series, Robotix was cancelled after its debut season (as was Bigfoot).

Marvel Comics also produced a single-issue comic book in February 1986, which roughly followed the storyline of the first three episodes of the series.

Years later, the Transformers feature "Ask Vector Prime" would establish that the world of the Robotix is, in fact, a universe within the Transformers multiverse, and that the Protectons and Terrakors were distant dimensional analogues of the familiar Autobots and Decepticons. The Robotix got their long-awaited due shortly afterwards, starting in a short crossover adventure with the then-concurrent feature "Spacewarp's Log".


Tropes:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: All of the Terrakors are bad guys.
  • Big Bad: Nemesis is the leader of the war-loving Terrakors and tries to prevent the Protectons from restoring Skalorr on their terms.
  • Big Good: Argus leads the Protectons in their battles against the evil Terrakors.
  • Brain Uploading: When the Protectons and the Terrakors are put into stasis, some of them end up having their minds transferred into Robotix bodies.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Kanawk. Despite him being absolutely correct that the alien battleship will destroy them (they get shot down), the ship can't be fixed (it can't, at least, not without the help of the locals), and that they shouldn't get involved in the fight between the Terrakors and the Protectons (which they do, leading the Terrakors to take an interest in the human survivors), his concerns are generally ignored.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Terrakors' machines are all purple. Protectons' are white/silver.
  • Crazy-Prepared: For some reason, the designers of the Robotix decided that they needed huge weapons and armor, not to mention the ability to fuse with alien life forms to enhance their capabilities... when they were stated to be construction robots. Also, they can transform.
  • Cyborg: The main characters got their minds transferred into Humongous Mecha without their consent.
  • Disney Death: At one point, Nemesis erases Argus' mind from his Robotix body and replaces it with the mind of another Terrakor named Terragar. Fortunately, the humans and the other Protectons are able to bring Argus back when Compucore reveals that a backup copy of Argus' mind exists.
  • Dumb Muscle: Goon is a complete moron, which leads to him being subjected to disparaging remarks about his lack of intelligence from the other Terrakors.
  • Emergency Transformation: The Protectons and Terrakors intend to survive a solar flare's devastation by going into suspended animation deep underground. Afterward though, their central computer decides there is no way for them to survive on the devastated world after all, and transfers the minds of a few of them into giant construction robots called "robotix." Upon awakening, they don't take it well.
    Argus: "What has happened? I have become a Robotix! NOOOOOOOOO!!!"
  • Failed a Spot Check: two humans fail to somehow notice the ten-story tall bipedal Terrakors walking up behind them.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Nemesis' goal is to conquer every race that opposes him.
  • Jerkass: Kanawk. Not only does he side with the Terrakors and coerces a couple of other humans to join him, but he also steals the already scarce amount of food from the humans allied with the Protectons just to spite them.
    • Exeter has a wonderful moment of this when he says that "the traitors can eat dirt," meaning that he's condemning them to slow death by starvation (or a faster, painful death by trying to eat the poisonous plants on the surface).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Kanawk again. He points out that there's no guarantee that the Protectons can fix their ship, their ship is most likely damaged beyond repair, and that they don't really have an obligation to help the Protectons other than altruism. To make matters worse, the food on Skalorr is toxic to humans, and they only have a few days' worth of it. Does it make sense to try to fix a broken starship, wasting valuable resources while they starve to death, or is it better to go to the Terrakors, who do have a working ship ready to go, and might prove more amenable to their needs?
  • Left Hanging: At the end, Nemesis was presumed deceased, but the last moments of the series revealed that he was still alive in space. If the episodes had been picked up as a full series, he and the other Terrakors would have most likely returned to Skalorr to get revenge on the Protectons.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Being a cartoon based on a toyline, this is unavoidable.
  • No Sell: When the Terrakors steal the food from the human snip, one crew member tries to defend it by smacking the Terrakor with a frying pan. For some reason, this fails to have any meaningful effect on the war robot the size of an office building.
  • Not Quite Dead: The series ends with Nemesis being revealed to have survived the destruction of the Terror Star.
  • Outside-Context Problem: When the human characters first appear, they're being pursued by a "battle cruiser" and left for dead on Skalorr. It wasn't explained why they were chasing the humans, or even who they were; they're quickly forgotten about as the Robotix appear.
  • Realpolitik: The Protectons and Terrakors don't like each other in the slightest, but if they wish to continue surviving, they have to put aside their differences and go into the stasis chambers to survive the Nova of their star.
    • Kanawk and Nemesis openly state that they don't trust one another, but their goals align- the humans can boost Terrakor abilities, granting them an edge in their fight, and the humans want access to the spaceship to get them off of the planet.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Terrakons are the bad guys, and they're (well, originally) reptiles. Protectons are ape-like in appearance.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Narra is the only female Protecton in the series as well as the only female character in general.
  • The Starscream: At one point, Nemesis' minion Tyrannix tries to usurp his position as leader of the Terrakors.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/Robotix