Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (Rare/Unreleased Original Voice Audio and Unfinished/Unknown Episodes)


Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (Rare/Unreleased Original Voice Audio and Unfinished/Unknown Episodes)
Opening title card to Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
Opening title card to Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
Status Partially Found

Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? is a 'Cartoon Cartoon' that ran for two seasons from 2002 to 2003 on Cartoon Network. The series consisted of 12 shows with two episodes per show and filled a 30 minute time slot. The cartoon was notable for its style, mimicking cartoons produced in the early 80s in addition to many references and plots devices based on fads of the era. For example: an episode based on the Rubik's Cube series of puzzle boxes. Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? was produced using tradition cel animation when most productions had moved on to computerized animation, furthering the style that was desired. The series was released to praise from critics for its unique animation style.

Plot

Robot Jones is a young robot tasked by his parents to attend a middle school for humans so that he may study them. Initally, Jones is hesitant to do so as he find humans 'inefficient'. After 'dad-unit' has his say, Jones begins life as a typical middle school student with a light bulb for a head. He quickly finds fitting in to be very difficult as most of the school finds him strange, including the students, teachers, and especially a technophobic principal. Shortly after blowing a fuse in front the entire school, Jones loses all will to study humans, until he falls for a mess of a girl in an overly exaggerated set of braces with a metal leg and instantly changes his attitude on the matter. Humans are now interesting creatures that desire 'further study'. As the series progresses Jones confronts typical middle school issues such as love, fads, bullies, and Physical Education.

The Voice

For the first season of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? the titular character had a computer-generated voice that stood out amongst the other characters' voices (with the exception of Jones' parents, also using computer-generated voices). Series creator Greg Miller has stated that he wanted a true synthetic robot voice and researched a lot of speech programs when starting the show, even discussing the topic with Bell Laboratories. Contrary to popular belief, Jones' voice was not produced with Macintosh Macintalk's Junior Speech, but was actually produced using Microsoft Word 98's Junior Speech text-to-speech function. Miller confirms this in a facebook interview. He chose Word because of its controls in speed and pitch. Miller created the Jones audio himself, even spelling each word phonetically for it to be pronounced correctly and adjusting the pitch to get the "acting" right. The executives at the Cartoon Network found the voice unusual and requested a more 'hollywood' voice for Jones. This led to Jones's being voiced by an actual voice actor (Bobby Block) at the start of Season 2. In addition, the Pilot and older episodes were re-dubbed using Block's voice for re-runs of the series. Episodes containing the original computer-generated voice are currently being sought after by fans of the series. The voice change was made early in production of Season 2, but Miller claims to possess a few VHS work prints of Season 2 episodes using the computer-generated voice.

Other Lost Aspects

In addition to the original Jones voice, several small aspects of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? are now lost as well. The Season One episode "Growth Spurts" was edited in later airing to remove a poster in the background containing the phrase 'Kick Ass', changing the phrase to simply 'Kick'. Three episodes are believed to have been put into production before the series was cancelled. The first would have been about the history of robotics, possibly explaining a little more about this robot-assimilated society the series revolves around. The second, called the 'Talk Show' episode, would have had Robot Jones appear on a parody of the Oprah Winfrey show (called the 'Soapy Winfall' show in-universe). Storyboards for this episode have been made available from series writer Chuck Klein's blogspot. Content of the third episode is unknown as of now. Miller claims "it was so long ago, I forget...". All episodes were storyboarded but never actually animated. Two episodes are also rumored to have existed as the fourteenth show of the series: "Risk" and "Robot Grafitti", potentially banned by the executives at the Cartoon Network for excessive violence, harsh language, and sexual and/or scatological jokes.


Episode Availability

Episode Name Original Voice Bobby Block Episode Name Original Voice Bobby Block
Pilot Found Found
S1E1A Electric Boogaloo Found Found S1E1B The Groovesicle Found x
S1E2A Politics Found Found S1E2B Growth Spurts Found Found
S1E3A P.U. to P.E. Found Found S1E3B Vacuum Friend Found Found
S1E4A Parents Found Found S1E4B Embarrassment Found Found
S1E5A Cube Wars Found Found S1E5B Sickness Found Found
S1E6A Jealousy Found Found S1E6B Scantron Love Found Found
S2E1A Gender x Found S2E1B Math Challenge x Found
S2E2A Family Vacation x Found S2E2B Hair x Found
S2E3A Garage Band x Found S2E3B Work x Found
S2E4A The Yogmans Strike Back x Found S2E4B Hookie 101 x Found
S2E5A House Party x Found S2E5B School Newspaper x Found
S2E6A Safety Patrol x Found S2E6B Popularity x Found
S2E7A Risk x Unconfirmed S2E7B Robot Grafitti x Unconfirmed

Video Gallery

The newly discovered episodes.
Some old commercials for the show that use the older voice.

Comments


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GiratinaBooce

6 months ago
Score 0++
one of my friend's friends actually has all of the episodes WITH the original voice c:
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Anonymous user #1

6 months ago
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where is the proof?
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Anonymous user #2

6 months ago
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I dunno.
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Aranea

6 months ago
Score 0++
It's cool to say "yeah I have this on video", but we are a community of people *searching* for lost media wherever we can. So many people comment that they have seriously rare and hard-to-find stuff.... but then they never provide proof, other than just looking for kudos on here. Just wanting to make it clear, if you say you have something, please keep it in mind to actually share/provide it!
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Dinglus

6 months ago
Score 0++
I'd like to see proof of this, even if it's just a crappy audio capture of this. I think a problem is that a lot of people lack the equipment to record these things or don't know of anyone who can help. This can frustrate efforts to track these rare materials down quite a bit.
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Anonymous user #3

6 months ago
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(Aranea/Spidey here, cba to log in on mobile.)

Well, that's the thing. Nobody should expect people who announce lost media to have the technology to rip it perfectly... but yeah, rudimentary sound recording, video proof from a phone camera, etc., can be very helpful, rather than just "I have this, I swear!" you know?

With this proof attached, other lost media hunters can come out of the woodwork and offer their help, like putting a show in a torrent or recommending the best way in which to rip from an old VHS to a computer without a substantial loss in quality. Community effort!
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Anonymous user #5

4 months ago
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Really? Is that true? If so, can you ask him if he could possibly leak them online?
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Anonymous user #4

4 months ago
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Someone needs to donate NickDanielsen some VHS transfer equipment, for the sake of lost media.
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MattBoo

3 months ago
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NickDanielson did some more of the episodes with the original voice (Growth Spurts [with the "Kick Ass" poster] and Embarassment).
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MattBoo

3 months ago
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(All I can see on Growth Spurts is "Kick Butt" for some reason.)
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MortoQueiba

3 months ago
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Alright. I rewrote the page and found links for every episode including the OV ones. I'm keeping the article as 'Partially Found' as the article mentions some other small aspects that have yet to be found.
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Aceyyy

2 months ago
Score 0++
Oh man, that voice freaked me out so much as a kid...
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