Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (partially lost unreleased original voice audio and unfinished/unknown Cartoon Network animated series episodes; 2002-2003)
Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? was a Cartoon Network animated series that ran for two seasons from 2002 to 2003. 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 1980s in addition to many references and plot 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 traditional cel animation when most productions had moved on to computerized animation, furthering the style that was desired. However, the series was released to praise from critics for its unique animation style.
Robot Jones is a young robot tasked by his parents to attend a middle school for humans so that he may study them. Initially, Robot is hesitant to do so as he finds humans "inefficient." After Dad-Unit has his say, Robot begins life as a typical middle school student with a light bulb for a brain. He quickly finds fitting in to be very difficult as most of the school finds him strange, including the students, teachers, and especially the technophobic principal.
Shortly after blowing a fuse in front of the entire school, Jones loses all will to study humans, until he falls for a girl with large orthodontic headgear and a prosthetic metal leg and instantly changes his attitude on the matter. Humans are now interesting creatures that desire "further study". As the series progresses, Robot confronts typical middle school issues such as love, fads, bullies, and Physical Education.
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, who also used 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 being voiced by an actual child voice actor (Bobby Block) for Season 2. In addition, the pilot and all episodes of the first season were re-dubbed using Block's voice for re-runs of the series. Miller had made all of Robot's dialogue before the change happened, as it was made late during the production of the second season. He has claimed that he may still own VHS workprint copies of the second season episodes with the original voice audio. Episodes containing the original computer-generated voice are currently being sought after by fans of the series.
Other Lost Aspects
In addition to the original Jones voice, several other 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". The original airing of the episode remained lost until it was picked up by Cartoon Network's Latin American sister channel, Tooncast. The show aired reruns on there for a couple of years since 2015, but for some reason, it may have been taken off Tooncast's schedule around September of 2017.
It returned to Tooncast's schedule in 2020 (unknown voice audio version) and was removed again in January 2021 according to the official programming schedule. Cartoon Network Latin America aired segments from both seasons in the early morning Cartoon Pop programming block from at least 2015 until the block was dropped on May 1st, 2021, but only with the Bobby Block voice on the English audio track.
Three episodes are believed to have been put into production before the series was cancelled, and were storyboarded but never actually animated:
- 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, referred to as the "talk show" episode, would have had Robot Jones appear on a parody of The Oprah Winfrey Show (called the "The Soapy Windfall Show" in-universe). Storyboards for this episode have been made available from series writer Chuck Klein's BlogSpot since 2006. The images are titled 'Obsession2' and 'Obession3 [sic],' presumably implying that the working title of the episode was "Obsession." No 'Obsession1' image has been found if one exists.
- The content of the third episode is unknown as of now. Miller claims; "it was so long ago, I forget...".
Two episodes are also rumored to have existed as the fourteenth show of the series: "Risk" and "Robotic Graffiti". Most people claim that the two episodes could be fake or fan-created as a predicted educated guess while the official Season 2 premiere was actually pushed back to October of 2003 (after Season 1 ended in September of 2002) because the person on TvTome.com rumored the two episodes in the first place without knowing anything about the second season's episodes that have not yet been publicly aired. On the other hand, in 2012, an anonymous fan (later known as "Wer Wie Was" on the Illiop.com forum) has posted a theory on Wikipedia thinking that these two episodes were potentially banned by the executives at the Cartoon Network for violent, mature content, then posted another theory on an Illiop.com forum believing that the two episodes were actually scrapped or unfinished, but so far, no physical evidence of this has been put forward, so it is unknown whether these two episodes actually existed in the first place or were discovered to be fake.
According to a FaceBook interview with show creator Greg Miller, it is clear that the planned series finale could involve Robot Jones rallying (or even building) a robot army to exterminate the human civilization and rule the planet, but unfortunately, before this could be revealed, the show was cancelled, resulting in "Rules of Dating" to be the last episode of the show (even though that one wasn't actually intended to be the actual series finale in the first place).
The show has a total of 25 segments + 1 seven-minute pilot episode + a music video, totalling up to 27 segments total. 3 episodes are unconfirmed to exist, and 4 others have remained unfinished due to the show's cancellation. Calculating the total amount of known segments on this list, the show would've had a total of 34 segments in all.
As of October 2017, user BigFatRobot2002, who backed up all of the first season episodes with the original voice audio has synced the English audio to the DVD-quality Tooncast video sources (removing the Spanish and Portuguese language tracks) in higher quality and uploaded them, along with Tooncast rips of the second season episodes as well, on a Google Doc.
The original Latin American Spanish and Brazillian Portuguese rips from Tooncast, which BigFatRobot2002 obtained the DVD-quality rips from, also have also been uploaded to a Google Doc. Latin American Spanish dubs of all episodes have been found; only ten episodes are available in Brazillian Portuguese.
In April 2022, the series was added to the Latin American version of HBO Max in HD. However, the only known English language track for all episodes is the Bobby Block dub.
|#||Name||Original Voice||Bobby Block|
|3A||P.U. to P.E.||Found||Found|
|#||Name||Original Voice||Bobby Block|
|10A||The Yogmans Strike Back||Lost||Found|
|13B||Rules of Dating||Lost||Found|
|#||Name||Original Voice||Bobby Block|
|N/A||Robotic Graffiti||Lost||Existence Unconfirmed|
|N/A||History of Robotics||Lost||Existence Unconfirmed|
|N/A||3rd Unknown Episode||Lost||Existence Unconfirmed|
|N/A||Untitled/Planned Ending||Lost||Existence Unconfirmed|
Anthology and Short Series
- Big Bag (partially found Cartoon Network live-action animated puppet series; 1996-1998)
- The Moxy Show (partially found Cartoon Network CGI animated anthology series; 1993-1995)
- Sunday Pants (partially lost Cartoon Network animated anthology series; 2005)
- ToonHeads (partially lost Cartoon Network animation anthology series; 1992-2003)
- ToonHeads "A Night of Independent Animation" (found special of Cartoon Network animation anthology series; 1996)
- Villainous (partially found Cartoon Network Mexico online animated short series; 2012-2013)
- What a Cartoon! (found Cartoon Network animated anthology series; 1995-1997)
- Youri, the Spaceman (found Cartoon Network France CGI animated short series; 2002)
- Adventure Time (lost uncensored episode commentaries from Cartoon Network animated series DVDs; 2012-2014)
- Akazukin Chacha (partially found Cartoon Network Asia English dub of anime; 1998)
- Ani-Yoko: My Next Door Neighbor (lost Cartoon Network Philippines English dub of anime; 2008)
- Class of 3000 (found original English audio of Cartoon Network animated musical series; 2006-2008)
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy "Matinee Mandy" (lost original English audio of Cartoon Network animated short; 2007)
- Heidi, Girl of the Alps (partially found Cartoon Network India English dub of anime; 2001)
- Mojacko (lost Cartoon Network Asia English dub of anime; 2013)
- My Melody (lost Cartoon Network Asia English dub of anime; mid-2000s)
- Out of Jimmy's Head (found Cartoon Network live-action/animated teen sitcom; 2007-2008)
- Spaced Out (partially found Cartoon Network UK English dub of French animated series; 2000s)
- Sugar Sugar Rune (lost Cartoon Network Philippines English dub of anime; 2011)
- Uncle Gus (partially lost original English audio of Cartoon Network animated pilots; 2000-2001)
- Yatterman (lost Cartoon Network Asia English dub of anime; 2011)
- Zoids Genesis (partially found Cartoon Network Asia English dub of anime; 2007)
Bumpers and Interstitials
- The Big Game XXVI: Tom vs. Jerry (found Cartoon Network marathon special; 1998)
- Cartoon Network (partially found "High Noon Toons" bumpers from TV channel block; 1994-1996)
- Cartoon Network (partially lost "Nood" bumpers from TV channel; 2008-2010)
- Cartoon Network "Cartoon Network Responds!" (partially lost interstitials from TV channel; 1997-1999)
- Cartoon Network Mayors' Awards of Excellence (partially found interstitials of Cartoon Network Philippines civic campaign; 2000s)
- Cartoon Network NBA All-Star Slam (found interviews of marathon; 2003)
- Cartoon Planet (partially found bumpers of revival block of Cartoon Network animated variety series; 2012)
- Codename: Kids Next Door Mission Weekend (partially found marathon bumpers for Cartoon Network animated series; 2003)
- Fridays aka "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays" (partially found interstitials from Cartoon Network channel block; 1999–2007)
- Hotdog TV (partially found Cartoon Network interstitial series; 2010)
- Ice King Steals Christmas (partially found Cartoon Network UK Christmas themed bumpers starring "Adventure Time" character; 2015-2018)
- JBVO, Toon FM & Viva Las Bravo (partially found interstitials from Cartoon Network channel blocks; early-mid 2000s)
- Tickle-U (partially found Cartoon Network preschool block; 2005-2006)
- VBirds: Perfect (lost Cartoon Network UK interstitial series of British virtual girl group; 2003)
- Ben 10 (partially found pitch pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; early-mid 2000s)
- Billy and Mandy in Trepanation of the Skull and You (found prototype short of "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy" Cartoon Network animated series; 1995)
- Camp Lazlo "Monkey See, Camping Doo" (lost pitch pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2004)
- Captain Sturdy (found Cartoon Network animated pilots; 2001/2003)
- Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe (partially lost pitch pilots from British animation studio; 2008-2011)
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (found pitch pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2003)
- Imp Inc. (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2001)
- Jeffrey Cat: Claw and Order "All Dogs Don't Go to Heaven" (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2002)
- A Kitty Bobo Show (found storyboard of cancelled second animated pilot for Cartoon Network; 2002)
- Major Flake in "Soggy Sales" (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2001)
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (partially lost unaired "Wedgies" pilot and short of Cartoon Network animated series; 2007)
- Mess O' Blues (partially found prototype short of "Johnny Bravo" Cartoon Network animated series; 1993)
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey (lost pitch pilots of Cartoon Network animated series; 2003/2004)
- The Powerpuff Girls (lost pitch pilot of Cartoon Network animated series reboot; early-mid 2010s)
- Project Gilroy (lost Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2007)
- Regular Show (non-existent Flash pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; late 2000s-2010)
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (partially found pitch pilots of Cartoon Network adult animated comedy series; 1993)
- Squirrel Boy "Kite Makes Right" (partially found pitch pilot of Cartoon Network animated series; 2004)
- What's Wrong With Ruth? (found Cartoon Network animated pilot; 2007)
- Bobb'e Says (partially found Cartoon Network live-action clip series; 2009)
- BrainRush (partially lost Cartoon Network live-action game show; 2009)
- Track Rats (partially found Cartoon Network reality short series; 2010)
- The Othersiders (found Cartoon Network paranormal reality series; 2009)
Other Cartoon Network Series
- The Amazing World of Gumball (partially lost deleted scenes of Cartoon Network animated series; 2011-2019)
- The Amazing World of Gumball "The Downer" (lost original draft of Cartoon Network animated series episode; existence unconfirmed; 2012-2014)
- The Amazing World of Gumball "The Rex" (partially found production material of cancelled Cartoon Network animated series episode; 2012)
- Ben 10 (partially found pop-up trivia version of Cartoon Network animated series episodes; 2008)
- Chowder (lost pop-up trivia version of Cartoon Network animated series episodes; 2010)
- Chowder (lost production material of cancelled Cartoon Network TV film; 2009)
- Codename: Kids Next Door (lost production material of cancelled Cartoon Network animated series episodes; 2002-2008)
- Dexter's Laboratory "Rude Removal" (found unaired Cartoon Network animated series episode; 1997)
- Droopy's Guide to the Cartoon Network (found launch preview of TV channel special; 1992)
- Ed, Edd n Eddy "Luck Be an Ed Tonight"/"A Room with an Ed" (rumored/lost unfinished Cartoon Network animated series episodes; existence unconfirmed; 2005)
- Ed, Edd n Eddy "Special Ed" (non-existent unproduced Cartoon Network animated series episode; late 1990s/early 2000s)
- Hall of Game Awards (partially found Cartoon Network award show; 2011-2014)
- I Heart Tuesdays (lost production material of cancelled Cartoon Network animated series; 2011-2012)
- I-10: The Ben 10 User Generated Experience (found Cartoon Network TV special; 2008)
- Mixels (partially found unaired/unproduced episodes of Cartoon Network animated comedy series based on LEGO toy line; 2014-2016)
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes "Crossover Nexus" (partially found original 22-minute version of Cartoon Network animated series episode; 2010s)
- Skatoony (found original British version of Cartoon Network quiz show; 2006-2008)
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (partially lost Gametap episodes of Cartoon Network adult animated comedy series; 2006-2008)
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast "Snatch" (lost script of ending of Cartoon Network adult animated comedy series episode; 1999)
- Sym-Bionic Titan (lost production material of cancelled Cartoon Network animated series episodes; early 2010s)
- Google Drive link to all original voice synced Season 1 episodes.
- Google Drive link to the Latin Spanish dubbed episodes of the series.
- New York Times article on the premiere of Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?. Retrieved 07 Nov '20
- Greg Miller FaceBook interview about the show. Retrieved 14 Nov '13
- "Risk" / "Robotic Graffiti" rumored on TvTome.com Retrieved 13 Sep '17