Difference between revisions of "Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (partially lost unreleased original voice audio and unfinished/unknown episodes of Cartoon Network animated series; 2002-2003)"

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'''UPDATE (7/20/16):'''
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3 more episodes with the original voice were uploaded to Vimeo by user 'NickDanielsen'; although, they are filmed with a camera. They are [https://vimeo.com/174720752 Parents], [https://vimeo.com/173810197 Electric Bigaloo], and [https://vimeo.com/173806783 the pilot].
  
 
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Revision as of 15:44, 20 July 2016

The only original Macintosh dub of the Robot Jones episodes to be found online.

Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? is one of the most short-lived Cartoon Cartoons, running for only a year in two seasons (12 episodes and a pilot with 27 segments) from 2002-2003. And while it's by no means the most coveted Cartoon Network show (all of its episodes are available online through Vimeo), what's most notably missing are the original dubs for the show's pilot and episodes, and some unfinished and unknown episodes. The show originally had synthetic robot audio for the voice of its titular character (as well as for other characters and parts of the show), and contrary to popular belief, it wasn't Macintosh Macintalk's Junior speech (and not a lawsuit from Apple to cause its removal from the show), but actually the Junior speech for Word 98's text to speech function, as the creator Greg Miller revealed, among other things, in a Facebook interview. He wanted a true synthetic robot voice and did a ton of reasearch into such programs when starting the show, even talking to the people at Bell Laboratories about different speech synthesizers and going with the Word program because of its specialized controls like speed, pitch emphasis and so on. He even did all of Robot Jones audio himself, importing it from the scripts, spelling them phonetically to get them right and tweaking pitch and other post-processing to get the "acting" right. But after the first couple of episodes, the executives were freaked out by how 'weird' the voice was, and requested a voice that was more 'Hollywood', so Robot Jones' automated voice was replaced by an actual child voice actor (Bobby Block) in Season 2. And not only that, but the pilot and the older episodes were redubbed with the newer voice actor as well. They even had audio for the Season 2 episodes recorded, but because the change happened during the production of those episodes, the audio was never mixed into the final prints.

In addition, one of the later-redubbed episodes ("Growth Spurts") had a new minor edit covering over a minor mention of "Kick Ass" to just "Kick", obviously because of minor cussing in a children's TV show.

And on top of that, there were actually several episodes left unfinished, due to the show's cancellation. Three episodes, one being the history of robotics, one about Robot Jones going on the "Soapy Winfall" talk show and an unknown episode (as he cites "it was so long ago I forget..."), were storyboarded but never animated. It can be assumed that the first episode could have revealed more of Robot Jones' family.

And finally, there are two episodes that are uncomfirmed to have existed: "Risk" and "Robot Grafitti". They were rumoured to have been banned by Cartoon Network to air in Season 2 as the fourteenth episode because of excessive violence, harsh language and sexual and/or scatological jokes.

So while it's just barely possible to find all of the episodes in varying degrees of quality, it's even more difficult to find all of the original cuts of the episodes. As for the never released audio and episodes, Miller claims to be in possession of VHS copies of work prints of the Season 2 (and maybe pre-Season 2) episodes with the original voice floating around somewhere, and while it apparently may be difficult to get any storyboards or concept art of the show from Miller, storyboards from the aforementioned talk show episode have been made available online from Chuck Klein's blogspot.

UPDATE (2/27/14):

3 episodes using the original audio were uploaded to YouTube, Making the total of episodes recovered up to 4; the uploader, CartoonArchive has stated that he may own more episodes using the original voice, but it is unknown. Additionally, on the exact same day, YouTube user '1mjusth3r3' uploaded some commercials from the show in its early days that also use the original voice.


UPDATE (7/20/16):

3 more episodes with the original voice were uploaded to Vimeo by user 'NickDanielsen'; although, they are filmed with a camera. They are Parents, Electric Bigaloo, and the pilot.

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