|Rated R: Dead or alive, you're coming with me|
|Rated G:...alive...you're coming with me|
Part man, part machine, all cop. Robocop, Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 masterpiece, could have easily been geared towards kids. The premise fits within the standard superhero formula and the concept of a cyborg police officer battling criminals and renegade robots would seem no more out of place than on a Saturday morning cartoon. Well, that would be logical, had Robocop not been an R-Rated film, with a strong emphasis on ‘R’.
Within the first fifteen minutes of the film, before becoming Robocop, Alex Murphy is practically blown to pieces, one body part at a time. Accompanied with the graphic visuals, the film contains an onslaught of curse words and a toppling body count. And that’s only the R-Rated version - Verhoeven’s unrated Director’s Cut surpasses the theatrical release in bloodshed and gore! In fact, Robocop nearly received an X rating (X ratings weren’t changed to NC-17 until 1990), before it was toned down.
|Robocop was really a cylon all along|
Despite this, it seemed that Robocop was destined for a wider audience. Marvel Productions, the budding television division of Marvel Comics, set out to bring Robocop to the small screen in animated form. They succeeded in the late 80s, producing a total of 12 episodes of Robocop: The Animated Series.
Like most cartoons at the time, everyone fired lasers instead of bullets, yet Robocop basically retained his on-screen persona, except for a Battlestar Galactica-ish cylon visor with scanning red light. Robocop’s cartoon counterpart also moved a bit faster than the live-action version.
|ED-209, the future home security watchdog|
|ED-260, the animated version's upgrade, in toy form|
|Can ya fly, Bobby?|
Of particular note is the title sequence, which shows a brief version of Murphy being gunned down by Clarence Boddicker and his gang of thugs.
Robocop: The Animated Series was a show that could appeal to both children and adult, filled with sophistication, notable themes, and fleshed-out characters – something unfortunately many 'toons of today are missing.
As can be expected, Robocop spawned a toyline of his own.
|Beep Buzz Whirr - apparently the sounds of Robocop being repaired|
Along with an action figure and accessory line, Robocop received the comic book treatment from Marvel. They must have figured, heck, we've given him a show - why not a comic?
|Robocop and dinosaurs. At least they didn't go that route in Robocop 3|
The comic was a hit or miss - though the artwork was pretty fantastic.
By the late-90s, after Robocop 3 flopped at the box office and after the Robocop Live-Action TV series was canceled, a new cartoon hit the airwaves, titled: Robocop - Alpha Commando. It reached a total of 40 episodes, which was surprising, considering it was inferior in every conceivable way to the original animated series.
|The 'Alpha Commando' Robocop|
With talks of a new live-action reboot to the Robocop franchise, maybe another animated series isn't too far away.