Junk Drawer: Giant Robot Stuff


Are you craving more giant robots after seeing the recently released Disney/Marvel studios actioner, “Big Hero 6”? Well, say no more, because I’ve got the recommendations that could help ease your appetite.

  1. “The Iron Giant”: A touching “E.T.”-like tale of a lonely boy who discovers and befriends a giant metal robot who falls from space during the height of the Cold War.
  2. “Neon Genesis Evangelion”: One of the most successful and critically acclaimed anime series of all time. This 26-episode apocalyptic mecha (a genre of sci-fi that focuses on robots piloted by people) series centers around a teenage boy named Shinji, who is recruited by a shadowy organization to pilot a giant robot called an Evangelion in order to combat the monstrous Angels. This show features psychologically complex characters, a conspiracy-laden plot, religious symbolism and David Lynch-style surrealism.
  3. “Real Steel”: A science-fiction sports drama centering on an estranged father (Hugh Jackman) and son who participate in a bigger-scale-version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. The plot is nothing special, but the visual effects and robot fights are top-notch.
  4. “The Big O”: A popular show from the Toonami and Adult Swim block. With an animation style similar to “Batman Beyond,” this show is a strange but riveting mix of ’60s film noir, detective show and mecha. It centers on Roger Smith, a Bruce Wayne-type character who protects the residents of Paradigm City with the help of an android named Dorothy, his butler Norman and his giant Megazord called Big O.
  5. “Patlabor 1 and 2”: A double-bill that provides an ultra-realistic and politically complex take on the mecha genre. It focuses on a police force that deals with crime, terrorism and accidents involving robots called “Labors,” which are used in the near future for police, military, industrial and municipal jobs.
  6. “King Kong Escapes”: A campy Japanese monster romp complete with a nutty plot, hilariously hokey giant ape suits and colorful action sequences. Oh, don’t forget about King Kong fighting MECHA KONG!!
  7. “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers”: Five stereotypical teenagers are called upon to fight off alien invaders with the help of their morphers and giant dinosaur-like mechs called “Zords.” Cue the awesome theme song!! So yeah, this show is ultra silly, the acting is far from Shakespearean, the special effects are primitive and it’s over-the-top campy to the EXTREME!! But come on, what ’90s kid didn’t want to be a Power Ranger? Plus, it’s worth revisiting considering this series is going to get a movie reboot in 2016 (I swear it’s no lie; look it up.)

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