10 Robotic Characters That Could Use An Upgrade

Published 7 months ago by This is a list post.

Movie Robots in Need of Reboot If there's one thing Hollywood can't resist, it's the chance to remake (or reboot) a beloved franchise. Director Jose Padhilla's recent RoboCop re-imagining took the tale of a half-man, half-machine hero into the modern age, presenting a slicker, sleeker, and more complicated hero. The result was better than some may have expected (read our review), and while it may be different from the original, there's no question younger audiences have a new take on the property to call their own. With that in mind, we can't help but think that a few other robotic movie characters might benefit from a similar upgrade. Here is our list of 10 Robotic Characters That Could Use An Upgrade.

Mechagodzilla

Mechagodzilla Reboot Upgrade As seen in: Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla (1974) The legendary monsters made famous by the Godzilla series have become just as famous as its title character, but the introduction of Mechagodzilla is one of the most memorable moments in the franchise. Initially masquerading as the real Godzilla, Mechagodzilla would do battle with his flesh-and-blood counterpart on a number of occasions. Now that Godzilla is being given a second life thanks to director Gareth Edwards, and sequels are already being discussed, who better to bring the hulking hero down to Earth than a robotic duplicate made with today's technology? Audiences have shown that they're willing to line up to see Transformers and the Jaegers of Pacific Rim, so it stands to reason that a re-imagined Mechagodzilla will be next.

Jinx

SpaceCamp Reboot Jinx Robot Upgrade As seen in: SpaceCamp (1986) Children becoming fast friends with sentient robots is nothing new, but few depict a likable robot as unique as Jinx, the slightly faulty NASA robot who sets the events of SpaceCamp in motion. While Gravity may have recently told the same basic story (with a few changes), the success of sci-fi franchises proves that space still excites children and adults. A reboot of SpaceCamp would be difficult to pull off, but the kind of robot who is smart enough to launch a shuttle almost single-handedly - yet dumb enough to not realize it's sending the children aboard to almost certain death - is just too compelling a character to leave on a shelf.

B-9

Lost in Space Reboot B9 Robot As seen in: Lost in Space (1965-68) The phrase is famous to those who may not even know its origins - "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!" - and irrefutable proof that there really was something special about B-9, the robotic guardians of the youngest character on Lost in Space. A robot bodyguard is a boy's best friend, but only if it's an embodiment of cutting-edge technology. Technically, B-9 already received an upgrade in the reboot Lost in Space (1998) with some impressive modern features. But with limited mobility and combat effectiveness, we still believe that B-9 (like the property he belongs to) is still capable of being re-imagined to mass success, despite the failed attempts.

Box

Logans Run Reboot Box Robot As seen in: Logan's Run (1976) There is plenty to find odd about the plot of Logan's Run, depicting a future society which prevents overpopulation by... eliminating anyone once they turn 30. Yet there is something especially peculiar about the being dubbed 'Box,' a creature that is "more than machine," assigned to gather and freeze animals to be consumed later. Essentially, it makes Box a walking (rolling) freezer with a human head, hands, and an unquenchable lust for killing. Despite that chilling description, the creature is rather unimpressive. Hollywood hasn't given up on a Logan's Run remake, so hopefully we'll see an updated Box before long.

V.I.N.CENT & B.O.B.

The Black Hole Robots Reboot As seen in: The Black Hole (1979) It's hard to talk about the many robotic characters seen in Disney's The Black Hole without bringing up Maximilian, the futuristic and savage robotic killer whom the film's main characters stumble upon on the edge of a black hole. But he's not the only artificial being who wowed audiences. B.O.B (BiO-sanitation Battalion) and V.I.N.CENT (Vital Information Necessary CENTralized) pack as much of a punch, but a modern upgrade seems inevitable since Disney is most certainly rebooting the film. Director Joseph Kosinski seems to be a fan of Maxmilian in particular, but we hope just as much time is spent on re-imagining the friendlier duo.

The Fix-Its

Batteries Not Included Fix-its Reboot As seen in: *batteries not included (1987) Any child of the 1980s knows the story: the inhabitants of a run-down New York apartment building  have their prayers answered by a family of flying robots capable of repairing the building - and even helping out in the kitchen! Given how beloved *batteries not included is, it's hard to believe a reboot hasn't already been made. But any update would have to address the fact that the flying 'Fix-Its' are never explained. Are they aliens? Sentient machines? Do they simply have a knack for real estate? Whatever the answer, the special effects potential of small flying robots repairing everything from electronics to masonry is too strong for Hollywood to overlook much longer.

Bubo

Clash of the Titans Upgraded Bubo Owl As seen in: Clash of the Titans (1981) The modern remake of the classic swords-and-sandals epic Clash of the Titans was a crowd-pleaser, once again chronicling Perseus' battle against Medusa, the Kraken, and many other threats. But the reboot left one pivotal character out: Bubo, the mechanical replica of Athena's owl granted to Perseus to aid him on his quest. Sure, the essentially robotic owl was somewhat out of place in the mythical setting, but that didn't reduce his effectiveness. We were enraged when the remake reduced Bubo to the butt of a joke, rather than adapting the creature into a CG powerhouse worthy of a demigod. If we ever get a third chapter, Bubo had better be starring.

Robby the Robot

Forbidden Planet Reboot Robby Robot As seen in: Forbidden Planet (1956) When Forbidden Planet was released in 1956, it not only introduced the first band of human beings journeying to a distant planet in a spacecraft, but a robotic character that all others would emulate. Almost six decades later, nobody has stepped up to try to re-imagine a version of the story or the robot that will lead the way for the next generation. While the film's poster depicts Robby the Robot abducting a woman, the real character was honest, friendly, and genuinely witty. Since that alone makes him a coveted guest at any dinner party, a modern updating of the character could do wonders for the sci-fi genre, already enjoying a resurgence that Robby could take to a new level.

Rosie

Jetsons Reboot Rosie Robot As seen in: The Jetsons (1962-1988) Ask any fan of The Jetsons, Hanna-Barbera's futuristic family and they'll tell you that if it wasn't for Rosie the robot maid, cook, housekeeper and confidant Rosie, the family would fall apart. Despite only appearing twice in the original series, the 1980s run made her one of the most memorable - and a dream come true if remade for today's world. We'd be happy to see The Jetsons return in any form these days (even if the future they promised has yet to arrive), but combine the unseen world existing below the family's feet, Rosie's penchant for disciplining the children, and dispensing pills left and right, and an updated Rosie could even make a fitting villain for a chilling sci-fi thriller.

Johnny Five

Short Circuit Reboot Johnny 5 Upgrades As seen in: Short Circuit (1986) We don't know what it says about modern attitudes that if an experimental military robot were struck by lightning in a modern film, it would likely set out to wipe humanity from the Earth. But in Short Circuit, the robot known as Number 5 (later 'Johnny Five') takes his newfound intelligence as a chance to embrace life in every way. These days its seems most likely for a re-imagined Johnny Five to star in a Pixar film, but given how many films have claimed artificial intelligence will destroy the world, not grant it new friends, the time is right for this story to be retold to modern audiences, regardless of who ends up with the task.

Conclusion

RoboCop Movie Robots Upgrade That's just 10 of the many films starring or featuring robotic characters that we believe would be just as impressive if provided with a modern upgrade. Fans may see some of these properties rebooted before long, but how well the filmmakers remain faithful to their robotic source material remains to be seen. Be sure to mention your own favorites in the comments. _____ RoboCop is in theaters now. Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: clash of the titans, forbidden planet, logans run, lost in space, robocop, short circuit, the black hole

20 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. Looking at most of this list I’d have to say “Why bother?”

  2. Nice list! Some of my favorites are Twiki, Dr. Theopolis, and C.H.O.M.P.S.

  3. i am surprised nobody has done Johnny Five yet also, how bout Dot Matrix with the voice of Alex Borstein….

  4. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINPUUUT!!!

  5. GORT. The remade GORT was kinda lackluster. Too much CGI.

  6. How about Max, and his ship, from Flight of the Navigator?

    That having been said… I don’t want them to remake that film. The original is just fine the way it is.

  7. Mechagodzilla did get an upgrade…twice once in the 90′s with godzilla vs mechagodzilla 2 and again in the 2000′s with godzilla against mechagodzilla.

    • Right you are my friend! And he looked pretty sweet in both! The 90′s (and up) Godzilla movies should never be over-looked!!!

      • Absolutely!!! The second Mecha-Godzilla really had one of the best looks to it and was piloted by a crew. It also had the addition of a separate piece of machinery called “Garuda”. I flying piloted machine that was designed to originally go up against Godzilla but instead was considered not effective enough. It then became a part of Mecha-Godzilla 2 that added extra fire power to the robots arsenal. Here’s hoping that will come out in the sequel to the Godzilla 2014 movie.

  8. Johnny 5 was basically already re-imagined with WALL-E.

    It’s literally all I kept thinking during WALL-E was how much WALL-E looked like J5. (Head shape, hands, and voice especially)

    • same with me, i loved it…but i want to see a live action movie with an actual robot not a cgi one

  9. The only one of those that I really see as update material is Rosie. I would love to see a Jetsons remake, but would be scared…it could easily be horrible beyond imagination. In the right hands, though, it could be great.

    That “Box” entity from Logan’s Run creeped me out a little, as a kid. I love the Owl from Clash of the Titans.

    As far as Mechagodzilla…from my perspective, most of those “Godzilla opponents” are not going to fit into a modern franchise that’s trying to be relatively realistic. Okay, you allow that Godzilla exists as the basis of the story, but including other monsters, especially a huge metal replica, is a bit of a stretch methinks…

    • I was thinking the same thing about Jetsons. It could be really cool as a live action movie or through PIXAR.

  10. Number Johnny Five should have been #5 on the list… I mean… you really missed the boat on that one. And no MAX from Flight of the Navigator???

  11. Umm…..where is Alpha 5?? I mean no robotics list is complete without, at the very least, an honorable mention for Alpha

  12. Wasn’t there a Forbidden Planet remake in the works? I love that movie.

  13. Because we need MORE remakes….

  14. I thought Robby was a better “robot” than any of the others. Not only one of the first, but his “fingers” are flexible and not just a pair of “C” clamps (much spoofed on Futurama). After Robby, robots like #5 took decades to be imagined. Robocop doesn’t count as a robot – he’s firmly in Cyborg territory. Oh, and although I would love to see the SFX that would go into a remake of Forbidden Planet, I’m not sure anyone alive today could do as well as George Pal in scripting it up right.

  15. bubo was redone in justin and the knights of valor

  16. Who cares about upgrades unless we’re going to do crossovers! I think I speak for many when I say, it’s about time for a Robocop vs Terminator movie and a reboot for King Kong vs Godzilla! It’s long overdue!

Be Social, Follow Us!!