My Life as a Teenage Robot

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My Life as a Teenage Robot
My Life as a Teenage Robot logo.png
The series' logo[a]
Genre
Created byRob Renzetti
Developed by
  • Rob Renzetti
  • Alex Kirwan
  • Joseph Holt
  • Jill Friemark
  • Daniel Krall
Voices of
Theme music composerPeter Lurye
Composer(s)James L. Venable
Peter Lurye
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39 (75 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Rob Renzetti
Fred Seibert
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)Frederator Studios
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Release
Original networkNickelodeon (2003–2005)
Nicktoons Network (2008–2009)
Picture format480i (4:3 SDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseAugust 1, 2003 (2003-08-01) –
May 2, 2009 (2009-05-02)
Chronology
Preceded byOh Yeah! Cartoons
External links
Website

My Life as a Teenage Robot, or Teenage Robot (abbreviated as MLAATR for short), is an American animated superhero science fantasy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Frederator Studios in association with Nickelodeon Animation Studio and distributed by Paramount Television in the United States and by Nelvana in Canada with Rough Draft Studios providing the animation services.[citation needed] Set in the fictional town of Tremorton, the series follows the adventures of a robot girl named XJ-9, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called, who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal human life as a teenager.

Renzetti pitched the series to Frederator Studios' animated shorts showcase Oh Yeah! Cartoons and a pilot titled "My Neighbor Was a Teenage Robot" aired on January 5, 1999. Viewer approval ratings led to the commissioning of a half-hour series, which premiered on August 1, 2003; after airing its first two seasons, the series was cancelled in terms of production because of poor ratings.[1] The completed third season eventually aired on Nickelodeon's spinoff network Nicktoons from October 4, 2008 to May 2, 2009, officially ending the series in terms of airing. The series totaled three seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes. All three seasons are available on DVD at Amazon and on the iTunes store, although they are geo-blocked from some countries including Canada.

My Life as a Teenage Robot received mostly positive reviews from critics, being nominated for numerous awards, most prominently one Primetime Emmy Award and eleven Annie Awards.[2]

Overview[edit]

My Life as a Teenage Robot is set in the fictional town of Tremorton and its themes focus on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage problems and other conventions and drama of the teenage and superhero lives mixed up with a combination of action, adventure, sci-fi fantasy and comedy sequences. The series follows XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye), who is a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art sentient gynoid automaton robot girl created by her mother Dr. Nora Wakeman (Candi Milo), an elderly robotics scientist, five years prior to the series. Jenny is Earth's protector, armed to the teeth with a wide range of weapons and devices, but all she really wants is to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season one, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1–8.

Jenny's friends are her next-door neighbors Brad (Chad Doreck) and Tuck Carbuckle (Audrey Wasilewski). Brad is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first actual friend Jenny makes, while Tuck is Brad's rambunctious younger brother who usually tags along on adventures. Another one of her friends is Sheldon Lee (Quinton Flynn), a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is infatuated with her. Jenny often rejects his romantic advances, but still cares for him as a friend. Fans of the show often speculate on whether Jenny would have ended up with Sheldon or Brad. Renzetti and his team seem to favor Sheldon but refuse to give any definitive answers as to how he would have ended the series if he was given a fourth season.[3]

At high school, Jenny has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust Cousins, Brit (Moira Quirk) and Tiff (Cree Summer), the popular girls in school. Dr. Wakeman often tries in vain to control her creation and keep her daughter focused on protecting the planet Earth. Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus (Eartha Kitt), wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly-human life.

The special of the series, "Escape from Cluster Prime", shows that the alien planet is actually a peaceful paradise for every kind of robot. It's also revealed that Vexus has made Jenny out to be a villain due to her constant refusals to join, blaming her for the missing components that allow robots to transform; Vexus actually has them hidden, to help control the populace.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
113August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)February 27, 2004 (2004-02-27)Nickelodeon
213December 8, 2004 (2004-12-08)September 9, 2005 (2005-09-09)
313October 4, 2008 (2008-10-04)May 2, 2009 (2009-05-02)Nicktoons

Production[edit]

Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Fred Seibert's and Frederator Studios' Oh Yeah! Cartoons. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor was a Teenage Robot", which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, Time Squad, Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, and Samurai Jack, Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the Teenage Robot series.

Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenaged girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenaged girl.

Cancellation[edit]

On October 17, 2005, the show's crew announced on their blog that the show had been cancelled, and the third season would be the last: "The executives love the show but the ratings aren't good enough for them to give us more episodes."[4][5] Following the series' cancellation, Renzetti left for Cartoon Network Studios, working on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and The Cartoonstitute, before moving on to the Disney Channel to become supervising producer for Gravity Falls. The third season aired on Nicktoons from late 2008 to mid 2009, officially concluding the series in terms of television airing.

Broadcast[edit]

Nickelodeon debuted My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003 at 8:30 PM.[6][better source needed] The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block called SNICK on August 2, 2003 and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup on August 2003 to June 2004. The first season ended on February 27, 2004 with "The Wonderful World of Wizzly / Call Hating".

The second season (which was originally set to air on October 1, 2004) was pushed back to December 8, 2004 with the Christmas episode "A Robot for All Seasons". A new second-season episode was not aired until January 24, 2005.[7] In the second season, a 48-minute, two-part TV movie entitled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006)[8] aired. Since the series' cancellation, reruns continued to air on Nicktoons until April 14, 2013 and again from December 13, 2015 to May 15, 2016.

Reception[edit]

Sean Aitchison from CBR wrote positively of the show saying, “Aside from the look of the show, My Life as a Teenage Robot had a fun premise that made for some great action comedy storytelling, and it definitely holds up [in modern day]. Though the show's depiction of teendom is somewhat outdated, the cliches actually end up working in favor of the humor. Though there's not a lot of story progression throughout the series, My Life as a Teenage Robot is still a whole lot of fun.”[9] Joly Herman of Common Sense Media wrote more negatively of the show, saying that, “Though it looks cool and has an upbeat energy, the show can be a bit of a drag. Some kids may enjoy it for the mindless entertainment it intends to be, but know that there are much better uses of a free half-hour.”[10]

Home media[edit]

The episodes "See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Future Shock", "A Robot for All Seasons", "Hostile Makeover", and "Gridiron Glory" were released on Nick Picks DVD compilations. As of December 12, 2011, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on DVD exclusive to Amazon.com in region 1. The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.[11]

My Life as a Teenage Robot home video releases
Product Season(s) Episode
count
Distributor Country Release date Episodes
Nick Picks Vol. 1 1 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States May 24, 2005 9a
Features "Hostile Makeover".
Nick Picks Vol. 2 1 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States October 18, 2005 9b
Features "Grid Iron Glory".
Nick Picks Vol. 3 1 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States February 7, 2006 6a
Features "See No Evil".
Nick Picks Vol. 4 1 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States June 6, 2006 6b
Features "The Great Unwashed".
Nick Picks Holiday 2 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States September 26, 2006 14
Features "A Robot For All Seasons".
Nick Picks Vol. 5 2 1 Paramount Home Media Distribution  United States March 13, 2007 15a
Features "Future Shock".
The Complete First Season 1 13 CreateSpace  United States December 12, 2011 Season 1
This three-disc release contained the entire first season.
The Complete Second Season 2 12 CreateSpace  United States December 12, 2011 14–21, 23–26
This three-disc release contained twelve episodes from the second season, excluding "Escape From Cluster Prime".
The Complete Third Season 2, 3 14 CreateSpace  United States December 12, 2011 22 and Season 3
This three-disc release contained twelve episodes from the third season, plus one episode from the second season, "Escape From Cluster Prime".
The Complete Series 1-3 39 Beyond Home Entertainment  Australia February 5, 2012 Whole series
The entire series is included.

Other Media[edit]

Jenny was featured as a playable character in the Playstation 2/Wii and Nintendo DS versions of Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots with Janice Kawaye returning to voice her. Jenny also was added as a playable character in the mobile app game Super Brawl Universe.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The font used in the logo is slightly similar to ITC Anna.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". The Teenage Roblog. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "My Life as a Teenage Robot Awards and Nominations".
  3. ^ AWN. "Dr. Toon: Nuts and Bolts With Rob Renzetti | AWN | Animation World Network". AWN. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 17, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  5. ^ "XJWriter is No More!". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 25, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  6. ^ [1] Archived November 27, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Schedule for "My Life as a Teenage Robot" on Nicktoons
  8. ^ "Complete list of prime-time Emmy nominations". Nytimes.com. December 31, 1969. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  9. ^ Aitchison, Sean (October 14, 2017). "Keep It 2000: 8 Cartoons From The '00s That Hold Up (And 7 That Don't)". CBR.
  10. ^ Herman, Joly (August 1, 2003). "My Life as a Teenage Robot review". Common Sense Media.
  11. ^ "My Life As A Teenage Robot: The Complete Series". Beyond Home Entertainment. Retrieved September 26, 2013.

External links[edit]