This is the first of what I hope is to become many top ten lists featured here on Mousepost. That is to say, that I would like it to become a recurring column but at the very least, I have more planned. The theme of this weeks top ten list: Top Ten Disney Robots! Alright folks, on with the show.
Number 10): Tie!
Yessiree, competition was hot and heavy. So heavy in fact that we had to split credit for tenth place. Between whom you may ask? Up first:
10a) Emperor Zurg
– Interstellar scourge, sworn enemy of the galactic alliance, and all round neer-do-well, the evil emperor Zurg is not somebody you’d want to upset. His ion blaster, which doubles as his right arm can be adjusted from one to eleven, a reference to the movie Spinal Tap. Also,he’s voiced by Pixar director and screenwriter Andrew Stanton?!?
10b) The Timekeeper
– Voiced by comic Robin Williams, the Timekeeper was host of the Tomorrowland attraction of the same name. Inventor of the time machine, he used it to transport back in time 9-Eye, a circum-visual photodroid, and pretty cool robot in her own right, voiced by Rhea Pearlman. Versions of the show existed at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disney with the last of these (WDW’s) closing in 2006. The score for this attraction was composed by Bruce Broughton who also composed the scores for The Rescuers Down Under and Tombstone. You can hear it at this link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdNgHvna48Q&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL1D173D23ED18E6DA
9) Muppet robots
– Muppets are neat. Dont’ you agree?
9a) Otto the automatic entertainer was invented by Professor Albert Flan. After falling apart in the middle of an act, Fozzie Bear recruits him to be his magic assistant.
9b) Steel Rabbit was lured to the muppet show by the promise of Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker’s newly invented magnetic carrots.
9c) Robot Kermit is brought to the Muppet theatre by Scooter beacuse he was told to by his uncle. Things run amok as this Kermit’s personality is quite different from that of the show’s normal host and then he breaks down.
9d) Seen in 2011’s The Muppets, 80s Robot is Kermit’s personal assistant/ housekeeper. He is always ready to serve up a can of New Coke or Tab and uses slang of the decade including “Gag me with a spoon.”
8) Abe Lincoln
– Walt Disney said that it all started with a mouse, but a good many important things in Disney history started with good ole Abe here. You see, he was the very first human audio-animatronic (fancy word for ro-bot) attempted by Disney Imagineering. He made his debut in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, one of the favorites at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Fun Fact: Imagineering had a hard time keeping up with all the repairs need for Mr. Lincoln during the show’s initial run. The reason? Naughty kids took aim at honest Abe using their slingshots and steel ball bearings being handed out at one of the fair’s neighboring attractions. The original animatronic is currently on display at the One Man’s Dream Exhibit at Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. Stop by and say howdy!
– Unofficial mascot of Communicore (the predecessor to Innoventions) at Epcot, Smrt-1 was a wise-crackin’, song singin’ son of a gun. He would communicate and play games with guest via telephone and even told jokes too. He, like the rest of Epcot, did not age so gracefully and was eventually replaced. Though, for years after, he could still be found as decor at the Grand Canyon Concourse Steakhouse At Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Gone but not forgotten, Smrt- 1 will always be remembered fondly for being purple.
6) Robot (of Robot and Snake)
– Underappreciated denizens of Andy’s room, Robot and his pal Snake are the real deal. Often seen hanging with pals Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, and Slinky, Robot and Snake are responsible for setting up Woody’s podium and are integral in the day-to-day operations of the life of a toy. They make things happen.
-Max, from Flight of the Navigator, is a Trimaxion Drone Ship. He is responsible for collecting data and samples from across the entire universe and returning them to his home planet: Phaelon. He can tme travel and fly faster than the speed of light! Pretty cool , huh? He is also voiced by actor Paul Reubens who may or may not be mentioned again on this list . . .
– Known to most as a mild-mannered accountant, with the exclamation of the magical phrase Blatherin’ Blatherskites!, Fenton Crackshell is transformed into the mighty Gizmoduck! In the suit of armor designed by Gyro Gearloose, Fenton is turned overnight from a wimp into famed millionaire Scrooge McDuck’s personal security guard and quasi-celebrity. I know, so technically he’s not a robot, but come on, would you not include Gizmoduck??? Also, he made his debut on a five part storyline arc on Ducktales called wait for it, wait for it . . . Super Ducktales! Watch the original commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QsyH46ZI70
3) The robots of Horizons
– What’s Horizons you may ask? Arguably, the most significant Disney attraction that no longer exists. Horizons, opened in 1983 at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. Presenting the possibilities of a future where man and earth live in harmony, Horizons had all kinds of cool futuristic stuff including robots! Most notably, the chef robot and robot butler. Keen eh? You can see the robot butler still today at the One Man’s Dream exhibit at Hollywood Studios (mere feet away from robot Lincoln). Also, check out this great piece of music from the ride’s soundtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avAWnU-W9BY
2) The robots of Wall-E
– Although the Axiom is home to a whole slew of robots including MVR-A, D-Fib, and M-O just to name a few, let’s not skirt around the issue, the coolest robots are the main characters. Wall-E stands for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class and Eve stands for Extraterrestrial – Vegetation Evaluator. Besides having the most memorable robot romance of all time (sorry HeartBeeps), Wall-E and Eve led the robot rebellion that helped earthlings get back to their home planet.
Did you know that? Wall-E actually makes cameo appearances in Cars, The Incredibles, and the original Toy Story, with the latter being an amazing thirteen years before Wall-E was even released!
1) The robots of Star Tours
– Though technically not Disney, they appear at Disney parks, plus I sure would be remiss in not mentioning the fantastic robots of Star Tours. (Update: Now technically Disney.) George Lucas created one of the greatest sci-fi universes of all times and its chock full of cool robots. Both the original Star Tours attraction and the revamped version feature many colorful droids, including:
1a) RX-24 – RX24, an inexperienced pilot droid better known to some as Captain Rex was the pilot of the original Star Tours. Voiced by Paul Reubens (making his 2nd appearance on our list), Rex is way over his ahead when he finds himself entrenched in the middle of galactic civil war over the death star. Oh well, he’s sure to do better next time, after all, it was his first flight.
Although retired from duty, Captain Rex can still be seen in the queue for the new reimagined version of Star Tours at Disney parks. Also, you can click her to read an interview with Paul Reubens about the character: http://d23.disney.go.com/news/2011/08/star-tours-with-paul-reubens/
1b) C3P0 and R2D2
– You would be hard pressed to find a couple of robots more famous and universally recognized than this humanoid protocol droid and his R2-series astromech counterpart. They have appeared on countless tv shows (including The Muppet Show and Sesame Street), starred in their very own animated series, are immortalized in Smithsonian Museum of American History, not to mention the fact that they played key roles in the battle for galactic freedom (duh!) 3P0 and R2 helped to service the ships in the original Star Tours and in the new version 3P0 is actually taking up duty as a pilot so make sure you check it out if you haven’t already and don’t forget, Darth Vader is not a robot.
Honorable mention goes to: S.I.R. from Alien Encounter, B.E.N. from Treasure Planet, B.O.B. and V.I.N.CENT from The Black Hole, and Weebo from Flubber.
Alright folks, that’s it. Take care til’ next time. See ya