Robby The Robot Films
Robby the Robot got his big break in Hollywood when landing a leading role in Forbidden Planet. He became an instant icon and was able to secure several more film roles. Although he is usually typecast as a generic “Robot”, he is an unmistakable star. Robby is often used by filmmakers, because of their love for him and his place in film history.
Director: Fred. M. Wilcox
Body: Frankie Darro
Voice: Marvin Miller
Synopsis: Forbidden Planet tells the story of a crew sent to investigate the fate of a colony located 16 light years from earth. When they arrive, they find two survivors, a dangerous monster and a complex mystery. This would be the first science fiction film that had humans using a spaceship they had built and be to set entirely in space.
Robby’s Role: Forbidden Planet was the debut of Robby the Robot. Unlike past movie robots, he was a well developed character, that played a large supporting role amongst his human co-stars. Although the movie poster depicts Robby as a monstrous creature, carrying off a helpless damsel, in reality Robby was a good guy. He was programmed with Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and is incapable of harming a human being.
The Invisible Boy
Director: Herman Hoffman
Voice: Marvin Miller
Synopsis: A mischievous boy named Timmie Merrinoe goes with his scientist father to work and while he is there, a supercomputer endows Timmie with advanced intelligence. Timmie assembles a robot that was discarded as trash and they become fast friends. The robot helps the boy turn invisible and Timmie causes all sorts of childish shenanigans. Later we discover the supercomputer is using the robot and the boy for its goal of world domination.
Robby’s Role: The robot pieces that the boy assembles are from the twenty-third century. The robot is actually Robby the Robot, from Forbidden Planet. Although Robby is not doing evil acts of his own free will, for this film Robby does get to play a villain.
Invasion Of The Neptune Men
Director: Koji Ota
Synopsis: Invasion Of The Neptune Men is a Japanese alien invasion/superhero film. When aliens from Neptune attack earth, a superhero named Space Chief (Iron Sharp is the name used in Japan) repels their invasion. At first he fights the aliens in physical combat, but later his alter ego Dr. Tachibana is able to created an energy shield to protect Earth from these Invaders’ sophisticated attacks. However, for the aliens final assault it takes the combined might of Space Chief and the Japanese military to save Earth.
Robby’s Role: This would be Robby The Robots first foreign film appearance, proving his international fame. He can be seen as one of the toys that the kids play with halfway through the film. Although he is a toy, I included it in this list, because IMDB and MST3K reference Robby’s cameo appearance.
Directors: Allan Arkush/Joe Dante
Robby: Robby The Robot
Synopsis: This movie is a little crazy, but makes more sense when you know it was created as a bet between Jon Davison and Roger Corman. They wished to film the cheapest movie ever produced by New World Pictures. To accomplish this goal they used a considerable amount of footage from other films in New World’s library. Hollywood Boulevard is an homage to B movies and follows Candy Wednesday on her journey to becoming a movie star.
Robby’s Role: Although Robby the Robot had not appeared in any previous New World Picture films, this movie was a tribute to B movies and it is appropriate that Robby makes a cameo appearance as a server.
Director: Joe Dante
Robby Voice: Marvin Miller
Robot: Robby The Robot
Synopsis: Gremlins is a horror/black comedy film about furry creatures called Mogwai. There are three rules that must be followed; never expose them to bright light (sunlight will kill them), never get them wet (they will multiply), and NEVER feed them after midnight (they turn into evil reptilian monsters that enjoy causing chaos and destruction). When Billy Peltzer receives the Mogwai Gizmo as a pet for Christmas, things get out of hand and his small town is almost destroyed.
Robby’s Role: Billy’s father is an inventor and when he is at a convention, Robby can be seen walking around with a ridiculous hat.
Director: Steve De Jarnatt
Robot: Robby the Robot
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic United States, robot technology has taken off and gynoids have become prevalent in society as both prostitutes and surrogate wives (social commentary perhaps). Sam Treadwell’s loves his gynoid wife and when she breaks down, he removes her memory core and goes off in search of her exact mode. He enlists the aid of Edith Johnson, a female tracker, to help find an exact match in the “The Zone”. As they fight their way through this dangerous wasteland, a bond develops between them far greater than any that could exist with a machine.
Robby’s Role: Robby the Robot didn’t exactly have a role in Cherry 2000, he was more of a set piece. However, you can clearly see Robby standing with Gort, the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Since this film revolved around the advancement of robotics, we will say these two famous robots were background actors instead of props.
Earth Girls Are Easy
Director: Julien Temple
Robot: Robby The Robot
Synopsis: When “lonely” aliens intercept a broadcast showing attractive females from Earth, they change course and head to our planet. The aliens crash land in Valerie Gail’s swimming pool and she quickly befriends them. While two of the aliens, Wiploc and Zeebo, enjoy the finer things and women Earth has to offer as their ship is being prepared, Mac, their leader, falls in love with Valerie. Although a musical comedy starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis may not scream box office success, this movie does star Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey before they were stars or cast together on In Living Color.
Robby’s Role: Immediately after Mac and Valerie have relations that reinforce the film’s title, (HubPages is weird about the words they decide to sensor.) Valerie has a nightmare reflecting her actions with an alien. In this dream sequence, her house and neighborhood are filled with aliens. At first we see Robby the Robot mixing a drink and later walking freely around the house.
Looney Tunes: Back In Action
Director: Joe Dante
Robby the Robot: Robert Parigi
Robert The Robot: Robby The Robot
Synopsis: Daffy Duck leaves Warner Brothers after getting fed up with working in Bugs Bunny’s shadow. Daffy is removed from the lot by the security guard DJ Drake. DJ Drake’s father was a famous movie star and DJ dreams of being a stuntman. After Daffy decides they should team up, it is revealed that DJ’s father is actually a spy. They then begin their own spy adventure and attempt thwart the villains by rescuing DJ’s father and be the first to find the magical Blue Monkey Diamond.
Robby’s Role: When DJ and Daffy stumbleupon Area 52, where Mother gives them James Bond like gadgets, we learn that area 51 is a hoax. However, they play off the alien myth of Area 52 and we can see everybody's favorite space robot walking around the complex.
*Interesting that two of these films with Robby the Robot were directed by Joe Dante. (Looney Tunes: Back in Action/Gremlins)
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