Megas XLR is an American animated television series created by Jody Schaeffer and George Krstic for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around two slackers: mechanic Coop and his best friend Jamie, who find a mecha robot from the future called Megas (Mechanized Earth Guard Attack System) in a New Jersey junkyard. Coop modifies Megas and replaces his head, the control center, with a classic muscle car, and names him XLR (eXtra Large Robot). Together with Megas's original pilot Kiva, they must defend Earth from the evil alien race called "the Glorft". The series is a homage and parody of mecha anime. Krstic was originally one of the co-creators of MTV's Downtown.
|Created by||Jody Schaeffer|
|Opening theme||"Chicks Dig Giant Robots", performed by Ragtime Revolutionaries|
|Composer(s)||Shawn K. Clement|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jody Schaeffer|
For Cartoon Network: Linda Simensky and Jay Bastian
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||1080i (4:3 480i)|
|Original release||May 1, 2004 –|
January 15, 2005
Schaeffer and Krstic conceived the idea of an animated series where the main character would pilot a giant robot utilizing his video gaming skills. The pilot episode, LowBrow, was shown in 2002 during Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoon Weekend Summerfest, to determine which pilot would become a new Cartoon Cartoon; it was the most popular among viewers. It aired on the Toonami block from May 1, 2004 to January 15, 2005 for 2 seasons (totaling 25 episodes), before being cancelled due to low ratings.
The series was met with positive reception, and was ranked at No. 4 on ToonZone's "Toons of the 2000s: Top 5 Cartoon Network Originals". There have been various fan efforts and petitions to revive the show since its cancellation.
In the year 3037, Earth is fighting a losing war against the Glorft, a hostile alien race led by Gorrath (Clancy Brown). In a last, desperate attempt to save the planet, the human resistance steals a prototype mecha robot from the Glorft and modifies it into a powerful war machine, renaming it MEGAS (Mechanized Earth Guard Attack System). Their plan is to use a time-traveling device called a time drive to send MEGAS and its assigned pilot, Kiva Andru (Wendee Lee), two years into the past to the Battle of the Last Stand, which was the last major offensive fought by humanity against the Glorft. Humanity lost that battle, but the members of the resistance, particularly Kiva, believe that MEGAS can tip the scales and hand the Glorft a decisive defeat.
Before the plan can be executed, however, an attack by the Glorft forces the human resistance to send MEGAS back in time before proper preparations are made. MEGAS' head is blown off in the attack and its time drive is damaged, and the crippled robot is inadvertently sent to a junkyard in 1930s New Jersey. It remains there until a slacker mechanic, mechanic Harold "Coop" Cooplowski (David DeLuise) discovers it in approximately the year 2004. Coop turns MEGAS into a hot rod project by giving it a flaming paint job, replacing its head with a classic muscle car (resembling a car from the '70s MOPAR family; most likely a Plymouth Barracuda) and adding XLR (eXtra Large Robot) to its name.
While Coop is showing off the robot to his best friend Jamie (Steve Blum), Kiva travels to the 21st century to retrieve MEGAS and, upon discovering that only Coop can now pilot the robot due to the modifications he has made, grudgingly agrees to train him in its use. However, the Glorft have followed her through time, forcing Kiva, Coop, and Jamie to team up and defend Earth against both them and various other threats.
While playing video games, Schaeffer and Krstic came up with an idea of making an animated series in which the main character would use his video gaming skills to pilot a giant robot. The pilot short (LowBrow) was shown in 2002 as part of Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoon Weekend Summerfest, a contest to determine which pilot would be selected as the next Cartoon Cartoon. It was the most popular among viewers, and was greenlit as a series.
Much of the series is inspired by Japanese mecha anime which the two grew up watching, with the animation being inspired by both anime and Western animation. The humour often pays homage or mocks anime conventions.
After being delayed from its original debut in December 2003, Megas XLR finally debuted on the Toonami block on May 1, 2004. However, due to low ratings, the series was cancelled after two seasons, with the final episode airing on January 15, 2005.
Reruns continued to air sporadically from January 16, 2005 to June 24, 2006. During this time, the series was later moved to the graveyard slot of 3:30am on Friday nights/Saturday mornings, before being removed from the network altogether.
In late 2012, fans on Twitter started using the hashtag #BringBackMegasXLR. The co-creator George Krstic and director Chris Prynoski announced they would bring back the show; seeing as Megas XLR had been written off by Cartoon Network, the studio Titmouse, Inc. would have to get the rights to the show. On April 29, 2013, George Krstic posted a tweet saying that he and Chris Prynoski were having a meeting at Titmouse to discuss bringing back the show along with Motorcity. However, in a 2014 interview George Krstic was quoted as saying - "Megas was written off as a tax loss and as such can not be exploited, at least domestically, in any way, or the network will get into some sort of tax/legal trouble." Kiva made a cameo appearance in the OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes episode "Crossover Nexus" that aired on October 8, 2018.
Potential video gameEdit
In December 2012, a series of messages were posted on Twitter by series director Chris Prynoski, hinting at production of a video game based on the series with Valve Software. No official comment on the project has yet been made by Valve Software or Cartoon Network. However in 2015 Chris Prynoski mentioned on Twitter that he had been unable to sort out the licensing needed.
- Pezzano, Kevin (May 11, 2004). "Megas XLR". Revolution Science Fiction. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- Anderson, Matthew. "Megas XLR". DVD Vision Japan. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- The Huntsman (November 13, 2009). "Toons of the 2000s: Top 5 Cartoon Network Originals". ToonZone. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- Baisley, Sarah (May 4, 2004). "Cartoon Network Revs Up Megas XLR". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- iTunes Store releases:
- Xbox Video releases:
- George Krstic. "George Krstic on Twitter: "The Council has been summoned! Meeting with @TitmouseInc @chrisprynoski tonight to talk #bringbackmotorcity & #bringbackmegasxlr stay tuned!"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
- mdefeo (2014-10-14). "10 Years After Megas XLR: An Interview With George Krstic". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
- "Is Valve Going to Make a Megas XLR Game?". Gamepodunk.com. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
- "Chris Prynoski on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2018-03-23.