I’ve reviewed some bad films and TV shows in my time, but I think I can honestly say that getting through 26 episodes of Gigantor was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. The biggest problem was falling asleep every time I tried to watch more than one episode at a time.
The titular robot, a lifeless hunk of metal, is the most powerful robot on earth and is controlled by a twelve-year-old boy named Jimmy Sparks. Along with Dr. Brilliant, Dick Strong and Detective Blooper they take on every threat that faces the earth from criminals to aliens to mad scientists and giant bugs.
A kid with a giant robot sounds like a good idea and there are elements of the show that I did enjoy. However, as the show was created in the ’60s, it is very, very dated. It is very slow paced, simply drawn and has laughably bad dialog.
And after a few episodes the theme song starts to get really, really annoying.
(Note: The Show ran in the U.S. from 1964-1968. I was unable to find exact airdates for the episodes. Also, the discs are numbered as a continuation from Vol. 1)
Will The Real Gigantor Please Stand Up?
Dr. Brilliant and his son Buttons are kidnapped by Prof. Envee. Brilliant is forced to work on a duplicate Gigantor, then Envee ties Button to it and sends it out to fight the real Gigantor!
The Keenymeanies build hundreds of Gigantors to launch an attack against the planet Snork. But Snork has the real Gigantor on their side.
The Plot To Seize Gigantor
Gigantor takes off by himself without Jimmy controlling him. He runs amoke the city and eventually crashes into the Boopadoop Embassy. So they chain him up until they can figure out what’s gone wrong.
The Space Submarine
The Gypsy, a maser thief, sends a fire-breathing mouse robot into the Van Money Estate to steal half an ancient treasure map. Dick Strong goes undercover as part of the gang to try and bring him in.
Ambassador Scamp threatens to blow up a passenger plane unless he’s given $1 million. Then he threatens to blow up Big Beaver Dam unless he gets a billion and demands that Gigantor deliver it in person.
The Robot Olympics
The first World Robot Olympics is held in New York with first prize being $1 million. Gigantor goes head to head with Taurus. But Maxwell Schmoe plans to kidnap Gigantor.
The Crossbones Caper
The notorious pirate Rapscallion and his crew steal a whaling fleet’s money. It’s up to Gigantor to stop them but he may be helpless against Rapsallion’s latest weapon.
Ransom At Point X
Rascal Rogue and the International Pirate Gang are back and they have the largest atomic submarine in the world. Will Gigantor be able to stop them?
The Gypsy Spaceship
Gypsy is back and he has reunited two pieces of a secret Eskimo map. Now the untold wealth buried deep within Mount Blubber will be his.
The Space Cats
Alien invaders called Magnapussies invade earth with their own robot Magnaman and it’s up to Gigantor to stop them.
Return Of Magnaman
Some gangsters get control of Magnaman and use him for their evil plans. So it’s up to Gigantor to stop Magnaman again.
General Ising Nutcake, leader of Beanie, plans to take over the world. Using his Wave Image Maker he is able to take Gigantor, Jimmy and Blooper prisoner. Now who will stop him?
The Insect Monsters
Dr. Buzz Bugaboo is kidnapped by Brainy Mantis and forced to use his insect growing formula to make Brainy an army. Will Gigantor be outnumbered by the giant bugs?
The City Smashers
General Shark has found a way to make Termites eat metal and concrete and unleashes them on the city and it’s up to Jimmy and the gang to find a way to stop them.
The Robot Firebird
Swami Rivers rescues a powerful Firebird from a volcano and gives him great power, which he uses for evil. It’s up Gigantor to stop him.
Magnaman From Outer Space
A man named Crank unleaches Magnaman once again and once again Gigantor must stop him.
The Robot Albatross
Gigantor is sent deep into the ocean to search for a sunken island and buried treasure. However the evil Thermal Updraft has other plans and unleashes his Albatross Robot on Gigantor.
Battle Of The Giant Robots
Goldy Brix is attacking luxury liners and Gigantor is called in to stop him. But he unleashes his own robot, Blastro, which proves to be more than a match for Gigantor.
The Deadly Sting Rays
Goldy Brix is locked up at Skull Duggery Prison with the monster Big Fang. Together they escape with Prof. Stinger’s Sting Ray Robots and can’t be stopped.
Gigantor And The Desert Fire
No countries will buy oil from Morabia. Rebels from Togaland keep setting oil fires to scare away the customers. Can Gigantor stop the rebels?
The Atomic Whale
A group of scientists from the Atomic Factory are kidnapped by a giant whale. When Gigantor goes under the sea to check things out it turns out the whale is really a robot submarine from an undersea city.
The Secret Formula Robbery
Prof. Stinger is back and this time he’s got Big Fang’s robot brother, Irontron, and he’s got one plan: destroy Gigantor once and for all.
The Evil Robot Brain
Dr. Nutzen Boltz convinces a robot with a dialectronic brain, Brainy, to let him study his brain. In return he builds a robot for Brainy to destroy Gigantor.
The Devil Gantry
Scrag and his henchman Sleek have designed a top secret robot using a Tesla coil to generate lighting to fight Gigantor.
The Robot Arsenal
Mr. Skee Matic kidnaps Jimmy and takes him to his secret headquarters. There he has the largest collection of robots in the world. And Gigantor is his newest edition.
Captain Danger has built two gigantic dinosaur robots in his undersea base and launches an attack on Dr. Brilliant’s laboratory while Gigantor is being repaired. Could this be the end?
The episodes are presented in fullscreen 1:33.1. Sound is Mono. These episodes are apparently completely remastered from the original 16mm prints, but they are still really dirty with a lot of scratches. You can tell this is an old cartoon.
Commentary by Fred Ladd: You get these on the first three episodes. Ladd has some interesting things to say, but there is a lot of dead time as well.
Portrait of Gigantor creator Mitsuteru Yokoyama: (20 min.) This is an interview with Fred Ladd about how he learned about Gigantor, how the character was originally conceived and how it was modified for US audiences. This is actually kind of interesting.
Gigantor comic book issues 7-12: These are a DVD-ROM feature.
I had really hoped I’d enjoy watching this collection. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps there are those out there that do enjoy this show for what it is. I’m not one of them and cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone.
Entertainment 1 presents Gigantor: The Collection, Volume 2. Created by Fred Ladd. Running time: 650 minutes on 4 discs. Not Rated. Released on DVD: September 22, 2009. Available at Amazon.com.