- 2 Seasons
The TV show Gigantor is the story of 12-year-old Jimmy Sparks, uncle Dr. Bob Brilliant, Police Inspector Ignatz J. Blooper, and the giant, metallic robot known as Gigantor. First created as a weapon by Jimmy's father, Gigantor becomes Jimmy's crime fighting partner via a remote control. Throughout the series, Jimmy and his team battle threats across the globe to avoid any nefarious villains from taking control of the world and his robot pal. Though showing little independent thought or emotion, Gigantor develops into a peacekeeper for the world of the early 21st Century. Based on the original Japanese show Tetsujin 28-go, Gigantor was adapted to English speaking audiences by American writer and producer Fred Ladd. After seeing animation cells from the series, Ladd purchased 52 installments of the show in 1963. Voice actor and director Peter Frernandez handled creation of the English script. He also dubbed in many of the show's voices, along with actor Billie Lou Watt, who portrayed Jimmy Sparks, and radio actor Ray Owens, who played Inspector Blooper. In addition to these changes a new theme song was produced for the American version of the show. Gigantor premiered on New York's WPIX-TV in 1964. While kids took to Jimmy and his robot, adults and critics were negative on the amount of violence the program displayed. Gigantor remained on the WPIX schedule with strong ratings until 1966, but returned numerous times on other television stations in the late 60s and early 70s. Ladd and his production company eventually distributed Gigantor to Australia and New Zealand. Premiering in 1968, the series gained a larger audience and more favorable reviews. In the early 1990s, Ladd worked together with the TMS Animation Studio to produce a new, color version of Gigantor. Based on the Japanese series Shin Tetsujin 28, the show became The New Adventures of Gigantor in the United States. Though the character designs were based on those from the original Gigantor, they were streamlined and updated for modern audiences.