Plot: In the 23rd century, earth is host to the Galactic Patrol, a law enforcement agency that serves and protects entire solar systems. While this agency has access to resources from both humans and countless alien races, the advanced tech doesn’t ensure law and order, as dangerous criminals are ever present. But no threat is more dangerous or consistent as Shadow, a crime syndicate presided over by Umbra, a ruthless cyborg who has villainous ambitions. The Galactic Patrol has a special life of defense for extreme threats like Shadow however, a squad of elite level robots known as the Orbots, an invention of scientist Rob Simmons. While the Orbots have been able to fend off the assaults of Shadow thus far, as Umbra pushes forward with even more diabolical plans, can they continue to thwart his efforts?
Entertainment Value: This series only lasted for one season with thirteen episodes, but Mighty Orbots deserved a much longer run and sports of the most impressive animation from this period. If you compare Orbots to similar shows from the mid 80s, the contrast is drastic, to say the least. Even classic, iconic shows from this era often had rough, crude animation involved and relied on design over motion, but Orbots has fluid animation, remarkable detail levels, and some very cool designs to boot. The action scenes are beautiful and provide a kinetic, rich visual experience, while even routine exposition is bolstered by background elements and small, but effective touches. The scenes where the Orbots combine have to be the true highlight, animation wise, but the show looks great throughout. As impressive as the visuals are, the show has much more to offer than shiny animation.
Despite the short run, Mighty Orbots establishes and develops a number of characters, which leads to more interesting episodic narratives, as these smaller character threads add so much depth. This helps alleviate the “panic of the week” style approach of Shadow’s constant threat, as the character driven elements let you connect with the characters, especially the Orbots themselves. The show is still brisk and fun, but that added depth and focus on characters helps the show stand out from the crowd. I think as more people discover Mighty Orbots, it will gain a sizable fan base thanks to how well the characters and larger story arc are developed. I also appreciate that while most shows cut short have to cobble together a weak or nonexistent finale, Mighty Orbots offers a complete narrative. It is a shame this one was taken down in its prime, but this one season of Mighty Orbots is highly recommended to fans of cartoons, bad ass robots, and animation in general.