We can still be friends if you don’t love Megas XLR; I’m not that petty. However we definitely have wildly different tastes. The show is a love letter to anime, giant robot shows, science fiction, and fun. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. However, how many casual fans know where this got its start? Or even seen that start?
Created by Jody Schaeffer and George Krstic, the show began as one of a series of pilots from the Cartoon Cartoon Weekend Summerfest, a sort of contest to find the newest Cartoon Cartoon, the name of Cartoon Network’s original cartoons back when they actually used their access to classic Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera, and Ruby-Spears libraries. Then they moved that to Boomerang and now you’re lucky if they even release in on DVD because outside of Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shorts Boomerang doesn’t even show the programming it was created for. Another time on that topic.
Tonight I thought I’d show off the original pilot short, but it wasn’t called Megas XLR. Instead it was given the name Lowbrow, and whomever was responsible for changing the name prior to going full series has my gratitude. Outside of Coop himself (and maybe his friend Jamie) there’s nothing really lowbrow about this show, not even the humor. And this is a series about giant robots smashing stuff while fighting monsters and other giant robots. Take a look.
This short would be reworked into the proper pilot for Megas XLR, also titled “Test Drive” as it’s a fitting name all-around. In addition to the improved animation extra scenes were added to further the backstory and introduce a new recurring character. Here’s the scene where Coop shows Jaime the robot again from that episode.
Most of the original cast returns (the Glort leader gets a new voice) and the show would spoof many anime tropes from of course giant robots to Gatchaman/G-Force to Sailor Moon, and would even get Bruce Campbell as a recurring villain. Megas XLR lasted two seasons before low ratings led to the show’s cancellation. According to Wikipedia Krstic said that the show was turned into a tax write-off and any attempt to bring the show back would somehow hurt the network, so the odds of it coming back are sadly low. The show is available on iTunes or supposedly X-Box video and I do recommend seeing it if you can…especially if you dig giant robots.