Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
Big Guy and Rusty the boy robot - Title card.png
GenreScience fiction
Superhero
Based on
Developed byRichard Raynis
Duane Capizzi
Jeff Kline
Voices ofJonathan David Cook
Pamela Adlon
Jim Hanks
Gabrielle Carteris
R. Lee Ermey
Kathy Kinney
Kevin Michael Richardson
Stephen Root
M. Emmet Walsh
Theme music composerDeddy Tzur
ComposerInon Zur
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producersMike Richardson
Richard Raynis
ProducerFrank Squillace
Running time21 minutes
Production companiesAdelaide Productions
Dark Horse Entertainment
Columbia TriStar Television
DistributorSony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkFox Kids
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1999 (1999-09-18) –
March 5, 2001 (2001-03-05)

Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, also known as The Big Guy and Rusty, is an American animated TV series based on the comic book of the same name by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow.[1]

The series ran for 26 episodes and featured the voice of Pamela Adlon (credited as Pamela Segall) as the voice of Rusty, Jonathan David Cook as Big Guy, and the voices of Gabrielle Carteris, Stephen Root, Kathy Kinney, Kevin Michael Richardson, M. Emmet Walsh, and R. Lee Ermey.[2] A line of toys based on the show was produced by Bandai, along with ephemera surrounding a brief promotional tie-in with Burger King.

26 episodes were produced for the Fox Kids Network's Saturday morning lineup, but the channel cancelled the show after six episodes. The show premiered on September 18, 1999, and ended on October 23. This left twenty episodes unaired for more than a year. Starting in January 2001, Fox Kids added the show to its weekday-afternoon block, and aired all twenty-six existing episodes.[3] The entire series was later broadcast on ABC Family in 2002.

On July 12, 2016, Amazon released the complete series on DVD-R.

Overview

The animated series, produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Dark Horse Entertainment, aired from 1999 to 2001, and in many aspects is a more mature and established series. Whereas the comic book seems like only an introduction to the robots, the animated series is full-fledged with a strong back story which links the episodes together. The plot and setting of the series is different from the comic book as the whole story is based around New Tronic City, a fictional North American city clearly modeled after New York City.

Plot

The series focuses on Rusty, the most advanced robot ever built, with a human emotional grid and "nucleoprotonic" powers. The plan by Quark Industries is that Rusty will replace the Big Guy, a massive war robot that is the Earth's last line of defence against all threats alien or domestic. However, Rusty is too inexperienced to stand up against these said threats alone, so the Big Guy is re-commissioned to teach Rusty the way of trade. Rusty idolizes the Big Guy, regarding him as the best robot ever. In reality, the Big Guy is actually a mindless battle suit piloted by lieutenant Dwayne Hunter, who poses as his chief mechanic. The Big Guy's secret is known only to a few and many situations involve Hunter's clever and impromptu excuses to hide the fact from Rusty for two reasons; that the truth could overload Rusty's emotional grid and Rusty has difficulty keeping secrets.

Characters

Villains

Apart from recurring and/or plot-important villains, a lot of monsters (often of unknown origin) can be seen in this anime but they play no particular role, or are an important element in only one episode.

Secondary, minor or one-episode-only villains

Episodes

Season 1 (1999)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
11"Creatures, Great and Small"Frank SquillaceDuane CapizziSeptember 18, 1999 (1999-09-18)101
After 10 years of service, the BGY-11 superhero robot known as "Big Guy" is retired by new Quark Ind. President Axel Donovan, to be replaced by Dr. Erika Slate's 'Rusty' - a robot child meant to deliver on the old promise of an A.I. Robot capable of defending the people. Meanwhile, US Army LT. Dwayne Hunter is given a classified Medal of Valor for piloting Big Guy. After an alien creature crashes & runs amok, Rusty can't beat it, so Hunter's team rebuilds Big Guy to help Rusty defeat the alien, and the two work together to finally destroy the monster. After Big Guy is publicly recommissioned, Rusty is officially made his new partner to teach the eager young robot.
22"Out of Whack"Mike GoguenGreg WeismanSeptember 25, 1999 (1999-09-25)102
When Rusty sees Donovan order Dr. Gilder's robot scrapped for being "Out of Whack", Rusty fears for his own upkeep. ARG-12 (Argos) attacks the ARMY seeking Big Guy, Gen. Thornton signals Big Guy, who is followed by Rusty. Argos offers Big Guy to join "Legion Ex Machina", but he refuses; Argos overpowers Big Guy with the same nucleoprotonic powers as Rusty, who gets damaged, but retreats as his power cells nearly deplete. As Slate examines Rusty, she discovers his technology is stolen, unaware Dr. Gilder covertly stole it for the Legion; Donovan blames her, but as she tries to explain, Rusty flees. Slate calls Hunter to explain she wants to help him, so Big Guy meets the boy robot, but both are surprised by a recharged Argos. However, Hunter realized Argos expends too much fuel, so Big Guy overexerts his power but is downed, until Rusty tricks Argos into taking his damaged battery pack and explodes. Upon reboot, Big Guy manages to get Rusty to Slate for repair.
33"The Inside Scoop"Jane Wu SorianoRoger S.H. SchulmanOctober 2, 1999 (1999-10-02)103
Rusty tries to find a Big Guy website, but after being sent away Slate finds he actually hacked into the ARMY's classified file on the BGY-11 project, learning Big Guy is really a mech suit piloted by Hunter. Dr. Neugog, who invented a telepathy machine, mutated into a human/arachnid monster hungry for brains, attacks Quark Ind. Big Guy battles Neugog on the roof, but as Hunter is human, Neugog uses his mind control to make Big Guy (Hunter) bring him Erika Slate. Rusty arrives in time to snap-out Hunter and save Slate; she later finds & repurposes Neugog's original helmet to allow Hunter immunity to Neugog's powers. At the Science Expo, Neugog attacks and breaches Big Guy's hull plating to reach Hunter; he refuses to bail out, and stalls until Rusty gets into the fight again to knock out Neugog. A defeated Neugog is drained of all stolen brainwaves, which are promptly used to restore his victims; meanwhile, Slate & Hunter start to become close, much to Rusty's childish ignorance thinking they are dating.
44"Birthday Bash"Nathan ChewAlexx Van DyneOctober 9, 1999 (1999-10-09)104
After Quark Ind. retrieves an alien item, two alien mercenaries hunt for it. As Hunter preps for a day off, his team give him a transponder to remote summon Big Guy; Rusty learns about "birthdays" with real children, and comes across the alien device taking it as a "gift"; Hunter arrives for his nephew Jeffy's birthday, surprised Rusty followed him. Slate finds two scientists merged by the alien device into a single entity with all body parts of both; she sees the two aliens in the lab and realizes Rusty took the device, and calls Hunter to warn him. The device activates, trapping Hunter's sister in a wall, with the aliens tracking it to her house. Rusty keeps it away by throwing it to Big Guy, and Rusty prevents the house from being destroyed. The aliens get the device, but Big Guy thinks quick & shoots it to activate it and fused the aliens. Using the device, Hunter's sister is freed from the wall, who allows Big Guy & Rusty to stay for cake to celebrate Jeffy's birthday.
55"The Reluctant Assassin"Andrew ThomBrian SwenlinOctober 16, 1999 (1999-10-16)105
Rusty feels small after fighting "BIG RIG", he asks Dr. Slate for an arsenal to look tough. Donovan's new robot "The Eliminator" promptly attacks him, as elsewhere Dr. Gilder remotely pilots Eliminator to attack him, but is thwarted when Big Guy arrives. Thornton believes a Legion Ex Machina member is inside their ranks so Donovan is moved to Big Guy's base the S.S. Dark Horse. Meanwhile, the Legion berate Gilder for his emotional outburst nearly ending Donovan and jeopardizing their plans. So, Gilder deceives Rusty by giving him a blaster which hacks into his memory and locates a hiding Donovan. Gilder tricks the emergency signal to get Big Guy to leave, making Donovan vulnerable, & hijacking Rusty's motor functions to attack. Hunter quickly realizes the deception, calls Slate to track the call, and returns to base in time to help Rusty. As Slate has security arrest Gilder, he overpowers them to continue, until Big Guy tears out Rusty's arm to stop the remote control; Gilder reveals to Slate his true robot form. Big Guy & Rusty arrive in time to save Slate, and capture Gilder's head for analysis.
66"Really Big Guy"Mike GoguenCade ChilcoatOctober 23, 1999 (1999-10-23)106
When accessing Gilder's memory bank, a detonation is tripped and Rusty quickly flies the head out of range. From the recovered memory files, they are able to deduce the Legion's base is under the city, but encounter a Legion cargo transport. Rusty derails it, and the cargo is a giant robot hand the size of Big Guy. Legion Ex Machina learn of the interception and activate their objective: a new Argos robot. Big Guy & Rusty encounter the new Argos but realize they are greatly overpowered by it, until Hunter's teammate Jo makes an analysis to find a solution: take the firing trigger from Argos 2 and add it to the hand to destroy Argos. The new Argos takes the Quark Ind. microfusion generator which powers the city. Rusty charges the Argos, but when everyone thinks he was destroyed on impact, he actually landed inside of the Argos' internal mechanics. As Hunter & team review the hand & firing trigger, Big Guy sees Rusty inside Argos head; allowing for coordination, Rusty unlocks the arm for Big Guy to combine it to the hand & finish the weapon need to stop Argos. Hunter's crew use the device just in time for Rusty to escape the destruction, earning Big Guy's praise. With the Microfusion Generator returned, the city gets back to normal.

Season 2 (2001)

Note that the episodes aired out of order. Following the production numbers in the final column presents the accurate sequence number. For instance, episode 124 "Rumble in the Jungle" was intended to air before the 2-part series finale, "Double Time".

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
71"Little Boy Robot Lost"Andy ThomRoger S.H. SchulmanJanuary 30, 2001 (2001-01-30)112
The Legion Ex Machina attempts to download Rusty's programming, but Rusty escapes and finds himself lost on the internet. Number 4 attempts to track and recover his programming code, forcing Dr. Slate and Big Guy to go virtual to save the boy robot.
82"The Bicameral Mind"Frank SquillaceDavid SlackFebruary 2, 2001 (2001-02-02)113
When a Legion robot tries to steal Anti-Protons, Rusty us sent in to hack the bot. Legion Ex Machina Number 4 tries to hack Rusty's mind in retaliation, causing the two robots to switch priorities, resulting in Number 4 playing games and Rusty building a Legion robot called Project Nova.
93"The Inside Out"Nathan ChewDavid SlackFebruary 2001 (2001-02)108
Quark develops Nurds, tiny robots that repair broken machinery. Some Nurds infect Big Guy and alter him, making him capable of autonomous behaviour with no need for a pilot. However, the Nurds run amoke constantly ungrading and fixing everything they find, even if it doesn't need it, which includes a recently destroyed Legion robot.
104"Moon Madness"Andrew ThomAlexx Van DyneFebruary 2001 (2001-02)109
Edie, the AI of Quark's new space station, has gone mad, threatening to destroy the moon and demanding an advanced computer chip from Quark that would give her access to the entire worlds computer systems. Dr. Slate is put through rushed astronaut training while Lt. Hunter uses weightless training to assemble Big Guy, hidden aboard the space shuttle. Meanwhile, Thornton feels that Rusty is too green and orders him kept out of this, but the boy robot puts the mission at risk by tagging along.
115"Wages of Fire"Frank SquillaceDavid SlackFebruary 2001 (2001-02)110
Big Guy and Rusty work to stop a volcano from erupting. Inside the volcano they find magma monsters bent on world domination. Rusty's confidence takes a hit with his repeated mistakes that injure Big Guy several times.
126"The Big Boy"Nathan ChewMarlowe WeismanFebruary 2001 (2001-02)111
Rusty wishes he was larger and gets his wish when he puts his head on a new robot body prototype developed by Quirk. However, he soon finds himself targeted by a group of chopshoppers as well as the Legion Ex Machina.
137"World of Pain"Dave BullockBill Motz + Bob RothFebruary 2001 (2001-02)114
A family of alien robots, The Neo-Cateri, arrives on Earth, hunted by insect-like robots, the Zingkal, who are out to destroy their biological matter. While repairing Rusty the alien child unintentionally gives Rusty the ability to feel pain, which makes him unable to perform his job.
148"Sibling Mine"Jane WuRodney GibbsFebruary 2001 (2001-02)107
After a Quark machine goes haywire, a strange monster appears. Donovan declares the monster a terrorist, prompting Big Guy to go after it. Meanwhile, Rusty finds an earlier boy robot prototype that was abandoned by Dr. Slate. Rusty activates the robot, naming it Earl. However, Rusty finds out that the monster just wants to go home, while Earl attempts to eliminate the creature.
159"Blob, Thy Name Is Envy"Andy ThomDean StefanFebruary 2001 (2001-02)115
Quark develops a semi-intelligent blob that soon becomes jealous of anyone who gets too close to Dr. Slate, including Lt. Hunter.
1610"Donovan's Brainiac"Curt WalsteadDavid SlackFebruary 2001 (2001-02)116
Donovan's nephew, Pierre, steals the remains of Legion Ex Machina #4 to use in his own robot. This proves to be a problem when it attempts a nuclear fusion meltdown.
1711"Patriot Games"Dave BullockDavid SlackFebruary 2001 (2001-02)117
While testing a time travelling prototype ship, Big Guy gets separated from Lt. Hunter and Rusty. They return to Neutronic City but find that the Squillacci have taken over the Earth. They find Dr. Slate, who tells them that America lost the Revolutionary War because the British had a clock-work titan called Iron Jack, actually the Big Guy, on their side. Lt. Hunter and Rusty steal back their time ship and go back 200 years to set history right.
1812"Harddrive"Chap YaepEddie GuzelianFebruary 2001 (2001-02)118
Harddrive, a new robot, arrives to prove he is superior to Big Guy. At the same time an old friend of Hunter's becomes employed by Quark.
1913"5000 Fingers of Rusty"Curt WalsteadAlexx Van DyneFebruary 2001 (2001-02)119
Quark releases a "home version" of Rusty to be sold commercially. Soon the Legion Ex Machina take control of the mass-produced Rustys.
2014"The Champ"Andy ThomEddie GuzelianFebruary 2001 (2001-02)120
An alien warrior named Po the Obliterator arrives to challenge Earth's greatest champion, Big Guy. He defeats Big Guy and claims his suit from Lt. Hunter, but Rusty travels after Po and retrieves The Big Guy, causing Po to chase after him in order to reclaim him trophy, which leads to an epic rematch.
2115"Sickout"Dave BullockDavid SlackFebruary 2001 (2001-02)121
An alien virus spreads across the nation thanks to an alien specimen found by scientists. Earl is pulled out of storage to help combat the infection by downloading much-needed information from a drone-guarded computer. Hunter becomes infected by the virus, thanks to the alien evolving into a giant beast, Dr. Slate is forced to pilot Big Guy to stop the monster from reaching the city.
2216"Nephew of Neugog"Chap YaepRoger S.H.SchulmanFebruary 2001 (2001-02)122
Pierre experiments with Dr. Neugog's helmet and becomes a brain-sucking monster.
2317"The Lower Depths"Curt WalsteadSteven MelchingFebruary 2001 (2001-02)123
Strange undersea creatures infiltrate Quark's new underwater research center by duplicating all the personnel. But the creatures are only minions of a more massive creature called the Leviathan, that seeks to take over the surface world.
2418"Double Time (1)"Dave BullockDavid SlackMarch 1, 2001 (2001-03-01)125
The Legion Ex Machina builds a duplicate Big Guy in an attempt to replace the original. However, they are unaware of Lt. Hunters presence inside, which forces them to construct a duplicate of Hunter to infiltrate the military.
2519"Double Time (2)"Chap YaepEddie GuzelianMarch 2, 2001 (2001-03-02)126
The Legion Ex Machina sends a robotic duplicate of Lt. Hunter to replace the original. After the robot is discovered and subdued, Dr. Slate begins to look for Dr. Poindexter, the man who designed the Big Guy. Using Rusty to track the Legion to their own hideout, they find that Poindexter actually created the Legion, but they turned on him and sought to replace mankind with robots.
2620"Rumble in the Jungle"Andy ThomAlexx Van DyneMarch 5, 2001 (2001-03-05)124
Huge animals wreck havoc in the Congo jungle. When Big Guy and Rusty are sent in, Rusty is damaged and begins to think he is a monkey.

Cast

Additional voices

References

  1. ^ Marc Bernardin. "Where's my goddamn Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot movie?". io9. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-1476665993.