My Life as a Teenage Robot
Also known asTeenage Robot
GenreComedy
Action-adventure
Comic science fiction
Science fantasy
Superhero
Science fiction
Animated sitcom
Created byRob Renzetti
Developed by
  • Rob Renzetti
  • Alex Kirwan
  • Joseph Holt
  • Jill Friemark
  • Dan Krall (season 1)
Voices of
Theme music composerPeter Lurye
ComposersJames L. Venable
Paul Dinletir[1]
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes40[2] (76 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersRob Renzetti
Fred Seibert
Running time23 minutes
Production companiesFrederator Studios
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Original release
NetworkNickelodeon
ReleaseAugust 1, 2003 (2003-08-01) –
September 9, 2005 (2005-09-09)
NetworkNicktoons
ReleaseOctober 4, 2008 (2008-10-04) –
May 2, 2009 (2009-05-02)
Related
Oh Yeah! Cartoons

My Life as a Teenage Robot is an American animated science fiction superhero comedy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Frederator Studios and Nickelodeon Animation Studio.[3][4] Set in the fictional town of Tremorton, the series follows the adventures of a robot super-heroine named XJ-9, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called, who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal human life as a teenage girl.[5]

Renzetti pitched the series to Frederator Studios' animated shorts showcase Oh Yeah! Cartoons and a pilot titled "My Neighbor Was a Teenage Robot", which aired on December 4, 1999.[4] Viewer approval ratings led to the commissioning of a half-hour series, which premiered on August 1, 2003; after airing its first two seasons, the series was cancelled on October 17, 2005. The completed third season eventually aired on Nickelodeon's spinoff network Nicktoons from October 4, 2008, until ending its run on May 2, 2009. The series totals up to three seasons, consisting of 13 to 14 episodes each.

Overview

My Life as a Teenage Robot is set in the fictional town of Tremorton and focuses on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage issues and conventions of works relating to teenagers and superheroes. The series follows XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye), who is a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art sentient gynoid automaton robot girl created by her mother Dr. Nora Wakeman (voiced by Candi Milo), an elderly robotics scientist, five years before the series. Jenny is Earth's protector, armed with a wide range of weapons and devices, but simply wants to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season 1, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1–8.

Jenny's friends are her neighbors Brad (voiced by Chad Doreck) and Tuck Carbunkle (voiced by Audrey Wasilewski). Brad is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first human friend Jenny makes, while Tuck is Brad's rambunctious younger brother who usually tags along on adventures. Another one of her friends is Sheldon Lee (Quinton Flynn), a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is obsessed with her. Jenny often rejects his romantic advances, but still cares for him as a friend.

At high school, Jenny has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust cousins, Brit (voiced by Moira Quirk) and Tiff (voiced by Cree Summer), the popular girls in school. Dr. Wakeman often tries in vain to control her creation and keep her daughter focused on protecting the planet Earth. Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus (voiced by Eartha Kitt) and sometimes Commander Smytus (voiced by Steve Blum) or Krackus (voiced by Jim Ward), wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly human life.

The special of the series, "Escape from Cluster Prime", shows that the alien planet is actually a peaceful paradise for every kind of robot. It's also revealed that Vexus has made Jenny out to be a villain because of her constant refusals to join, branding her responsible for destroying the missing components that allow robots to transform, while they are truly hidden by Vexus, to control the population.

Characters

Episodes

Main article: List of My Life as a Teenage Robot episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
PilotDecember 4, 1999 (1999-12-04)Nickelodeon
113August 1, 2003 (2003-08-01)February 27, 2004 (2004-02-27)
214December 8, 2004 (2004-12-08)September 9, 2005 (2005-09-09)
313October 4, 2008 (2008-10-04)[Note 1]May 2, 2009 (2009-05-02)[Note 1]Nicktoons (U.S.)[Note 1]

Production

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Fred Seibert's and Frederator Studios' Oh Yeah! Cartoons. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor Was a Teenage Robot", which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, Time Squad, Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?, and Samurai Jack, Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the Teenage Robot series.

Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenage girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenage girl.

In March 2002, Nickelodeon ordered 13 episodes of the series. The series was initially called "My Neighbor Was a Teenage Robot" before settling on its final title.[6]

Cancellation

The show's crew revealed on their blog on October 17, 2005, that the show had been cancelled, and that the third season would be the last: "The executives love the show but the ratings aren't good enough for them to give us more episodes."[7][8] The series wrapped production in April 2006. Following the series' cancellation, Renzetti returned to Cartoon Network Studios, working on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and The Cartoonstitute, before moving on to the Disney Channel to become supervising producer for Gravity Falls. The third season aired on Nicktoons from October 2008 to May 2009, officially concluding the broadcast of the series in the United States.

Broadcast and home media

Nickelodeon premiered My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003, at 8:30 PM EST.[3][9] The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Friday night programming block called Friday Night NickToons in Fall 2003, and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup in 2004 to June 2005.[citation needed] The first season ended on February 27, 2004, with "The Wonderful World of Wizzly / Call Hating".

The second season premiered on December 8, 2004, with the Christmas episode "A Robot For All Seasons". Another new episode was not aired until January 25, 2005.[10] In the second season, a 48-minute, two-part TV movie titled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006)[11] aired.

Since the series' cancellation, reruns continued to air on Nicktoons until April 14, 2013. However, it started airing again on December 13, 2015, lasting until May 15, 2016.[citation needed] From March 2021 to January 2022, reruns of the series used to air on TeenNick during its NickRewind block.

As of 2021, the entire series is now streaming on Paramount+.[12]

The episodes "See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Future Shock", "A Robot For All Seasons", "Hostile Makeover", and "Grid Iron Glory" were released on Nick Picks DVD compilations.[citation needed] As of December 12, 2011, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on DVD exclusive to Amazon.com in region 1.[citation needed] The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.[13]

My Life as a Teenage Robot home media releases
Season Title Release date
Region 1 Region 4
1 Nick Picks #1 May 24, 2005
Nick Picks #2 October 18, 2005
Nick Picks #3 February 7, 2006
Nick Picks #4 June 6, 2006
Nick Picks: 1–3 October 17, 2006
The Complete First Season December 12, 2011
2 Nick Picks: Holiday September 26, 2006
Nick Picks #5 March 13, 2007
The Complete Second Season December 12, 2011
3 The Complete Third Season
The Complete Series DVD box set May 16, 2012
March 9, 2022

Reception

Critical reception

Sean Aitchison from CBR wrote positively of the show stating, "Aside from the look of the show, My Life as a Teenage Robot had a fun premise that made for some great action comedy storytelling, and it definitely holds up [in modern day]. Though the show's depiction of teendom is somewhat outdated, the cliches actually end up working in favor of the humor. Though there's not a lot of story progression throughout the series, My Life as a Teenage Robot is still a whole lot of fun."[14] Joly Herman of Common Sense Media wrote more negatively of the show, saying that, "Though it looks cool and has an upbeat energy, the show can be a bit of a drag. Some kids may enjoy it for the mindless entertainment it intends to be, but know that there are much better uses of a free half-hour."[15]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2004 31st Annie Awards Outstanding Directing in an Animated Television Production Rob Renzetti for "Ragged Android" Nominated [16]
Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Television Production Joseph Holt for My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated
Seonna Hong for My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated
Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Janice Kawaye as "Jenny" Nominated
Candi Milo as "Mrs. Wakeman" Nominated
56th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Seonna Hong Won [17]
BMI Awards BMI Cable Award Peter Lurye for My Life As A Teenage Robot Won [18]
James Venable for My Life As A Teenage Robot Won
2005 32nd Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated [19]
Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production Alex Kirwan for My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated
Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production Candi Milo as "Mrs. Wakeman" Nominated
2006 33rd Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated [20]
Best Character Design in an Animated Television Production Bryan Arnett for "Escape From Cluster Prime" Nominated
Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production Alex Kirwan for My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated
2007 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated My Life As A Teenage Robot Nominated [21]

Other media

Jenny was featured as a playable character in the PlayStation 2/Wii and Nintendo DS versions of Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots with Janice Kawaye reprising her role as the character[22] Jenny also appears as a playable character in the mobile game Nickelodeon Super Brawl Universe, the fighting game Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl and its sequel,[23] and the kart racing game Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway alongside Vexus as a Chief power up, with Kawaye reprising her role in the latter three games. Jenny also appears as a character skin for Smite, and was available during a July 2022 event.[24]

As of 2023, creator Rob Renzetti has been publishing a web story based on the series in his personal newsletter.[25][26] The story was written by Renzetti alongside Steven Michael Burns and Donovan Patton, with illustrations initially by My Life as a Teenage Robot art director Alex Kirwan,[27] and later by storyboard artist Heather Martinez.[28] The first chapter was released in August 1, 2023, in commemoration of the series' 20th anniversary.[25]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c The third and final season originally aired in Asia from January 13, 2006 to March 30, 2007, and later in the United States on Nicktoons from October 4, 2008 to May 2, 2009.

References

  1. ^ Baisley, Sarah (August 1, 2003). "My Life As A Teenage Robot Premieres". AWN, Inc. Archived from the original on July 13, 2020. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "40 episodes overall - TRB Blogspot", www.blogspot.com, November 9, 2007, retrieved January 27, 2024
  3. ^ a b Heffley, Lynne (August 1, 2003). "'Teenage Robot' bolts to Nick's spinoff club". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Oh Yeah! Cartoons". Frederator. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  5. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 417–418. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  6. ^ Petrozzello, Donna (March 13, 2002). "First 'Rugrats' spinoff among new Nick series". New York Daily News. p. 81. Archived from the original on August 4, 2023. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  7. ^ "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 17, 2005. Archived from the original on September 23, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  8. ^ "XJWriter is No More!". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 25, 2005. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  9. ^ "Watcahables". The Orlando Sentinel. July 27, 2003. pp. X3. Archived from the original on October 25, 2022. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  10. ^ "Toonzone - Shows - Schedule for Episodes of My Life as a Teenage Robot on Nicktoons". Archived from the original on July 5, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2011. Schedule for "My Life as a Teenage Robot" on Nicktoons
  11. ^ "Complete list of prime-time Emmy nominations". The New York Times. December 31, 1969. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  12. ^ Spencer, Samuel (March 4, 2021). "All the Shows and Movies Streaming Now on Paramount+". Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 25, 2022. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  13. ^ "My Life As A Teenage Robot: The Complete Series". Beyond Home Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Aitchison, Sean (October 14, 2017). "Keep It 2000: 8 Cartoons From The '00s That Hold Up (And 7 That Don't)". CBR. Archived from the original on March 28, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  15. ^ Herman, Joly (August 1, 2003). "My Life as a Teenage Robot review". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  16. ^ "31st Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  17. ^ "My Life As A Teenage Robot Awards & Nominations". Emmys.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "2004 BMI Film/TV Awards". bmi.com. May 12, 2004. Archived from the original on April 7, 2023. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  19. ^ "32nd Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  20. ^ "33rd Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "2007 Golden Reel Award Nominees: Television". Motion Pictures Sound Editors. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "Janice Kawaye (Visual voices guide)". Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved July 17, 2021.
  23. ^ "Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: Jenny Revealed (Plus Hugh Neutron & Rocko) - IGN". May 13, 2022. Archived from the original on May 13, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  24. ^ "Nickelodeon and Smite collide in an all-new crossover, live July 12". July 5, 2022. Archived from the original on September 20, 2022. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  25. ^ a b [1]
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ "Instagram". www.instagram.com. Retrieved January 23, 2024.
  28. ^ "Newsletter Archive". Rob Renzetti. Retrieved March 30, 2024.