Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones?

Robot jones

Seriously, whatever did happen to Robot Jones? The twelfth of the original Cartoon Cartoons was a short-lived series that ran on Cartoon Network from mid 2002 to late 2003. The series centered around a teenage robot that attends middle school in search of information about human nature.

I remember watching this series as a kid, and for some reason, I was reminded of it the other day. “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones?” originally premiered as one of ten animated shorts that premiered on Cartoon Network as part of a marathon called “Voice Your Choice Weekend.” Viewers voted for their favorite pilots and the winner became a full-time show on the network. “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” won the contest, but “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones” came in second place. As a result, the series was still given the chance to air the following year.

I believe the coolest part of “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones?” was the time period in which it took place. From the style, toys, and slang that was spoken between students and adults, it is clear that the series takes place during the 1980’s. The settings added to the unique animation style that creator Greg Miller provided for the show, which was similar to the animation of Schoolhouse Rock!

After a successful first season, “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones?” did not seem so promising starting off its second. The series began to see a lack of support from network executives, a re-cast for the voice of Robot Jones (originally voiced by Macintalk Junior) and frequent time slot changes that caused Greg Miller to step away from the show. Ultimately, the series was cancelled during its second season. Like all of the original Cartoon Cartoons, “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones” continued to air in reruns and on the “The Cartoon Cartoon Show” from 2005-2008 and afterwards, wiped completely from Cartoon Network as if it never existed.

“Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones” was not the most famous of the Cartoon Cartoons, but it did have an impact during its short time spent on the network. It provided wholesome messages about growing up and dealing with middle school problems along with kid-friendly humor that still makes me chuckle. To this day, the series remains unavailable for purchase. I had a hard time even finding random episodes on the Internet, but managed to find three with the original voice for Robot Jones, which was refreshing. Believe me, if you saw these episodes with the original voice and then watched later episodes with that normal kid voice, it spoiled the whole feel of the cartoon.

Overall, “Whatever Happened to… Robot Jones” was a great cartoon that had great potential because of its originality. Lack of consistency ultimately led to the cancellation of the show, but it left us all with fond memories of a time when Cartoon Network didn’t have ridiculous series. At any rate, if you ever have some spare time and find out how to watch this forgotten series, do so and let me know.

Toon in next time for another nostalgic cartoon review.