''Voltron'' is a Japanese-American animated television series
produced by World Events Productions for a total of 124 episodes.
The series is an adaptation of the Japanese super robot anime
series ''Beast King GoLion
'', which was dubbed into English and edited to create ''Voltron'' episodes. Later episodes also use footage from the mecha anime
''Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
The first season is about five pilots who command 5 robot lions which combine to form Voltron. These pilots use these machines to protect the planet Arus from the evil Warlord King Zarkon
and witch Haggar who creates Robeasts to terrorize the planet ruled by Princess Allura
The second season of the show was called Vehicle Voltron based on ''Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
'' which spawned also a television special called ''Voltron: Fleet of Doom
''. The premise of season two is the Galaxy Alliance's home worlds have become overcrowded and search for new planets to colonise. This puts the Alliance in conflict with the Drule empire.
Each team is specialized in gathering data or fighting in their area of expertise. Each squad combines their vehicles into a bigger machine, with each vehicle differing among the three teams. These fighters are:
* The Aqua Fighter (Sea Team)
* The Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)
* The Strato Fighter (Air Team)
and Prince Lotor
*B. J. Ward
as Princess Allura
as Coran and Narrator
as King Zarkon
as Queen Merla
Production and development
Ted Koplar assembled a team in Los Angeles to transform ''GoLion'' into what would become Voltron.
Peter Keefe was brought aboard as Executive Producer, with Franklin Cofod as the Director. Since they had no means of translating the Japanese series into English, Keefe and Cofod surmised the plots, commissioned writer Jameson Brewer to write all-new dialogue, edited out the more violent scenes, and remixed the audio into stereo format. The series was an immediate hit in the United States, topping the syndication market for children's programs in the mid-1980s.
The Japanese ''Future Robot Daltanious
'' series was originally planned to be adapted by World Events Productions as part of ''Voltron''. When requesting master tapes from Toei Animation for translation purposes, the World Events Productions producers requested "he
ones with the lion." Mistakenly, Toei then proceeded to ship World Events copies of ''Beast King GoLion'', another "combining-robot" cartoon which featured lion-shaped fighting robot starships. Because the World Events producers greatly preferred ''GoLion'' to ''Daltanious'', the ''GoLion'' episodes were adapted instead, going on to become the most popular portion of the original ''Voltron'' run.
A third version/series of ''Voltron'' based on yet another Japanese series, ''Lightspeed Electroid Albegas
'', was also in progress, but it was dropped when World Events Productions joined with Toei to make new ''GoLion''-based shows, due to that show's popularity over the ''Dairugger'' run.
Changes from the Japanese version
Though airing in syndication, which offered other anime shows such as ''Robotech
'' greater freedom to deal with subject matter such as death that were off-limits in most US network children's programming, WEP's adaptation of ''Voltron'' was heavily edited to conform to the more conservative standards of children's television in the United States
, as well as the standard name change of characters and concepts in ''GoLion'' and ''Dairugger''.
*In Voltron, the show begins with the five pilots sent by the Galaxy Alliance, whose space-exploration mission takes them to a planet devastated by war. In ''Voltron'', the pilots arrive on Arus and are captured and taken to Planet Doom. They then escape, return to Arus, and become the pilots of the robot lions and Voltron. In ''GoLion'', the initial scenes are actually of ''Earth''; the pilots have returned from their mission (in the then-futuristic year of 1999) to find that the entire population of Earth has been killed in a nuclear war. They are then captured and taken to Planet Galra, where the plot proceeds similarly, only the planet they find the lions on is called Altea.
In the ''Voltron'' version, some footage of the pilots' arrival on Arus was taken from ''Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
*Scenes of torture and atrocities
inflicted by the alien conquerors on their slaves (such as a "contest" where alien soldiers would be rewarded according to how many prisoners they managed to decapitate in a given time) and some shots of corpses were removed.
*In ''GoLion'', Takashi 'Shiro' Shirogane
in ''Voltron''), the original pilot of Blue Lion, is killed in a battle with Honerva, and his similar-looking younger brother Ryou appears later in the series to join in the fight against Emperor Daibazaal. In ''Voltron'', dialog was inserted to indicate that Sven is merely injured and has been sent away to a hospital planet to recover, and the character of Ryou was rewritten entirely into Sven being enslaved after said planet was taken over, then escaping and managing to reunite with his friends.
*In ''GoLion'', Hys (Nanny) is fatally shot in the heart while protecting Raible (Coran). This scene was completely removed from ''Voltron'', and later episodes used stock footage from earlier in the series to insert the character into scenes that took place after her original death.
*In ''GoLion'', a slave girl named Lisa was a survivor of the nuclear war. Near the end of her debut episode, Tsuyoshi 'Hothead' Seidou (Hunk
in ''Voltron'') urges her to wake up and join in the fight against Emperor Daibazaal (King Zarkon
in ''Voltron''), however she is too crushed by her despair to trust even a fellow human (that race being responsible for the destruction of her homeworld) and chooses to step off a cliff the two were standing on, rather than live without her brother. In ''Voltron'', this sequence was removed, and it was explained to the audience that this girl, now named Twyla, had been allowed to go home to her own planet (a planet other than Earth).
* In episode 21 of ''GoLion'', there are implications that Prince Sincline (Prince Lotor
in ''Voltron'') sexually enslaved Princess Amue (Romelle in ''Voltron'') when she was his prisoner, due to her physical similarities to Princess Fala. The ''Voltron'' dialogues imply that he tortured her instead.
The show was released on DVD by the likes of Media Blasters
and Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment
, and was released on a Complete Series DVD set by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
with their distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation
on September 10, 2019.
The show was ranked the 76th best animated series by IGN
A 2011 PlayStation game based on the 1984 show was developed.
Category:1981 Japanese television series debuts
Category:1981 anime television series
Category:1983 Japanese television series endings
Category:Japanese children's animated action television series
Category:Japanese children's animated adventure television series
Category:Japanese children's animated science fiction television series
Category:Japanese children's animated superhero television series
Category:Adventure anime and manga
Category:American Broadcasting Company original programming
Category:Australian Broadcasting Corporation original programming
Category:Animated television series about robots
Category:Science fiction anime and manga
Category:Super robot anime and manga
Category:Three (TV channel) original programming