OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Sibling Rivalry
April 13, 2018 3:33 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Enid and Rad get into an argument about which of them did more in repelling attacking robots Darrell and Shannon. Meanwhile Lord Boxman creates a new robot, Raymond, who he immediately favors above his other robots. Oh, however will this end?

This is the first real robot spotlight episode. The stakes are really REALLY low -- it's just a letter on the bodega's sign. K.O. teams up with Darrell and Shannon to tarnish Raymond's image in the eyes of Lord Boxman.

Boxman's affections flip back and forth so rapidly. Jim Cummings, longtime voice actor and voice of Boxman, is delightfully petty here. (He's also Winnie the Pooh these days, see if you can hear it in Boxman's voice.)

Anyway, of course the robots would betray K.O., they're villains. But although they end it fighting each other, Darrell and Shannon's close relationship is one of the little joys of OK K.O. They're really in it together. We'll see that more closely later on, in episodes like Villains' Night In. This episode shows us how desperate the robots are for Lord Boxman's approval, which we'll also see in Villains' Night In.

In summary: Boxman dispenses love and approval to his robot children in exact relationship to how able they are at defeating Enid, Rad and K.O. The robots fight the plaza heroes but it's nothing personal against them (except for how such posing impresses Boxman). They use fighting the plaza as leverage both to get affection from their father and as a way to score points over each other. But since they can't ever succeed at destroying the plaza (because of the show's premise) they're always doomed to being rejected and punished by their parental figure. Yeah, it's pretty dang dysfunctional.

Other than that, I can't really think of a huge amount to say on this episode. No other plaza denizens show up. Despite a whole new robot appearing, there's not a lot of deep backstory on display. Although Raymond is literally one day old at the end of the episode, he quickly settles in to being kind of an older brother to Darrell and Shannon, which is a weird thing when you think about it.

One great touch is the weirdly hilarious ending. Look at Enid and Rad's faces. The show's makers have called those "Zen faces," but I'm sure you can come up with another reason they'd be wearing them.
posted by JHarris (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I see the name 'Jim Cummings', I always think of Winnie the Pooh, because his first big break was 30 years ago (has it BEEN 30 years?) when Disney made the Saturday Morning Pooh series and Cummings replaced both Sterling Holloway as Pooh AND Paul Winchell as Tigger. But his vocal menagerie also includes Darkwing Duck, Pete in Goofy and Mickey Mouse toons, Bonkers Bobcat, and when he started getting work outside of Disney, Taz the Tazmanian Devil, Dr. Robotnik on Sonic the Hedgehog, Shredder on TMNT, Fuzzy Lumpkins on Powerpuff Girls, Cat in CatDog, Mr. Bumpy in the sadly forgotten claymation classic Bump in the Night, and an occasional Bill Clinton impression. Deep diving into his IMDB credits is an animated black hole, including various voices on The animated Tick, Earthworm Jim, Freakazoid and Spider-Man cartoons (all of which were in production at the same time). So he may be best known as the gentle Pooh Bear but he has plenty of experience at cartoon villains.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Boxman and his robots reminds me of Dr. Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, who had a similar arrangement of (mostly) loyal henchbots that endured his endless abuse. I think Boxman's more implicitly familial relationship and the shared mind aspect of his robot children is more interesting than Robotnik's individual henchbots. I suspect producers at the time would have found a hive mind "too complicated" for a kid's cartoon.

Ironically, the AoStH Robotnik was voiced by Long John Baldry, not Jim Cummings. Boxman shares a lot more in common with AoStH Robotnik than the SatAM Robotnik, who is significantly more menacing than Boxman could ever hope to be.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:52 AM on April 14, 2018

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