For those of you who don’t remember — or who have just flat-out never seen it — the original “Short Circuit” dropped in 1986 as a family-friendly comedy about robots. One robot, really. Johnny Five, a military construct which becomes self-aware after being struck by lightning. Not self-aware in the Skynet way of course; it’s more “Look at me! I’m alive! Sweet! Please don’t kill me!” If only he’d realized that thing on his shoulder is a big, nasty laser….
But I digress. Milano is a strange choice for reviving such a family friendly movie. “Robot Chicken” is somewhat tame, if a bit focused in the niche that it speaks to, but the humor is far raunchier than anything the original movie served up. Then again, Milano and his “Chicken” cronies are big fans of 80s culture, so perhaps the choice isn’t so unusual after all. And for what it’s worth, I look forward to seeing how poo jokes get worked into Johnny Five’s tale of self-realization.
There are no details given on Milano’s (likely still unwritten) script, though producer David Foster — who also produced the original — said that Johnny Five’s unique design won’t change. Acknowledging that Wall-E bears more than a passing resemblance to Johnny Five, Foster described his feelings on Pixar’s warbling robot. “We think of ’Wall-E’ as an extended trailer for our film, because it’s the same face.” I hadn’t really noticed it before now, but he’s absolutely right. Was “Wall-E” really Pixar’s love letter to Foster and the original “Short Circuit” team?
Are you excited to see Johnny Five alive again? Worried about the irreverent tone a writer like Milano could introduce? Is an encore performance from Fisher Stevens a necessity?