Almost a genre in its own right, films about giant robots that attack the earth or fight for humanity’s survival are a staple of the summer blockbuster. Until recently, traditional or stop motion animation were some of the only ways to depict action on this scale so films like the cult classic Robot Jox were largely scorned for being more corny than awe inspiring. In Japan however, the “mecha” animation genre became extremely popular and spawned dozens of titles including favorites like Robotech, Voltron, and the Gundam franchise which explored the relationship between the honor of traditional combat and the devastating power of modern weaponry. Huge mechanical monsters were also featured heavily in another Japanese franchise, the Godzilla films, which included metal behemoths like Mecha Godzilla and Jet Jaguar . Meanwhile in the US, the Transformers animated series and the often belittled Go-bots series developed passionate following in the form of youngsters who were equally passionate about the series’ corresponding action figures, provoking accusations that the cartoons were essentially 30 minute commercials for toys.
As computer graphics developed, it became possible to depict widespread destruction more realistically and with greater detail than ever before. In 2007 Michael Bay brought the Autobots and Decepticons to the big screen for the first time since Transformers: The Movie, and its astounding commercial success made it clear that more heavy metal slugfests were sure to come. While the quality of Roberto Orci and Ehren Kruger’s writing in the Transformers series is sometimes called into question critically, there is no questioning these films’ technological achievements, or the delight they bring to their fans. In 2013 Pacific Rim, writers Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro combined many of the tropes of the aforementioned Japanese titles and brought them to eager fans all over the world. As new generations of filmmakers are inspired by these images and concepts, there’s simply no telling what sort of mechanized wonder may be yet to come.
Until then, here are some of the best examples of scripts that involve these mechanical titans.
- The Iron Giant Script (1999)
- Robot Jox Script (1989)
- Pacific Rim Script (2013)
- Transformers Script (2007)