Voltron: Legendary Defender is featured in this month’s Loot Anime, so we wanted to break it on down with some robot warrior trivia! Check out these little tidbits and facts and be the friend who has all the details when you’re hanging with your Voltron-loving friends!
1. Pidge from Netflix’s Voltron: Legendary Defender is voiced by Bex Taylor-Klaus. You may know her from the MTV series Scream, based loosely around the hit 90’s horror franchise.
2. The original Japanese anime Voltron: Defender of the Universe was based on was actually titled Beast King GoLion, which was molded into Voltron as the series Toei America wanted to create for US audiences. Marketing was already in progress, so they just adapted Beast King GoLion episodes into what would become Voltron.
3. Due to American broadcasting standards for cartoons when the show aired in the 80’s, living creatures never died on-screen. While in other markets, they allowed for it, U.S. standards and practices determined that if humans were devastatingly hurt, they weren’t ‘killed’. This meant that storylines changed from the original series so as to make sure that the characters would recover and eventually return to show. (Example: Takashi, the original Blue Lion pilot of Best King GoLion, actually dies; in Voltron, his counterpart Sven is discovered alive later through footage that was originally Takashi’s brother.)
4. If you recognize the voice of the narrator of the 80’s Voltron intros, it’s because that’s Peter Cullen. That’s right, Optimus Prime himself! Cullen actually voiced in a ton of cartoons from your childhood. In the lion Voltron series he was also King Alfor, Allura’s father, as well as royal aide Coran.
5. Voltron Anatomy Lesson! Arms: Green & Red Lions. Legs: Blue & Yellow Lions. Head: Black Lion. (The Netflix show kept this anatomy.)
6. The Space Mice who live in the Castle of Lions become fast friends with Green Lion pilot Pidge when Voltron Force arrives, however they were friends of Princess Allura’s since birth. They also became so iconic as a part of the original Lion-based series that they were adapted for the Netflix reboot.
7. ‘Vehicle Voltron,’ which originally aired simultaneously with the Lion-based robot’s adventures in the 1980’s, was actually a dubbed version of an entirely unrelated anime series entitled Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. Maybe the car-based action felt too similar to Transformers, but kids didn’t love it nearly as much as ‘Lion Voltron’ and so further dubs were cancelled in favor of producing original Lion crew episodes.
8. Speaking of cancellations, the shift toward focusing on ‘Lion Voltron’ also meant plans to add yet a third anime series into the Voltron canon were scrapped. Since nicknamed ‘Gladiator Voltron,’ it was to be dubbed from the Japanese show Lightspeed Electroid Albegas; all three shows were meant to take place in the same universe. Though ‘Gladiator Voltron’ never made it to air, an action figure of him was produced by Matchbox in the States.
9. 1984 was when science-fiction animation was blowing up on American televisions. Companies would grasp at properties that would make for decent toys and with the rise of Transformers on the horizon, Voltron was released to get their toys and merchandise out into the world first. Voltron was actually the first to air with Transformers hitting screens only seven days later. A week separates both mammoth show releases! Nuts, right?