The theme to Gigantor as covered by Dan Briggs written by Louis C. Singer and Eugene Raskin. Track 19 on
"Gonna Have a Good Time: Two Decades of Saturdays," a collection of cover versions of Saturday Morning
favorites produced by Kelly McCubbin. Video edited by Mark Bowen.
Gigantor is an American adaptation of the anime version of Tetsujin 28-go, a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama
released in 1956. It debuted on U.S. television in 1964. As with Speed Racer, the characters' original names
were altered and the original series' violence was toned down for American viewers. Originally produced in
black and white, the show was colorized and revived in the 1990s.
The series is set in the year 2000. The show follows the exploits of Little Jimmy Sparks, a 12-year-old boy
who controls Gigantor, a huge flying robot, with a remote control. The robot is made of steel and has a
rocket-powered backpack for flight, a pointy nose, eyes that never move, and incredible strength, but no
intelligence (although he started to tap his head as if trying to think in one episode). Whoever has the
remote control controls Gigantor.
Whimsical English names were given to the show's characters, such as "Dick Strong", a secret agent; a funny
policeman named "Inspector Blooper"; and enemies, such as, "The Spider", "Dubble Trubble", and D.
Katzmeow". Other characters included Bob Brilliant's teenage son, Button, as well as his housekeeper, Lotus.
Jimmy Spark's voice was that of Billie Lou Watt. The voice of Inspector Blooper was that of Ray Owens. Old
time radio listeners might find the Inspector Blooper sounds a lot like the Willard Waterman/Harold Peary-
voiced character "The Great Gildersleeve." Gilbert Mack voiced Dick Strong. Peter Fernandez provided the
voices of other Gigantor characters.
Originally developed as a weapon by Jimmy's father, Gigantor was later reprogrammed to act as a guardian of
peace. Jimmy Sparks lives with his uncle Dr. Bob Brilliant on a remote island. Jimmy usually wears shorts
and a jacket, carries a firearm and occasionally drives a car. Together, Jimmy and Gigantor battle crime
around the world, and clash with the many villains who are always trying to steal or undermine the giant
In 1963, Fred Ladd, while working on the animated feature Pinocchio in Outer Space and on the animated TV
series The Big World of Little Adam had seen artwork of Mitsuteru Yokoyama presenting a giant robot remote-
controlled by a young boy. The Tokyo-based artist had designed the robot for a Japanese shōnen manga series Tetsujin 28 and later a black-and-white animated TV series called Tetsujin 28-go.
Ladd, who had produced the successful international, English-language adaptation of Astroboy, and Al Singer
formed a corporation called Delphi Associates, Inc. in order to produce and distribute an English-language
version of Tetsujin 28-gō. They took only 52 episodes of the Japanese series for the American market, and
renamed the series Gigantor. Peter Fernandez wrote much of the English script, and participated in the
dubbing. The series became an immediate hit with juvenile audiences, though adult reactions were sometimes
hostile. Variety gave it a particularly scathing review, calling it a "loud, violent, tasteless and cheerless cartoon." which was "strictly in the retarded babysitter class."