Valentine’s Day may be a week away, but our robotic friends get to feel the love early! Today just so happens to be National Love Your Robot Day, and we here at Hypable couldn’t let that pass without a little celebration of our own.

Robots come in all shapes and sizes, with a huge variation of purposes and talents. And we love them all. From old pals to new ones, we’ve seen a million different kinds, and the group below is just a tiny slice of a larger list of famous ‘bots. Each one comes from a different world, but they all have one thing in common: they’re some of the most loveable robots to ever grace our television screens.


1. Sonny, ‘I, Robot’ (2004)

Sonny is a conundrum. Being an NS-5, he’s already one of the most advanced robots produced by Dr. Lanning and the super-company USR. However, Sonny isn’t just a normal robot. He feels emotions like love and fear and anger. He sleeps. He even dreams.

Why we love him: Sonny doesn’t accept the status quo. While the Three Laws are built into him, he can choose to ignore them. But he doesn’t. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and chooses to help Spooner and Dr. Calvin destroy VIKI because he believes what she is doing is heartless.Coming from a robot, that’s saying something.

Best line: “Do you think we were all created for a purpose? I’d like to think so.”


2. WALL-E, ‘WALL-E’ (2008)

The Cutest Robot Ever Award might just have to go to WALL-E. He’s a trash compactor robot left on Earth to clean the planet after the human race vacated it and took up permanent residence on their starliners. While most of the other trash compactor units eventually stopped working, WALL-E diligently repaired himself and kept going, eventually developing sentience and a personality to boot.

Why we love him: Though WALL-E is just a hunk of metal and circuitry, his love for EVE, the Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, drives the whole story forward. Because of it, WALL-E leaves his home on planet Earth and travels to the spaceship Axiom, where he tries to rescue EVE from what he believes to be torture. Through the entire film, WALL-E never fails to try and connect with EVE and help the humans return to their planet, even when everything seems to be working against him.

Best line: “Ta-da!”


3. Bumblebee, ‘Transformers’ (2007)

In a fight between Optimus Prime and Bumblebee for our favorite Transformer, the race is a close one. But Bumblebee wins in our eyes. After all, he’s the first transformer we meet in the Michael Bay franchise, and we can’t help but have a soft spot for him.

Why we love him: For a car, Bumblebee sure does have a wicked sense of humor. Even though he doesn’t have a voice box for most of the trilogy, B gets his point across by flipping through the radio channels and stringing together various phrases in order to speak. And it’s always fun to hear him play corny music when Sam’s trying to be cool, or spraying that evil robot chic in the face with lubricant.

Best line: “I wish to stay with the boy.”


4. AstroBoy, ‘Astroboy’ (2009)

The story of Toby is initially a sad one. When he’s let out from school early one day, he sneaks into his father’s lab and is accidentally killed when one of the experiments goes wrong. Distraught over the loss of his son, Toby’s father builds a robotic clone of the boy and injects it with his DNA, creating what will eventually become Astro.

Why we love him: Although he was originally rejected by his father, who just couldn’t accept that this new version was his son, Astro forgives him. Feeling like more than a robot, but not quite human, is tough, and Astro must find his place in the world. He does exactly that when he’s confronted by the Peacekeeper robot and learns that the only way to destroy it is to sacrifice himself, which he is willing to do without a moment’s hesitation.

Best line: “What? I got machine guns…in my butt?”


5. K-9, ‘Doctor Who’ (2006)

Although there have been various reincarnations of the metal companion, we’re choosing to focus on just one – the 2006’s appearance of K-9 in the episode “School Reunion.” This episode sees Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 reuniting with the Doctor at a school run by Krillitanes. The Doctor’s old partner works with him, Rose, and Mickey to keep the aliens from taking over all of space and time. And K-9 ends up coming to the rescue, saving all of them.

Why we love him: What’s there not to love? He’s man’s best friend on steroids. Intelligent, funny, witty, and full of sass, K-9 is a perfect companion. In “School Reunion” he chose to sacrifice himself to help the Doctor and his friends escape. There’s no greater honor than that, and the Doctor rewarded him by building a brand new model and giving it to Sarah Jane Smith.

Best line: [After Mr. Finch calls him a bad dog] “Affirmative!”


6. Iron Giant, ‘The Iron Giant’ (1999)

The only thing better than robots are alien robots, and the Iron Giant is no exception. This is a story that follows Hogarth, a young boy who discovers the ‘bot after its crash landing, and befriends him, believing him to be of good intentions.

Why we love him: The Iron Giant struggles with his identity and his purpose through the entire movie. He’s equipped with advanced and deadly fire power, capable of defeating an entire army. His defense programming is literally hard wired into him, and he can’t always help his reactions to being threatened – even if the threat is not real. Fortunately, Hogarth is able to talk the Giant down, and everyone realizes that the robot is one of the good guys. It’s at the end of the movie that the Giant makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the town of Rockwell, Maine, overcoming his programmed instincts of self-preservation in order to save the boy that always believed in him from the beginning.

Best line: “No Atomo… I Superman!”


7. Rosie the Maid, ‘The Jetsons’ (1985-1987)

Here’s an oldie but goodie for you guys! Rosie was the Jetsons’ maid, making most of her appearances in the 1980s reboot version of the classic 1960s show. Although she’s an outdated model, the Jetsons love her too much to get an updated version.

Why we love her: Rosie is a take-no-crap kind of gal, and we’ve always appreciated that about her. Her dry humor and sarcasm regularly results in a good laugh, and is usually at Mr. J’s expense. Sometimes her best efforts take a turn for the worst, but her intentions are always good.

Best line: “I swear on my mother’s rechargeable batteries.”


8. R2D2, ‘Star Wars’ (1977-Present)

You didn’t think we’d leave R2D2 off the list, did you? Although he has to compete with C3PO for the coveted spot, we feel that he deserves to be here instead. Mainly used for comic relief, R2D2 is also an ally of the rebels and a good friend to our heroes.

Why we love him: Though he only talks by way of a series of beeping, R2D2 has a larger than life personality. The playful banter between him and C3PO makes for some hilarious scenes, and his devotion to some of our other favorite characters is heartwarming. Who knew such a little ‘bot could have so much attitude!

Best line: [Random Beeps]


9. Rodney Copperbottom, ‘Robots’ (2005)

In a movie like Robots it’s hard to pick just one of the characters as our favorite. We played it safe, however, and stuck with Rodney. And how couldn’t we? He’s the hero of this tale, after all, and is the catalyst that brings about the defeat of Ratchet and subsequent reinstating of Bigweld.

Why we love him: Rodney begins as a naïve and optimistic boy who loves inventing things, even if they don’t always work precisely the way he meant them to. His dreams of becoming an inventor are so big they can’t be contained, so he heads out to Robot City in order to make them come true. Trials and tribulations ensue, but in the end Rodney gets what he wants and helps a whole lot of robots realize they’re more than they ever thought they could be.

Best line: “Not until you give me back my foot, you mugger!”


10. Number 5, ‘Short Circuit’ (1986)

We decided to round out our list with another old-time robot. Number 5 was the fifth experimental prototype created by scientists at Nova Laboratories. After being struck by lightning, Number 5’s programming is altered and he is actually brought to life. He rejects the idea that he was built as a weapon and quickly gains a respect for all life forms.

Why we love him: Number 5 is so endearing because everything is black and white to begin with. And while it does take him a while to understand exactly what life and death mean, the fact that he can understand it is heartwarming. And it’s amazing to see him coming to this conclusion on his own, as something separate from what his software has told him.

Best line: “Not malfunction, Stephanie. Number 5 is alive.”

So, there you have it. There are literally hundreds of other famous and beloved robots out there that have helped the heroes of many films and TV shows in their battle against the forces of evil. This was just a tiny peek at a much larger list in celebration of National Love Your Robot Day!

Did your favorite ‘bot make the list?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

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The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!

What Disney can learn from the 2009 Chinese live-action ‘Mulan’

Here's what 'Hua Mulan' got right

4:30 pm EST, February 17, 2017

Disney seems to have a long-term plan to churn out live-action versions of its most popular animations, and Mulan is the latest of its projects. The live-action version of the Chinese legend is already getting us excited, but many people don’t know that an excellent live-action Mulan movie already exists, made by a Chinese studio.

Hua Mulan (sometimes translated as Mulan: Rise of a Warrior) is a 2009 film by director Jingle Ma. It tells the story of Hua Mulan, a young woman who goes to war instead of her aging father, and rises in the army’s ranks. It won many awards in China, and stars Wei Zhao as Mulan.

Disney’s Mulan wasn’t favorably received in China when it was released, with audiences saying it was too different from the original legend, and too Westernized. Now would be a good time for the studio to make the film as globally appealing as it can be — and Hua Mulan is a perfect example of how to do our favorite female warrior justice.

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Disney seems to have a long-term plan to churn out live-action versions of its most popular animations, and Mulan is the latest of its projects. The live-action version of the Chinese legend is already getting us excited, but many people don’t know that an excellent live-action Mulan movie already exists, made by a Chinese studio.

Hua Mulan (sometimes translated as Mulan: Rise of a Warrior) is a 2009 film by director Jingle Ma. It tells the story of Hua Mulan, a young woman who goes to war instead of her aging father, and rises in the army’s ranks. It won many awards in China, and stars Wei Zhao as Mulan.

Disney’s Mulan wasn’t favorably received in China when it was released, with audiences saying it was too different from the original legend, and too Westernized. Now would be a good time for the studio to make the film as globally appealing as it can be — and Hua Mulan is a perfect example of how to do our favorite female warrior justice.

Here are some things Hua Mulan got right that Disney would do well to learn from.

hua mulan decision

Bringing more realism to the legend

Hua Mulan follows a plot that is more loyal to the original legend of Mulan, which states that she was a warrior for the Chinese army for over a decade. In the film, she even becomes a General, and retires with the nation’s respect, even after her identity as a woman is revealed.

Seeing Mulan lead thousands of men in Hua Mulan is a rare and empowering experience. Her struggles as a woman in a position of power, and the various dilemmas that come with commanding such a large number of people, are what bring intensity and meaning to the story. Mulan itself explored the concept of honor and femininity as well, but we only got a very small glimpse at the power that the legendary Mulan is said to have actually wielded.

While Disney may not want to make a movie that ventures too far from a family friendly atmosphere by portraying a Mulan who goes to war too realistically (as in, showing her killing enemies), it would be great to see her rise in the ranks and revolutionize such a male-dominated space the way she is said to have done.

hua mulan warrior

Not shying away from the grit — but not making it too grim, either

Hua Mulan does an excellent job of skirting the line between grim tragedy and friendly comedy. With thousands of extras, the battle scenes are as breathtaking and inspiring as they are horrifying. There’s a scene where Mulan counts the dog tags of all the fallen soldiers, and a considerable amount of time is spent exploring her despair and responsibility as the army’s struggle becomes more desperate. The emotional rawness of the story creates a very real, very flawed, yet very lovable Mulan — and takes audiences on an exploration of heroism, perseverance, and honor.

Of course, we can’t expect Disney to go all out with blood and grit — they’re bound to bring out Mushu, after all — but Disney prides itself on epic battles and fantastic special effects, and they’ll want to serve us war scenes as breathtaking and realistic as possible.

However, we’re all tired of grittiness for grittiness’ sake. Despite the heaviness of the more emotional scenes of Hua Mulan, there is sweetness and humor. The friendships in the army, much like those of Disney’s version, can be laugh-out-loud funny, and the scenes of Mulan’s struggle to preserve her male appearance are equally fun to watch.

Related: Disney’s live action Mulan lands female director

After all, audiences won’t be going to see Mulan to see war and sadness — the animated version was fun and adventurous, and although it had somber moments, it still managed to keep things just lighthearted enough for us to not get too sad. With animation, that lightheartedness is an easier task; portraying war with real actors could prove a more difficult challenge.

Establishing more depth in the main relationship

In Hua Mulan, Mulan and Wentai’s relationship is beautiful, but it builds over a long period of time, and strengthens through their mutual respect as they both struggle to lead an army. Their love is based on that combination of trust built over time, and shared responsibility.

Shang and Mulan have what is possibly one of the best relationships Disney has ever come up with. Among the Disney ‘princesses,’ Mulan and Shang probably have the greatest chemistry and story of all, and scenes from the animated film continue to be shipping fuel. Presumably, they’ll want to replicate this relationship in the new live-action version.

However, the animated film was sadly limited to only a few glimpses of the developing relationship. It would be amazing if we could see more of the friendship between Shang and Mulan (as Ping) and how it becomes something more. It’s rare in a ‘princess’ movie to see romance begin with sincere friendship, and it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with the confusion regarding Mulan’s gender in both a funny and profound way.

Giving it a more realistic conclusion

There are some scenes that could do with a makeover, especially at the very end. Mulan’s final trick to kill Shan Yu — by dressing three soldiers in drag and having them attempt to distract him — is hilarious in the animation, but would come off as strange and unrealistic in a live-action movie, and perhaps even a little offensive.

Hua Mulan’s approach to defeating the enemy is a much more powerful one. Although it equals Mulan in stealth and cleverness, it involves realistic strategy and power dynamics, and finally involves her making a deal that saves China through negotiation, rather than war — and making a terribly painful personal sacrifice.

Disney has a penchant for epic final battle scenes, but that isn’t what happens in either Mulan or Hua Mulan. In both cases, it’s Mulan’s cleverness that saves the day. It would be great to see that cleverness translated into a realistic solution, in the same way it does in Hua Mulan.

It’s not like Disney hasn’t subverted its own canon, after all. In Maleficient, it isn’t the prince’s kiss that lifts the spell. Disney could certainly benefit from giving Mulan a more epic finale, and perhaps one that does her legendary character justice.

Immersing us in historically-accurate China

Besides perhaps The Jungle Book, we’ve yet to see a live-action adaptation that takes place in a non-European culture. In fact, this would be the first film to employ solely actors of color. What Disney decides to do here will be particularly interesting; since Aladdin will be getting its own adaptation soon, and Pocahontas could also follow in the live-action trend, the decisions taken here will likely set a precedent for what will be done with those films.

There were rumors earlier of Mulan having a white love interest, which now seem to be crushed, thankfully. We want to see a film with an entirely Asian cast — hopefully at least mostly Chinese — and get a chance to explore the scenery, sets and props of ancient China.

Although, it’s only fair to say that Hua Mulan also has its own white character — a Russian singer called Vitas, who inexplicably pops up now and again. That’s another tip for Disney: don’t just insert white guys into the story for no reason.

Hua Mulan’s shots of rural China are beautiful and unique, and it would be amazing to see what Disney can do if they choose to show much of what they did in animation, with real sets and locations. Hopefully, Disney gets a chance to actually film in China itself.

All this doesn’t go to say that we want a copy of Hua Mulan. Not at all. Hua Mulan is an excellent film in its own right, but it’s considerably more adult than Disney would ever dare make an adaptation. The realism of its wars and of the toll duty takes on Mulan and her companions is nothing like the fun, if occasionally emotional, adventure Disney took us on with Mulan.

Disney’s version is a movie to be excited about, and the additions the animated film made to the legend are what makes it a classic. It would be amazing to see Mushu, Shang, the ancestors, and maybe even the cricket, on screen, as well as the songs, of course! “Make a Man Out of You” with real actors will definitely be one of the biggest highlights.

So far, we know that Mulan’s director will be Niki Caro. Although she isn’t Chinese, a matter that raises a lot of questions about representation, it’s still encouraging to see a female director chosen — and if Caro’s powerful film Whale Rider is any indication, she’s rather good at telling empowering stories with female leads. Hopefully, the rest of the team can be filled with talented Chinese filmmakers that deserve to have a hand in rendering such a culturally significant story properly.

After all, Mulan is primarily a Chinese legend, and her story spans a history much longer than the 18 years since Disney’s animation came out.

In the meantime, go check out Hua Mulan, which is a fascinating film (although a considerably more adult one; you’ve been warned)!

What are you expecting from ‘Mulan’?

There’s a new drama coming to HBO this Sunday and you can’t miss it. Big Little Lies is a delicious trip through the small, rich, and scandalous town of Monterey, California.

Featuring an all-star cast — Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley — HBO’s book to TV adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s wildly popular novel should please both book readers and newbies (I’m the latter) thanks to the soapy drama and lack of censorship.

‘Big Little Lies’ review: Come for the cast, stay for the story

Big Little Lies takes elements of True Detective, Real Housewives, and Gone Girl, and mixes them into one lovely, hate-filled cocktail. Set in the beautiful coastal town of Monterey, the secrets and connections between characters run deep.

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There’s a new drama coming to HBO this Sunday and you can’t miss it. Big Little Lies is a delicious trip through the small, rich, and scandalous town of Monterey, California.

Featuring an all-star cast — Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Nicole Kidman, Zoë Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley — HBO’s book to TV adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s wildly popular novel should please both book readers and newbies (I’m the latter) thanks to the soapy drama and lack of censorship.

‘Big Little Lies’ review: Come for the cast, stay for the story

Big Little Lies takes elements of True Detective, Real Housewives, and Gone Girl, and mixes them into one lovely, hate-filled cocktail. Set in the beautiful coastal town of Monterey, the secrets and connections between characters run deep.

Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline is the ringmaster. She’s the typical Helicopter Parent trying as best she can to keep Monterey’s relationships and extracurricular activities together. Bringing her down is her ego and never-ending animosity toward a couple of characters, including her ex-husband’s new bae Bonnie (Zoe Kravitz, below). Together, Bonnie and Madeline’s new hubby Ed (Adam Scott) want to keep the peace between their two partners, but they’re the only two who seem capable of keeping tempers in check.

Meanwhile, Perry (Skarsgård) and Celeste (Kidman) have serious marriage issues that seem impossible to resolve. Of the leading ladies, Celeste seems to be the most level-headed despite her shitty husband. Then there’s Laura Dern’s Renata (below), who hates Madeline with all of her heart. Some of the best scenes are between these two ladies.

Not helping the Renata/Madeline relationship is the latter’s new friend Jane (Woodley). She’s just moved to town with her son Ziggy, who might’ve caused serious trouble on his first day of school.

It’s this event that initiates the show’s biggest mystery: A murder. Who did it? Who’s dead? The answer is not revealed in the first four episodes despite flash forward sequences in which we see an investigation taking place. As you continue to watch, it becomes increasingly clear that any of the characters could be be the victim or murderer. (This writer hasn’t read the book, so please don’t spoil me.)

Big Little Lies is the perfect show to cuddle up with on Sunday evenings for the next two months. While some have called this show corny, I find it to be a delight. I just have one suggestion for every viewer: Bring a glass of alcohol to the party. While screening the episodes, I very much enjoyed watching the drama unfold with a drink in hand.

The only problem? It’s just seven episodes long. Here’s hoping for more seasons or more adaptations of Moriarty’s books at HBO.

Big Little Lies premieres Sunday, February 19 on HBO.