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Voltron is an animated television series created by animation and distribution company World Events Productions. The series is an adaptation of two separate Japanese anime series, with story and dialogue rewritten to combine the two into a single series, and follows the story of a team of space explorers who pilot Voltron, the titular giant Mecha formed by multiple smaller mecha.[1][2]


In 1981, Toei produced the mecha anime series Beast King GoLion, which ran from March 4, 1981 to February 24, 1982 for 52 episodes. In 1982, Toei also produced another mecha series, Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, which ran from March 3, 1982 to March 23, 1983 for 52 episodes. Despite both being created by Toei and sharing animators and designers (with both series' mechs being designed by toy designer Katsushi Murakami), neither series in their original form is connected story-wise with the other.[3][4]

In 1984, World Events Productions licensed both GoLion and Dairugger XV, and then dubbed and edited footage from both shows together to create Voltron. The original "Lion Force" Voltron series aired in syndication in 1984, from September 10 to November 27. It was followed by "Vehicle Force" Voltron airing from December 14, 1984 to February, 1985. An original batch of further Lion Force episodes, commissioned by WEP and produced by Toei, aired in 1985 from October 21 to November 18.

Aside from combining GoLion and Dairugger XV into one series and dubbing them into English, Voltron also had standard editing practices of the time such as name changes, toned-down violence, omitted character deaths, and alterations to the original series' plots (for example, Takashi Shirogane in the GoLion series is killed off and succeeded by his twin brother Ryou, whereas his Voltron counterpart Sven is instead heavily injured and sent to a hospital planet to recover).[24] The main voice cast included Neil Ross, Michael Bell, Lennie Weinrib, B. J. Ward, and Peter Cullen (who also provided the intro narration). It was also one of the first television series to be produced and broadcast in stereophonic sound.

In 2006, Media Blasters began releasing Voltron on DVD through their Anime Works label.[2] They would also release the original unedited Beast King GoLion series on three subtitle-only DVD sets in 2008,[3] and would do the same for the original Armored Fleet Dairugger XV series in 2010.[4] In 2019, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released a Voltron complete series DVD set.[2]

Voltron: Fleet of Doom

In 1986, World Event Productions produced Voltron: Fleet of Doom, an original television special featuring the characters of both Lion Force and Vehicle Force teaming up. The special had animation provided by Toei and the same voice cast from the series reprising their respective characters. In 2009, Media Blasters released the special on DVD through their Anime Works label. A Blu-Ray release by Media Blasters was also planned, and scheduled for 2011 before being canceled. In 2019, the special was included on Universal's DVD set of the complete series.[5]

Voltron: The Third Dimension

In 1998, a sequel series called Voltron: The Third Dimension premiered in syndication. Produced by World Event Productions, Netter Digital Entertainment, and Mike Young Productions, the series featured CG animation similar to that of Beast Wars and Reboot, and story-wise served as a sequel to the Lion Force series, with Neil Ross, Michael Bell, and B.J. Ward returning to voice their respective characters. The series aired from September 12, 1998, to February 19, 2000, lasting two seasons consisting of 26 episodes.[6]

Voltron Force

In 2011, another sequel series, Voltron Force, premiered on Nicktoons. Produced by World Event Productions and Kickstart Productions, the series follows the reunion of the original Voltron team, as well as a group of new recruits training to follow in their footsteps. The series lasted for only one season of 26 episodes, airing from June 16, 2011 to April 25, 2012. A second season was planned, but was canceled due budget complications.[7]

Voltron: Legendary Defender

In 2016, a reboot series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, premiered on the Netflix streaming service. The series follows the Paladins of Voltron who must learn to work together to form the titular giant robot and use it to fight against the Galra Empire. Produced by World Events Productions and DreamWorks Animation Television, the series lasted for eight seasons consisting of 78 episodes.[8]

Other Media

A three-issue comic book mini-series based on Lion Force Voltron was published in 1985 by Charlton Comics through their Modern Comics imprint.[10] In 2003, Devil's Due produced an ongoing Voltron series, with the first five issues being published by Dreamwave and Image Comics. Devil's Due would take on sole publishing for all following issues. In 2004, the series was prematurely ended in the middle of its final arc due to low sales. In 2008, Devil's Due released an omnibus collecting the entire ongoing series, including additional unpublished issues that concluded the story[12]. In 2011, Dynamite Comics produced a series of Voltron comics that lasted for eight issues.[26] In 2013, Dynamite Comics published Robotech/Voltron, a comic book crossover with the Robotech franchise.[11] In 2012, VIZ Kids published a series of comics based on Voltron Force, serving as a side story to the show, as well as a conclusion after the show was cancelled.[27]

In 2011, THQ released a twin stick shooter game based on the series, titled Voltron: Defender of the Universe, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game received mixed reception, with praise for the Lion sequences and fan service, and criticism for the Voltron robot sequences.[9] In 2007, the Golion mech was featured in the crossover Nintendo DS game Super Robot Wars W.[25]

In 2005, plans for a live-action Voltron film adaptation were announced, to be produced by Mark Gordon, New Regency, and Relativity Media. The project was stuck in development hell due to a legal battle between World Event Productions and Toei over the movie rights. In 2016, it was announced that Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation would produce the film, with a script written by David Hayter.[1][13][14]


Voltron has a large online following on sites such as Reddit[15], Tumblr[16], DeviantArt[17], and Pixiv[18], as well as fan sites such as LionsAndPilotsAndBots.com[19] and The Unofficial Voltron Force Homepage[20]. DeviantArt has nearly 70,000 images dedicated to Voltron. FanFiction has over 1,500 stories dedicated to Voltron.[21] The official Voltron Facebook page has over 300,000 likes and followers[22], while the official Twitter page has over 110,000 followers.[23]

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