April 29, 2023



(FOX, February 22, 1992)
DiC Animation City



Whoopi Goldberg – Ms. Megawatt/Mary Middlefield
Pat Fraley – Jet Headstrong/Brett Headlong
Candi Milo – Buzzsaw Girl/Wendy Weedwacker
David Coburn – Toolbox
Brian Stokes Mitchell – Monkey Kid
Tim Curry – Atom Ed the Floating Head
Christopher Walken & Charlie Adler – Dr. Mayhem
Gary Owens – Announcer



Defenders of Dynatron City was Lucasfilm Games’ attempt at spawning an all-new multimedia franchise. It all began with a NES game developed by Gary Winnick and published by JVC Musical Industries, Inc. Dynatron City was a futuristic city where atomic energy was in every part of life; from transportation to toasters. The evil Dr. Mayhem (Christopher Walken until producers inexplicably decided to replace him with Charlie Adler) was a mutated genius who wanted to run the people out of the city so that he could easily take it over. To do so, he developed Proto Cola: a soft drink that was liquid radioactive energy that would cause various mutations in the people who drank it (extra appendages, giant eyes for heads, becoming the embodiment of an element, etc.). Unfortunately, the soda ended up being so good that everyone was willing to put up with some genetic anomalies to get more. With mutation a failure, Mayhem turned to the next best thing: an evil robot army.

The Defenders: Toolbox, Ms. Megawatt, Buzzsaw Girl, Monkey Kid, Jet Headstrong and Radium Dog.

The only thing standing against him were the self-proclaimed Defenders of Dynatron City: a group of working-class slobs mutated by Monkey Kid (Brian Stokes Mitchell), a monkey Mayhem regressed into a human, when he dumped Proto Cola syrup on them and zapped it with electricity. Handywoman Wendy Weedwacker (Candi Milo) became Buzzsaw Girl, a woman with a buzzsaw for feet; Wendy’s trusty toolbox turned into the humanoid tool man Toolbox (David Coburn); Proto Cola delivery man Brett (Pat Fraley) became Jet Headstrong, a muscle-man who could fire his head like a bullet; electric company technician Mary Middlefield (Whoopi Goldberg, modulated beyond recognition) became Ms. Megawatt, a being of pure electrical energy; Brett’s dog Rex could fly, had an enormous chomp, and had an explosive atom floating above his head, earning him the name Radium Dog; and Monkey Kid gained a supply of explosive bananas, as well as became the defacto leader of the team.

The game was released in July of 1992. The player got to select from any of the Defenders and could change between them at any point; and often needed to in order to acquire certain items. Each Defender acted as a life, with them being “captured” for the remainder of the game once their health was depleted. The objective was to go through (and under) the city, defeating Mayhem’s robot legions and collecting items, all within a 1200 second time limit.

Dr. Mayhem.

To compliment the game, a pilot for a potential cartoon series from DiC Animation City and a comic series from Marvel Comics were commissioned. The pilot was written by Bob Forward—with concept credit going to Winnick, Steve Purcell, Howard Roffman and Cynthia Wuthmann—introducing the characters and the overall plot, and ended with Mayhem gaining a new tool in Atom Ed (Tim Curry), a piece of machinery accidentally mutated by Monkey Kid who was able to mutate other machinery and beings into new soldiers for Mayhem. The characters were designed by Donn Greer, Sandy Kopitopoulos, Ed Lee, Don Spencer and Charles Zembillas, with music by Chase & Rucker Productions and animation from Spectrum Animation Studios. To punch things up, some shots of the city were rendered in some rather crude computer-generated imagery from DiC Graphics, Richard Sher and Seth Levenson. The pilot aired on FOX as part of the Fox Kids programming block on February 22, 1992, and was rerun a few times after that.

The first issue of the Marvel comic.

The comic was written by Purcell from a story by both him and Winnick, art by Frank Cirocco and Mark McKenna, colored by Tom Vincent, Renee Witterstaetter and Gina Going, and lettered by Ken Bruzenak. Running for 6 issues, the comic featured generally new way-out comedic adventures of the Defenders in their ongoing battle against Mayhem and his schemes; however, the second issue was essentially an adaptation of the pilot.

Mayhem's robots.

Unfortunately, the lofty ambitions Lucasfilm had for the property were ultimately dashed. The game was eviscerated in reviews for its difficulty, poor hit detection and unclear objectives (such as certain characters only being able to pick up certain items with no indication as to who); although it was praised for its characters and charm. The pilot was also never picked up, as the choices made in its production—from the casting to the CGI—rendered it more expensive than a network budget could handle. It was released to VHS by Buena Vista Home Video, and can be found on platforms like YouTube.

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