Robot insects from outer space swarm all over the Earth, threatening to wipe out the human race, in RoboDZ, a new cartoon produced by Disney in collaboration with Japan's Toei. Only three plucky gardening robots, Nejimaru, Sombrenosuke, and Drum-Kan-Bē, can save us from the invasion of the Baddaru Corps from outer space. RoboDZ is coming to American TV next year, as part of Disney's attempt to lure more boys to its cartoon fare, and we've got a gallery of screenshots already.

The first episode of RoboDZ has already aired in Japan, and it's streaming online (with no English subtitles.) My Japanese is super-rusty, so some of the subtleties are probably lost on me. But I like the photorealistic backdrops and the weirdly stylized look of the robots on Earth, including the ones which have dot-matrix LCD screens that show their emotions. I'm not clear on why the little kid's butt glows bright crimson when he confronts bad guys, but I'm sure it'll all be explained. RoboDZ is coming soon to Disney XD, the channel formerly known as Toon Disney. The re-branding is part of an effort to appeal to male viewers with a lot of superhero cartoons, including Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series. There's also a new series that's intriguingly (if weirdly) titled Hero And Not. And then there's a live-action show called Aaron Stone, about a kid who gets recruited to be the real-life counterpart of an online crime-fighter. (Wha? Okay.) In any case, RoboDZ looks entertainingly bizarre and features robo-bugs on a rampage. So that seems like a step in the right direction. [Sci Fi Wire and Anime News Network]