90s Cartoons Wiki
90s Cartoons Wiki
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
Big Guy and Rusty the boy robot - Title card
Genre Action/Adventure, Science Fiction, Superhero
Format Animated Series
Created by Frank Miller
Geof Darrow
Starring Pamela Segall
Jonathan Cook
Jim Hanks
Gabrielle Carteris
R. Lee Ermey
Kevin Michael Richardson
Country of Origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of Seasons 2
No. of Episodes 26 (List of Episodes)
Running Time 22 minutes (approx.)
Production Company(s) Columbia TriStar Television
Dark Horse Entertainment
Original Channel Fox (Fox Kids)
First Shown 1999
Original Run September 18, 1999 – March 5, 2001
Status Ended

Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot is an American animated series based on the comic book series of the same name by Frank Miller and Geof Darrow. The series ran for 26 episodes of two seasons on Fox Kids and featured, amongst others, the voice of Pamela Adlon (credited as Pamela Segall) as the voice of Rusty, and character actors R. Lee Ermey and M. Emmet Walsh. A line of toys based on the show was produced by Bandai, along with ephemera surrounding a brief promotional tie-in with Burger King.

The series, produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Dark Horse Entertainment, aired from 1999 to 2001, and in many aspects is more mature than the comic series. Whereas the comic book seems like only an introduction to the robots, the animated series is full-fledged with a strong back story which links the episodes together. The plot and setting of the series is different from the comic book as the whole story is based around New Tronic City, a fictional American city clearly modeled after New York City.


The series focuses on Rusty, the most advanced robot ever built, with a human emotional grid and "nucleoprotonic" powers. The plan is that Rusty will replace the Big Guy, a massive war robot that is the Earth's last line of defence against all threats alien or domestic. However, Rusty is too inexperienced to stand on his own, so the Big Guy is re-commissioned to teach Rusty the way of trade. Rusty idolizes the Big Guy, regarding him as the best robot ever. In reality, the Big Guy is actually a mindless battle suit piloted by Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter, who poses as his chief mechanic. The Big Guy's secret is known only to a few, and many situations involve Lt. Hunter's clever and impromptu excuses to hide the fact from Rusty for two reasons: that the truth could overload Rusty's emotional grid; and Rusty has trouble keeping secrets.


Rusty (voiced by Pamela Adlon) — Rusty, the intended replacement for the Big Guy, a robot with real artificial intelligence and powered by nucleoprotons. However, Rusty is far too inexperienced to face the threats that the Big Guy normally handles, so he is relegated to being Big Guy's sidekick and trainee. He idolizes Big Guy but is unaware that his hero is actually a human inside a metal suit. Though immature and impetuous, Rusty does at times give his hero an emotional boost in morale. It's generally unwise to trifle with him; it may take a while, but the boy robot does make evildoers pay. He initially had a bit of a problem of handling the recoil of his nucleoproton blasts, and regularly got knocked down afterwards or shot the wrong target, but after some practice learned to compensate for the recoil.

Big Guy (voiced by Jonathan Cook) — Designated as the BGY-11, the so-called 'robot' champion of Earth was actually a heavily armed battlesuit, piloted by Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter. When Quark Industries failed to produce an actual robot with artificial intelligence, the solution was to use a human pilot. As Hunter puts it, the Big Guy was nothing more than a fancy tank. Big Guy is able to fly, possesses great strength and is armed with a variety of integrated weaponry, including the signature fold-out guns in the elbow housings. Unlike Rusty, he is powered by a Cobalt/Thorium G Power Core. Always ready with a patriotic quip, Big Guy's personality is much different than that of his human pilot in real life.

Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter (voiced by Jim Hanks) — The Big Guy's pilot to a few, the Big Guy's chief mechanic to the world. Dwayne has a crush on Dr. Slate.

Dr. Erika Slate (voiced by Gabrielle Carteris) — A scientist at Quark Industries, she developed Rusty's human emotional grid and acts like a mother to Rusty. She is one of the few who knows the Big Guy's secret, discovering so by accident when Rusty was looking for a Big Guy fansite and accidentally hacked into confidential files on Big Guy's creation. In one episode when Hunter is down, she pilots the Big Guy herself.


Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot has a total of 26 episodes spread over 2 seasons that were produced from September 1999 to March 2001.