Ejector “Disconnect”

2003-ejector-disconnectThe “Disconnect” video is an impressive animation, a joint project between Toby Morris and Peter Stenhouse. The tragic star of the “Disconnect” video is a Voltron-like robot, manned by the four members of Ejector.

The video opens with the team in the process of dismantling the robot as something has obviously gone horribly wrong. We then learn of the robot’s story in flashback.

It was once a bright, shiny new invention – “the people’s robot”, there to save the city from all the terrible creatures that were troubling it. And it seems things all ran smoothly, the robot slaying the creatures with its Voltron- and guitar-inspired sword. But then there was trouble.

A routine slaying goes wrong when the robot shoots lasers from its hands instead of using the axe. The enemy is destroyed, but so are ordinary people on the streets. Therefore the robot must be decommissioned.

Because the four human operators aren’t considered at fault, there’s the sense that the robot has become sentient, operating outside of its, er, prime directive. And that’s never a good thing.

While it’s not as thrilling as an episode of Voltro, the story has a surprisingly moving ending, with the four operators force to dismantled, unplug and disconnect the robot. It’s an emotional farewell.

Best bit: the end credit is written in BASIC computer code.

Director: Peter Stenhouse, Toby Morris
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a night drive.