The 80s was a wild time for cartoons, with everything from the Ghostbusters to Mr T getting the animated treatment. And it’s no secret that a lot of these existed purely to sell or promote child-friendly toys, like Transformers or Masters of the Universe. Even some video games were made into cartoons, with the Pac Man cartoon being especially memorable.
But the one I’d like to take a quick look at today is Rubik, the Amazing Cube. Here’s the intro:
Yup, it’s a show about a talking Rubik’s cube.
BETCHA DIDNT THINK THERE WAS ANY LORE BEHIND RUBIKS CUBE DID YOU. WELL THERE IS AND ITS VERY DEEP. RUBIK IS A MAGIC SPACE ELF THAT TALKS LIKE A BABY AND HAS THE FACE OF A HIDEOUS TROLL MONSTER.
According to the mythos of the show, this Rubik’s cube is magical and owned by an evil wizard. The way it works is that Rubik is powerless and inert when the cube is scrambled, and only comes to life when the cube is solved. Yes, I am aware that it is basically the same premise as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser.
In any case, in true 80s cartoon fashion, some punk kids steal the cube from the evil wizard and use it to get their revenge on bullies. In total, 13 episodes were made, airing between September and December 1983. The episode titles are wonderfully evocative, with stand-out favourites being Rubik and the Mysterious Man, Rubik’s First Christmas, and Back Packin’ Rubik.
But I have questions.
Is the implication here that all Rubik’s cubes contain little Rubik people? Or is it just this one? I mean, it was originally in the possession of a wizard – but I’m unclear whether he created it or just has it. I’m also unclear on whether the cube is meant to be magic, that is to say that Rubik exhibits non-standard metaphysical properties and is perhaps some kind of machine elf, or whether Rubik is an alien and the cube is an extraterrestrial mechanism. But why would such a creature exist, if it can be so easily disabled by being scrambled? (In one episode, the cube is fully mixed up after being dropped by a dog).
And in one episode it is heavily implied that Rubik, the Amazing Cube is also Santa Claus.
And that’s all I have to say about this bizarre show.