Meet Japan's Robot Rocket Raccoon

September 15, 2014

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From Japan, that island nation seated deep within the robotics world's uncanny valley, here's evidence that an automaton need not be human-like to still be fairly off-putting. The video below shows an interview with a robotic Rocket Raccoon that was apparently used to promote Guardians of the Galaxy over there. Robot Rocket differs from the film's familiar CGI Rocket in some keys ways.

For one, like something out of a George Harrison video, he looks more like taxidermy come to life than an actual creature, as this Rocket seem to be a rigid vegetable below the neck. Making this effect more jarring, he constantly breaks the fourth wall to stare directly into your eyes/soul. Notably, this Rocket is also a shouting, belligerent Japanese man with an unexpectedly girlish giggle (make sure to make it to the end for that). At the same time, the fact that he is a herky-jerky animatronic freak kind of makes him fit in better with the Disney brand. This is exactly what the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents needs:

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