A family high-tech comedy (although, two decades on, it doesn’t look very high-tech, and it isn’t hilariously funny either) that’s most appealing for younger viewers. A military robot, designed as a killing machine, gets zapped with lightning and, through the magic of static electricity, becomes a friendlier sort, complete with wacky quips (as voiced by Tim Blaney, who also voiced Frank the pug dog in Men in Black). Ally Sheedy is the gal who takes the odd robot (named ‘Five’ because he was fifth on the production line), while Guttenberg is Five’s designer, desperate to track down the sweet little machine before the military do.
It’s fairly cute stuff for young-’uns with a few neat one-liners (on spying Sheedy in the bath, the now self-aware robot comments ‘nice software’) that has an unnecessary romantic subplot between Sheedy and Guttenberg but otherwise passes the time amiably enough. A dreadful sequel, Short Circuit 2, in which the robot is loose in New York, was released in 1988.
Is Short Circuit suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Nothing scary but children may be upset when they think Five has died.