Over the 35+ years since the cartoon ended, there have been several attempts to bring the Americanized Anime to the big screen.
The show itself, like many such creations of late 70’s and early 80’s children’s television, was a re-edited version of a Japanese anime series. Or, in the case of Voltron—two different series.
Hyaku Jūō Goraion, or “The King of Hundred Beasts GoLion” was set in 1999, after World War III. Thermonuclear war has destroyed Earth and it is now part of the Galra Empire.
But thousands of years earlier, GoLion, a sentient robot, faced off against the goddess of the universe, who defeated and then divided the bot into five smaller mechanical beasts.
The show’s 52 episodes did not get watched much in Japan, so Toei Animation sold it off, part and parcel, to World Events Productions (WEP), who heavily re-edited the show to appeal to American audiences and pass the censors.
GoLion became Voltron – the first version. The reworked episodes aired in fits and starts between September and December 1984, and included some footage from another anime project acquired from Toei.
Kikō Kantai Dairagā Fifutīn, or “Armored Fleet Dairugger XV” was another short-lived Japanese anime series that originally aired the year after GoLion.
It takes place on an Earth not destroyed by thermonuclear war, but instead a prosperous planet, sending explorers on a Star Trek-like quest to map the galaxy.