Short Circuit was one of those classic family films that defined a generation of movies and is one of the best-loved films of its type from that era. The film followed the fortunes of Number 5, a robot who is brought to life and goes on the run to avoid being disassembled. The film made us laugh, had plenty of action, and even made us cry, so let’s take a look back at this classic with some facts about Short Circuit that you probably never knew…
1. The sound of Number 5’s laser may be familiar
When powering up and firing his laser, there is a very distinctive sound which you may think you have heard before. If you’ve seen Ghostbusters then you may now recognise it as the same sound as their Proton Packs powering up!
2. Number 5 cost a bit
The film had a budget of $15 million, and $1.4 million of that was used on the effects needed to bring Number 5 to life for the film!
3. The puppeteer was cast in another role
The puppeteer who controlled Number 5 was then also cast to provide the voice of Number 5 as well, though initially they were going to give the voice to a different actor.
4. There was a reason for this
The reason behind the puppeteer also providing the voice stemmed from the director’s belief that it would be more seamless if the puppeteer voiced the character at the same time than dubbing the voice in later.
5. You may recognise the scenery
Short Circuit was filmed in the same small town in Oregon as two other big movies, The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop, so if you thought it looked familiar, that may be why!
6. Three heads are better than one!
The character of Number 5 had three different heads built for him, each with slightly different expressions that could be controlled depending on what the scene required him to do.
7. The director nodded to another of his films
In Short Circuit, Stephanie and Number 5 dance to a scene from Saturday Night Fever, which was also directed by John Badham.
8. Number 5 didn’t really flip the coin
In one scene, Number 5 is seen flipping a coin, and the effect looks impressive. To get this to work properly, the coin was attached to a wire which manipulated it and made it flip.
9. He also didn’t flip the pages of his book
In another scene, Number 5 is flicking through a book, and turning the pages at incredible speed. This was done with a simple effect using an air hose that was slightly out of sight.
10. There are hints of his self-awareness
During the film there are hints of Number 5 becoming self-aware, largely going from speaking about himself in the third person “Number 5 is alive” to the first person, “I am alive”.
11. Number 5 isn’t his full name
In the film, Number 5 is referred to as Number 5, but his full designation is S.A.I.N.T Number 5 – we think just “number 5” is much more catchy.
12. What does S.A.I.N.T stand for?
In Number 5’s full name, the S.A.I.N.T stands for Strategic Artificially Intelligent Nuclear Transport – did they think of that first, or do you think they just wanted to use the acronym S.A.I.N.T?
Was Short Circuit one of those films that you loved as a kid, and do you go back and watch it sometimes now, too? Have you introduced your own kids to this wonderful family film, and do they love it, too? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments as always!