Recently, I remembered that as a child in the 90s, I watched a CGI show that revolved around a team of pilots that controlled some kind of animal robots. This show would have aired on YTV in Canada in the late 90s - maybe licensed from Cartoon Network/Toonami?

In the show, they had some underground base that they used to activate these vehicles and go fight evil. A major plot point of this series was that at one point, either the base or robots were destroyed and the pilots were no longer able to fight evil. As a kid, I remember this being traumatizing - I was invested in this series and I was watching the heroes getting systematically dismantled by the bad guys. This might have been some kind of finale as I don't remember watching the show again after that.

I did some minor googling based off of what I remembered but couldn't come up with any results. It left my mind until I watched the Rick and Morty episode Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion.

The entire Rick and Morty episode seems to mirror this show exactly as I remember it - animal robots stored in an underground lair. Specifically, the "robot suit up scene" at approximately 3:20 seems to be exactly what I remember. I'm almost positive that this CGI series I'm trying to remember also had one of the animals inside a volcano. The bright primary colors also seem very familiar.

I've since learned that this Rick and Morty show is parodying the anime series Voltron. However, I definitely didn't watch this anime show growing up, and I distinctly remember these robots being terrible CGI animations.

Watching the Rick and Morty episode makes me certain that this CGI show exists and helped inspire the visualizations, or that the CGI show entirely ripped off the imagery from Voltron. What is the CGI Voltron-like show I'm thinking of?

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After doing some more research, I'm certain that this is Voltron: The Third Dimension. I found a trailer for the show which demonstrates the CGI animations and showcases a "robot suit up scene" where the pilots control lion robots. One of them is, in fact, inside a volcano!

Reading through TV Tropes for the series, it seems like the first season ends with the cliffhanger I remember of the robots being destroyed:

Cliffhanger: Season 1 ends with Zarkon achieving his takeover of the Galactic Alliance, the Lions still destroyed, Arus under threat from Lotor, and the rest of the Voltron Force on the run.

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