Review of 'Robots'

robots.jpg In a world of robots the young Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) is inspired by master inventor Bigweld (voiced by Mel Brooks) whose moto is “you can shine no matter what you're made of”. Rodney invents “Wonderbot” - A small flying working robot created to help his father Herb (voiced by Stanley Tucci) in his job as a dishwasher. After a limited amount of success with Wonderbot Rodney makes the emotional decision to leave his family in Rivet Town to go to the big city, Robot City, to demonstrate his invention to Bigweld. Arriving in the amazing Robot City Rodney travels to the gate of Bigweld Industries but is turned away learning the company is now controlled by the profit-oriented Ratchet (voiced by Greg Kinnear) who changes the focus of the company from supplying parts to selling expensive upgrades, forcing older robots who cannot afford them to break down and eventually making their way into the Chop Shop of Ratchet's mother: Madam Gasket (voiced by Jim Broadbent). It is up to Rodney and his new-found friends petty thief Fender (voiced by Robin Williams), the attractive Piper (voiced by Amanda Bynes), the wheeled Crank (voiced by Drew Carey), the voiceless Diesel (voiced, when he DOES talk, by Charles Nelson Reilly) and workhourse robot Lug (voiced by Harland Williams) to put a stop to Ratchet's plans…

An amazing looking film and I think that is probably it's biggest issue: The genesis of “Robots” was not the story but rather in the setting so it is incredible the film is as entertaining as it is. Sure, the story is a bit thin but in a way we don't care as it looks so great and the characters are just so entertaining particularly the late Robin Williams as the lovable rogue Fender who puts the stamp of his own unique, manic, humour on the character. The settings are wonderfully realised as are the robots themselves with the tremendous and loving attention to detail of the film-makers (the creators of “Ice Age”) - The rust on Rodney, the realistic shine and patina of the metal, the intricate design of “Robot City” such as the amazing transport system resembling more of a pinball game so offering a good set of gags…

There are some elements that are slightly politically incorrect such as the rather large, er, bottomed landlord Aunt Fanny (voiced by Jennifer Coolidge) but this is meant in good fun. Indeed, the bottom and fart jokes are throughout the film in a nod to the child-like nature of the film (no doubt kids will love it). There is a risk that a film solely focused on robots could be cold and impersonal but care and attention has been taken to keep the characters here as warm and engaging.

A great deal of fun, if a bit shallow on the story side – Looks great too. Turn off the brain a bit and just enjoy the vibrancy and manic pace of “Robots”.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-09-28

Directed by: Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Animation

Year: 2005

Length: 91 minutes

Genre: Animation

Other reviewed films by Carlos Saldanha: