CORPORATE LINE: Academy Award® winning director Chris Wedge (“Bunny,” “Ice Age”) brings his innovative filmmaking magic to ROBOTS, taking the animated feature film genre to a new, exciting level. For the first time ever, an animated feature presents a unique, totally imagined world – a wondrously clanky universe populated solely by mechanical beings. And never has a cast of this caliber — encompassing no less than five Oscar® winners, as well as Emmy® and Tony® honorees — been brought together for an animated feature. In the film you’ll meet memorable ‘bots Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of making the world a better place; Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful executive ‘bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten; the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who locks horns with Rodney; Bigweld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way; and a group of misfit ‘bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender (Robin Williams) and Piper Pinwheeler (Amanda Bynes).
THE GOOD: It’s hard to say what is better; the animation or the story. The robot world is one of wonders and tons of eye candy and yet the story is still a universal one. Between Robin Williams cracking wise nonstop and the visual gags you’ll bust a gut. There is a lot about Robots that will remind you of Toy Story and yet there is a lot that is unique. The story is certain to touch kids and stay with them even after the movie has ended—that is if the fart jokes don’t inspire them first.
Robin Williams is as animated as any human being on earth. You can’t imagine a better wacky voice for his robot counterpart Fender. Aside from Mel Brooks as the giant ball Bigweld, no one person stands out as a vocal performance however each character is fantastic. The characters aren’t scary futuristic-style robots we see in most robot films today; instead the robot design harken back to the old comic book style robots from the ‘50’s. Each robot beams with personality and all different shapes, sizes, and colors like human beings.
THE BAD: Certainly there are times throughout the film where we are feed nothing but eye candy in order to extend the film to an hour and a half, however it never feels too drawn out. Just as you start to realize they are trying to waste time we get back into the story.
The commentary with Filmmaker Chris Wedge and producer William Joyce is okay. You’ll only be as interested in this as you are in the making of animated features.
“Aunt Fanny’s Tour of Booty” is an animated short that goes into the world of Robots.
“You Can Shine No Matter What You’re Made of!” is a nice feature on what inspired the creation of the characters.
Most of the other features are fun for a moment however you won’t find them making the movie more interesting or the features more enlightening.
FRANKLY: Robots has a lot to live up to considering the great animated films that have been released in the last year; The Incredibles and Shrek 2. Robots is a lot of fun but doesn’t have that brilliance of those movies and yet it would be a mistake to miss an opportunity to see with your kids.
+ Charlie Craine