Robots is a 2005 American computer animated comic science fiction film produced by Blue Sky Studios for 20th Century Fox, and was released theatrically on March 11, 2005. The story was created by Chris Wedge and William Joyce, a children's book author/illustrator. The two were trying to create a film version of Joyce's book Santa Calls but instead they came up with a movie about robots. Joyce served as producer and production designer for the film. It features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey and Robin Williams.
Plot[edit | edit source]
In a world populated by sentient robots, Herb Copperbottom, a dishwasher at Gunk's Greasy Spoon diner, racing through the streets of Rivet Town, elated that he is going to be a father. He and his wife Lydia, after 12 hours of "labor," manages to construct the baby. He is named Rodney, and grows up wearing hand-me-down parts and becomes an aspiring inventor who dreams of making the world a better place for everyone. Rodney idolizes Bigweld, a famous inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist whose company Bigweld Industries provides robots with spare parts. During Rodney's adolescence, he invents a gadget, "Wonderbot," intended to help his father clean the dishes at the diner. When Herb’s supervisor unexpectedly confronts them, Wonderbot malfunctions and wreaks havoc in the kitchen; Rodney is kicked out and leaves Herb in debt. Rodney decides to move to Robot City, the capital, hoping to get a job at Bigweld Industries. At first Lydia declines, but Herb confides that he always regretted not becoming a musician, and Rodney boards a train.
Upon arrival at Robot City, Rodney is ejected from Bigweld Industries by the company's current head Phineas T. Ratchet, whom in Bigweld's absence has stopped producing spare parts in favor of expensive "Upgrades," thereby "outmoding" robots that are unable or unwilling to pay for them. Ratchet's imposing mother, Madame Gasket, runs the underground Chop Shop, an integrated metal producer that collects scrap and spare parts (and sometimes outmoded robots) and melts them to create ingots for Upgrades.
Rodney befriends Fender Pinwheeler, a ne'er-do-well he met at the train station. Fender takes him in to a boarding home assortment by other outmodes, known collectively as the "Rusties". An angry mob soon erupts when the news gets out that manufacture of spare parts have been discontinued by Bigweld Industries. Rodney recalls Bigweld's slogan, "See a need, fill a need", and begins fixing old robots on his own. Word of Rodney's mechanical prowess spreads, and he is hailed as a local hero after he and the Rusties fix outmodes throughout the neighborhood, although they are eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the spare part shortage. Gasket learns of this financial threat and orders Ratchet to stop Rodney's work. Hoping to enlist Bigweld's help, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the annual Bigweld Ball – where Bigweld is reputed to make an appearance – only for Ratchet to announce that Bigweld will not attend. Enraged, Rodney publicly berates Ratchet, who orders his security team to eliminate him. Cappy, a beautiful robot-executive opposed to Ratchet's plans, rescues Rodney and together with Fender and his new girlfriend, Loretta Geargrinder, they escape from the ball. Rodney asks Cappy to fly them at Bigweld's mansion, where Bigweld has been spending all his time elaborating dominos. Rodney implores him to return to Bigweld Industries. A disgruntled Bigweld reveals that Ratchet's greed and business sense won over his idealism in the management of Bigweld Industries, and asks Rodney and Cappy to leave.
Fender was captured by a Sweeper, a vehicle that collects scrap metal and outmodes for the Chop Shop, and taken there, where he discovers Gasket and Ratchet's plan to use a heavily-armed fleet of Super-Sweepers to devour all outmodes throughout the city in order to make them into more upgrades, and escapes. Crushed, Rodney calls his parents, finds that Herb has fallen ill and cannot afford replacement parts, and tries to return to Rivet Town but Herb encourages Rodney to pursue his dreams and fight for it. Fender returns and reveals Gasket and Ratchet's plot. Rodney rallies Cappy and the Rusties to stop them, and they are soon joined by Bigweld, having regained his resolve after realizing how much he and his ideals meant to Rodney.
The group returns to Bigweld Industries where Bigweld surprises the community and fires Ratchet, but Ratchet knocks him unconscious, plan on melting him down as well. Rodney, Cappy, and Wonderbot grab Bigweld from Ratchet and races with the Rusties in a security vehicle with Ratchet close behind. Rodney unclips Ratchet's vehicle to break free but their vehicle loses control in front of the Chop Shop and Bigweld is rolled inside. Undaunted, Rodney upgrades the Rusties to rescue Bigweld. A battle ensues between Gasket's employees and Rodney's repaired army robots. Gasket is destroyed when Wonderbot throws her into her own furnace, while Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super-Sweepers and defeat Ratchet, who is stripped of his upgrades and is left stuck on the ceiling with his obsolete father. Taking control of Bigweld Industries once again, Bigweld promises to make spare parts available to everyone. Later, Lydia informs Herb that Rodney and Bigweld are in Rivet Town holding a public ceremony, prompting Herb to quit his dishwashing job. Bigweld nominates Rodney as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. Herb is provided with new replacement parts, and Rodney gives him a flugelhorn-like instrument to fulfill his dream of being a musician. Rodney and Cappy even start a relationship. After a shaky start, Herb leads the townspeople and Rusties in a rousing rendition of "Get Up Offa That Thing" as a victory celebration.
Voice cast[edit | edit source]
- Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, a young blue robot and aspiring inventor.
- Halle Berry as Cappy, Rodney's love interest.
- Robin Williams as Fender, an old red robot that's always falling apart.
- Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, Fender's younger sister.
- Mel Brooks as Bigweld
- Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet
- Drew Carey as Crank Casey
- Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Fanny
- Harland Williams as Lug
- Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, Ratchet's mother.
- Dianne Wiest as Lydia Copperbottom, Rodney's mother.
- Stanley Tucci as Herb Copperbottom, Rodney's father.
- Natasha Lyonne as Loretta Geargrinder, Fender's love interest.
- Paul Giamatti as Tim
- Dan Hedaya as Mr. Gunk
- Jay Leno as a Fire Hydrant
- Lucille Bliss as a Pigeon Lady
Cameos[edit | edit source]
- Paula Abdul as Wristwatch #1
- Randy Jackson as Wristwatch #2
- Ryan Seacrest as Wristwatch #3
- Al Roker as Mailbox
- John Mahoney as Ratchet's robots.
- James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, voice chip.
- Randall Montgomery as Zinc
Critical Reception[edit | edit source]
Robots received mixed to positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, The film has a score of 64% based on 182 reviews with an average score of 6.55/10.