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It should have been better!

  • Oct 3, 2005
Robots is what happens when you take a simple story, put it in the hands of talented animators and an exceptional case of actors to provide the voices; and then just allow the project to drift. For all its promise, the movie just falls flat on its face. I'm guessing that there was no strong guiding force with a coherent vision to bring all of it together. Read on and you'll see what I mean.

The story is simple enough, "young robot inventor heads off to the big city to make good, encounters evil corporate titan that has unseated the benevolent founder of his business, and struggles to make things right." Rodney Copperbottom wants to become an inventor for Big Weld Industries, and work for his idol, Mr. Big Weld -- whose philosophy has always been to make life better for the common robot. The overall vision of this alternative robot universe is quite compatible with the far, far better Monsters Inc., but the details just seem to get jumbled. Consider the transportation system of Robot City, which combines elements of the game MouseTrap, pinball arcade games and gyroscopic toys from the 50's. It all makes for a great visual, and a chuckle or two, but does little to advance the story.

The animation is detailed and well done, perhaps a little too well done. The detail is extraordinary, and I suspect it looked great on a movie house screen. But viewing it on DVD, you're tempted to hover over the pause button just to answer the many "what the heck was that in the background?" questions. But again, these little details do little more than generate a smile or two, while the story just limps along.

That brings us to the cast. Ewan McGregor and Greg Kinnear provide the voices for Rodney and his nemesis Ratchet, and they do a good job with generally bland material. But the tragedy of this production is that someone recruited Robin Williams and Mel Brooks (arguably two of the funniest men on the planet), and then gave them sober pills! Whereas on Disney's Aladdin, Williams was given free rein to adlib and build his character, on can almost see the script supervisor hovering over him as he stood at the microphone reading his lines for Robots. The same with Mel Brooks, the voice is there but the jokes obviously came from someone else.

It's not necessarily a bad movie, but it's not worthy of the popularity that the previous work from this creative team (Ice Age) turned out. It ends up looking rushed and pieced together, and never really makes a connection with the audience.

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review by . September 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Spectacular Animated Entertainment
   From the beginning, the computer-animated feature film genre has been a back and forth battle between Pixar and DreamWorks and then a new contender arrived seemingly overnight to offer legitimate competition in the form of the Ice Age series (which is now a trilogy with a spin off called Rio nearly complete).  The company, of course, is Blue Sky and with distribution being handled by 20th Century Fox, the studio has had an impressive run of CG hits including the Dr. Seuss classic …
review by . May 03, 2009
 really enjoyed this movie. The visual effects are so good that I didn't really care if there was a good story. However, there was! The son of an out-dated diswasher robot goes to the big city to find the great robot inventor and share some ideas that he has. Along the way he meets up with Robin Williams who is a type of con-man robot with old parts and who is literally falling apart. Williams is excellent in this role and is the first cartoon role where I could understand him without being …
review by . November 28, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
My family watched this once it came out on DVD. My daughter, (6 years old at the time), enjoyed it but my son, (3 years old at the time), didn't seat still enough to enjoy it like he does with "Ice Age". This movie was pretty good in my opinion but not the best. It just doesn't hold up compared to other animated features of our time, whether from Pixar, DreamWorks or even Japanese animation. The jokes are mostly aimed at children and Robots lacks the many pop culture references or adult jokes that …
review by . March 10, 2005
Pros: Great Visuals and Robin Williams.     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: A true classic that will delight viewers of all ages.     Following on the success of Ice Age, the creative talents at Fox animation have crafted a new animated classic that firmly establishes the studio as a major force in the animated feature industry with the release of the next animated classic, “Robots”.      Set in the peaceful …
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Michael Meredith ()
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Self-styled writer, traveller, philosopher, political pundit, photographer, loving husband, devoted father, grandpa, son, advisor, eBusiness professional. Maybe someday I'll discover what I really … more
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