ⓘ Robots (2005 film)
Robots is a 2005 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Chris Wedge and produced by Jerry Davis, William Joyce, and John C. Donkin, and stars the voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, Jim Broadbent, Stanley Tucci, and Robin Williams.
Development began in 2001, when Wedge and Joyce failed to adapt Joyce’s book Santa Calls and they decided to do a story on robots. It is also the second film to be based on or written by William Joyce, with the first one being Buddy in 1997, as well as the first completely computer animated film to based on or written by Joyce.
The film was released on March 11, 2005 and grossed $260.7 million on its $75 million budget. It also received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with praise for its humor, performances and animation, but criticism for its plot and lack of ambition.
In a world populated by sentient robots, Rodney Copperbottom is an aspiring young inventor who idolizes Bigweld, a famous inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist whose company provides robots with spare parts. Following Bigwelds example to "see a need, fill a need", Rodney invents Wonderbot to assist his dishwasher father Herb. When Herbs supervisor confronts them, Wonderbot panics and wreaks havoc in the kitchen, leaving Herb in debt. To help Herb pay for the damages, Rodney decides to move to Robot City, hoping to present Wonderbot to Bigweld Industries in order to get a job there. Upon arrival at Robot City, Rodney is ejected from Bigweld Industries by his second-in-command Phineas T. Ratchet, who in Bigwelds absence has stopped producing spare parts in favor of expensive "Upgrades", thereby "outmoding" robots who are unable or unwilling to pay for them. Ratchets mother, Madame Gasket, runs the Chop Shop, a facility that collects scrap and spare parts and melts them to create Upgrades.
Rodney meets neer-do-well Fender Pinwheeler; he is taken in by Fender and his fellow outmodes, known collectively as the "Rusties": Crank, Lugnut, Diesel, Fenders sister Piper, and their boarding mother Aunt Fanny. Word of Rodneys mechanical prowess spreads, and he is hailed as a local hero after he and the Rusties fix outmodes throughout the neighbourhood, although they are eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the spare part shortage. Hoping to enlist Bigwelds help, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the Bigweld Ball where he 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 Bigweld Industries executive opposed to Ratchets plans, rescues Rodney and Fender.
Fender is captured by a Sweeper and taken to the Chop Shop, where he discovers Gasket and Ratchets plan to use a heavily-armed fleet of Super-Sweepers to destroy all outmodes throughout the city in order to make them into more upgrades, and escapes. Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigwelds mansion, where Rodney confronts Bigweld, imploring him to return to Bigweld Industries. A disgruntled Bigweld reveals that Ratchets greed and business sense won over his idealism in the management of Bigweld Industries, and orders Rodney and Cappy to leave. Crushed, Rodney calls his parents, intending to return to Rivet Town, but Herb convinces him to stay and fight for his dreams or he will spend the rest of his life regretting it just like Herb. As the Rusties arrive to bid Rodney farewell, Fender reveals Gasket and Ratchets plot; Rodney rallies Cappy and the Rusties to stop them. They are soon joined by Bigweld, who has regained his resolve, having realized how much he and his ideals meant to Rodney.
The group returns to Bigweld Industries where Bigweld fires Ratchet, but Ratchet knocks him unconscious, planning on melting him down as well. Rodney, Cappy, and Wonderbot rescue Bigweld from Ratchet and escape 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. Undetermined to give up, Rodney upgrades the Rusties to rescue Bigweld.
Rodney, Cappy and the Rusties battle Gasket and her army of Super Sweepers alongside an army of outmodes that Rodney had repaired earlier. Gasket is destroyed when she falls into her own furnace, while Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super-Sweepers and defeat Ratchet. Taking control of Bigweld Industries once again, Bigweld promises to make spare parts available to everyone.
Later, Bigweld holds a public ceremony in Rivet Town, where he nominates Rodney as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. Rodney provides Herb with new replacement parts and a flugelhorn-like instrument to fulfill his dreams of being a musician. After a shaky start, Herb leads Rodney, Cappy, the Rusties, Bigweld and the townspeople in a rousing rendition of "Get Up Offa That Thing".
While originally developing a film version of Joyces book Santa Calls, Wedge and Joyce eventually decided to develop an original story about a world of robots.
Robots was originally scheduled for a 2004 release, but the release date was changed to 2005. The film premiered on March 6, 2005 in Westwood, Los Angeles, and it was released theatrically on March 11, 2005. The film was the first to feature the new trailer for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. The film also featured the exclusive trailer for Ice Age: The Meltdown, then called Ice Age 2. Robots was digitally re-mastered into IMAX 3D format IMAX DMR and released in select IMAX theatres around the world. It was the first Twentieth Century Foxs film that was released on the same day on IMAX and conventional 35mm screens. It was also the first IMAX DMR film released in the Spring season, and the second IMAX DMR film distributed by Fox.
3.1. Release Home media
The film, released on DVD and VHS on September 27, 2005, was accompanied by an original short animated film based on Robots, titled Aunt Fannys Tour of Booty. The film was released in high-definition on Blu-ray Disc on March 22, 2011.
4.1. Reception Box office
The film was released March 11, 2005, in the United States and Canada and grossed $36 million in 3.776 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the box office. It grossed a total of $260.7 million worldwide - $128.2 million in the United States and Canada and $132.5 million in other territories.
4.2. Reception Critical response
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 64% based on 182 reviews. The sites consensus reads: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave a score of 64 based on 33 reviews.
Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, stating that "this is a movie that is a joy to behold entirely apart from what it is about. It looks happy, and, more to the point, it looks harmonious." Caroline Westbrook of the Empire Magazine gave the film a three out of five stars and said: "Kids will love it and their adult companions will be warmly entertained - but its far from a computer-animated classic." Rob Mackie of The Guardian gave the film a three out of five stars, saying: "skilfully combines adult and kids comedy. But For all the imaginative splendours and a sharp script, Robots is never quite as distinctive as its predecessor, Ice Age." Common Sense Media gave the film a three out of four stars and said: "Endearing "follow your dreams" story with plenty of laughs."
4.3. Reception Accolades
Robots won an ASCAP award in the category of top box office films. The movie received two Annie Award nominations and two Kids Choice Award nominations. Robots was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award and a Visual Effects Society Award.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2008: AFIs 10 Top 10: Nominated Animation Film
- See Also Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
Robots: Original Motion Picture Score was composed by John Powell and was released on March 15, 2005 by Varese Sarabande Records.Other songs in the film include
- "Gonna Make You Sweat Everybody Dance Now" – C+C Music Factory and Freedom Williams
- "From Zero to Hero" – Sarah Connor
- "Cant Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" – Barry White
- "Eye of the Tiger" – Survivor
- "Underground" – Tom Waits
- ".Baby One More Time" – Britney Spears
- "Theres Gotta Be More to Life" - Stacie Orrico
- "See Me" – Melanie Blatt
6. Aunt Fannys Tour of Booty
Aunt Fannys Tour of Booty is a five-minute computer-animated film that was included as a bonus feature on the DVD and VHS releases of Robots and a prequel to the film. In the short, Aunt Fanny gives a tour of the Robot City Train Station to a motley collection of robots, including Fender Pinwheeler, Zinc, Tammy, Hacky, and an Old Lady-Bot.