Robots (film)

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Robots
Robots2005Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Wedge
Carlos Saldanha (co-director)
Produced by Jerry Davis
William Joyce
John C. Donkin
Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire
Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Story by Ron Mita
Jim McClain
David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring Ewan McGregor
Halle Berry
Greg Kinnear
Mel Brooks
Amanda Bynes
Drew Carey
Robin Williams
Music by John Powell
Editing by John Carnochan
Studio Blue Sky Studios
20th Century Fox Animation
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 11, 2005 (2005-03-11)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Box office $260,718,330

Robots is a 2005 American computer animated comic science fiction film produced by Blue Sky Studios for Twentieth 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.[1]

Plot[edit]

The film opens in a world of anthropomorphic robots, with Herb Copperbottom (Stanley Tucci), a dishwasher robot 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 (Dianne Wiest), after 12 hours of "labor", finally manage to construct the baby. He is named Rodney (Ewan McGregor), and he becomes a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place for everyone. Rodney idolizes Bigweld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries. During Rodney's adolescence, he invents a gadget, "Wonderbot", intended to help his father clean the dishes at the restaurant. When Herb's grumpy supervisor, Mr. Gunk (Dan Hedaya), unexpectedly confronts them, Wonderbot panics and begins breaking dishes, resulting in Rodney being dismissed. Later, he decides to take his invention to Robot City to see Bigweld and get a job as an inventor so that he can help his family. He is encouraged by his father, who confides that he has always regretted not becoming a musician. Rodney arrives in Robot City and meets Fender (Robin Williams), a ramshackle robot scraping by through taking souvenir photos (with a camera that has no film) and selling maps to the stars' homes. After a harrowing ride on the crosstown express, Rodney arrives at the gate of Bigweld Industries.

There he learns that Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) has taken over Bigweld Industries and is about to discontinue the manufacture of spare parts. Ratchet believes the company can make more profit if it stops making spare parts for older robots and focuses on selling more expensive upgrades. If any older robots protest, they are sent to the underground Chop Shop, where they are shredded and melted down by Ratchet's imposing mother, Madame Gasket (Jim Broadbent). Rodney is forced out and finds a place to stay, with Fender, at Aunt Fanny's (Jennifer Coolidge) boarding house, along with an assortment of other "Rusties", older robots threatened with the Chop Shop. When the news gets out that spare parts have been discontinued by Bigweld industries, Rodney remembers Bigweld's slogan, "See a need, fill a need", and begins fixing old robots on his own. Upon learning of this financial threat, Gasket orders Ratchet to stop Rodney's work and kill Bigweld.

Rodney finds that Herb has fallen ill, and can not find replacement parts. Rodney decides to try to contact Bigweld directly, so he can beg him to make spare parts again. Wonderbot reminds him that the annual Bigweld Ball takes place that night. Rodney and Fender go to the ball in disguise, only to hear Ratchet announce that Bigweld was unable to attend. Rodney tries to confront Ratchet, but is stopped by security robots. He is saved by Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful robot-executive of the company who dislikes Ratchet's scheme, and together with Fender and his new girlfriend, Loretta Geargrinder (Natasha Lyonne), they escape from the ball.

Fender walks Loretta home, but is captured by one of the Sweepers and taken to the Chop Shop. He struggles to escape, losing his lower half in the process. Fender eventually escapes by reluctantly attaching a new pair of female legs. Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigweld's home. When Rodney inadvertently knocks over a domino, setting off a chain reaction of dominoes, Bigweld appears. Rodney tries to convince Bigweld to return to the helm of his company and once again make spare parts available, but Bigweld refuses. Rodney calls his parents, intending to give up his ambition of becoming an inventor and return to Rivet Town, but his father again encourages Rodney to pursue his dream. Fender arrives and reveals that Gasket has built a fleet of super-sweepers with the intention of rounding up and destroying all older robots, so Rodney rallies the Rusties to fight Ratchet. Bigweld eventually decides to come with the group, having realized what he meant to Rodney.

The group heads for Bigweld Industries, where Bigweld attempts to dismiss Ratchet. Ratchet damages Bigweld by beating him senseless, but Rodney and Bigweld escape. Bigweld is repaired just as they enter the Chop Shop, but is captured. A desperate battle ensues between Gasket's employees and Rodney's repaired robots. During the chaos, Bigweld is rescued by Rodney, the choppers and sweepers are destroyed, and Wonderbot kills Gasket by tossing her into the melter, while Ratchet loses his upgrades and gets stuck on the ceiling with his brother. Bigweld goes to Rivet Town to tell Rodney's parents that their son is now his right-hand inventor and eventual successor. Rodney makes his father's dream come true by giving him a three-bell trumpet, playing by sheer improvisation that prompts the others to help add other musical tunes; Fender finds the new music to be a mix of Jazz and Funk — "Junk". Diesel finally gets a voice box and sings James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" as a victory celebration.

Cast[edit]

  • Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, a young blue robot and aspiring inventor
  • Halle Berry as Cappy, a worker at Bigweld Industries and Rodney's love interest
  • Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, Rodney's nemesis and Madame Gasket's son and right-hand man
  • Mel Brooks as Bigweld, the jolly inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries; until Rodney met him, Bigweld had slipped into depression at Ratchet's actions
  • Robin Williams as Fender Pinwheeler, an old red robot who befriends Rodney and is constantly falling apart
  • Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, Fender's younger sister who has a crush on Rodney
  • Drew Carey as Crank Casey, a robot who befriends Rodney
  • Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Fanny, a kind motherly robot, who takes in "broke" robots; she has the unintentional effect of bumping people with her large rear
  • Harland Williams as Lug
  • Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, an evil and hideous robot and Ratchet's mother
  • Dianne Wiest as Lydia Copperbottom, Rodney's mother
  • Stanley Tucci as Herb Copperbottom, Rodney's father and a dishwasher at Gunk's
  • Natasha Lyonne as Loretta Geargrinder, a receptionist at Bigweld Industries and Fender's love interest (Cat Deeley voices Loretta in the UK release).
  • Paul Giamatti as Tim the Gate Guard
  • Brian Scott McFadden as Trashcan Bot (Vernon Kay voices Trashcan Bot in the UK release).

Cameos[edit]

Locations[edit]

Movie director Chris Wedge says New York City, Toronto, London, and a little future-like city inspired him to make the city.

There are three parts of the city:

  • High End District: The part of the city where the rich and famous robots live. Buildings and robots are all shiny and nearly everything is futuristic. Everyone here has a metal covering that hides all their inner workings. Bigweld Industries is here.
  • Combustion District: Low-class place. It has numerous rust spots, and robots have the internal workings similar to a 1950s car at best. Aunt Fanny's house is here, and the majority of the movie takes place here.
  • Steam District: The lowest part of the city, and therefore the rustiest. Parts of the district resemble the inventions of the Industrial Revolution, and everywhere is filled with broken machines. Sweepers grab old robots and bring them to Madame Gasket's Chop Shop, where mutant robots then break and melt robots, turning them into upgrades.

Another major location of the film is Rivet Town, home to the Copperbottom family. Two of the buildings there are Gunk's Greasy Spoon and Flathead Floyd's. Rivet Town is based on Watertown, New York, where movie director Chris Wedge lived during his teens.

Release[edit]

Robots 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.[2]

Home media[edit]

The DVD and VHS of Robots were released on September 27, 2005.[3] The film was accompanied by an original short animated film based on Robots, titled Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty.[4][5] On March 22, 2011, it was released in high-definition on Blu-ray disc.[6]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

The film received positive reviews from the critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has received 64% of critics gave the film positive reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line."[7] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave a score of 64 based on 33 reviews.[8]

Box office[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10]

Accolades[edit]

The film was nominated for many awards in the category of best animated film, as well as awards for character design, best animated character, voice casting, and sound editing. However, it only won one, the MTV (Mexico) Movie Award for best song, "Un Héroe Real".[11]

The American Film Institute nominated Robots for its Top 10 Animated Films list.[12]

Music[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released March 1, 2005 (2005-03-01)
Genre Alternative rock
Pop
Length 41:09
Label Virgin Records

Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on March 1, 2005 by Virgin Records.[13]

No. Title Performer Length
1. "Shine"   Ricky Fanté 4:08
2. "Right Thurr"   Chingy 4:12
3. "Tell Me What You Already Did"   Fountains of Wayne 1:59
4. "Wonderful Night"   Fatboy Slim 2:46
5. "Get Up Offa That Thing" (Ali Dee Remix)"   James Brown 3:40
6. "(There's Gotta Be) More to Life"   Stacie Orrico 3:23
7. "Love's Dance"   Earth, Wind & Fire 4:29
8. "Low Rider"   War 3:15
9. "I Like That"   Houston, Featuring Chingy, Nate Dogg and I-20 3:58
10. "Silence"   Gomez 2:55
11. "Walkie Talkie Man"   Steriogram 2:15
12. "Robot City"   John Powell, Featuring Blue Man Group 4:09
Total length:
41:09
Other songs in the film include

Score[edit]

Robots: Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by John Powell
Released March 15, 2005 (2005-03-15)
Genre Score
Length 43:41
Label Varèse Sarabande

Robots: Original Motion Picture Score was composed by John Powell and was released on March 15, 2005 by Varèse Sarabande Records.[14]

No. Title Length
1. "Overture"   4:02
2. "Rivet Town Parade"   0:54
3. "Bigweld TV / Creating Wonderbot"   2:45
4. "Wonderbot Wash"   2:08
5. "Train Station"   3:50
6. "Crosstown Express"   1:19
7. "Wild Ride"   1:36
8. "Madam Gasket"   1:00
9. "Chop Shop"   1:50
10. "Meet The Rusties"   2:06
11. "Bigweld Workshop"   3:13
12. "Phone Booth"   1:29
13. "Gathering Forces"   3:28
14. "Escape"   4:42
15. "Deciding to Fight Back"   1:13
16. "Attack of the Sweepers"   1:26
17. "Butt Whoopin'"   3:42
18. "Homecoming"   1:33
19. "Dad's Dream"   1:25
Total length:
43:41

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Malcolm (March 13, 2005). "Heavenly Metal". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ Murray, Rebecca (March 4, 2005). "Star Wars Episode III Full Length Trailer Premieres with Robots". About.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "New Releases 09.27.05". IGN. September 27, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (September 28, 2005). "Robots". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Foster, Dave (August 24, 2005). "Robots (R2) in September - Menus added". The Digital Fix. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ Calonge, Juan (January 21, 2011). "Family Blu-ray Wave from Fox in March". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Robots (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Robots". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Robots (2005) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  10. ^ "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  11. ^ "Awards for 'Robots' (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  12. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot". AFI.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
  13. ^ Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  14. ^ Robots: Original Motion Picture Score at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.

External links[edit]