Robots (2005 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Wedge
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
Edited by John Carnochan
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Box office $260.7 million

Robots is a 2005 American computer-animated science fiction comedy 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. Originally developing a film version of Joyce's book Santa Calls, Joyce and Wedge then decided to develop an original story about a world of 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.[2] The film received mixed or positive reviews from critics with critics praising the animation and visuals, but criticizing the story and it earned $260.7 million on a $75 million budget.


In Rivet Town, Herb Copperbottom, a dishwasher at Gunk's Greasy Spoon diner, races through the streets, elated that he is going to be a father. He and his wife, Lydia, after 12 hours of "labor", construct the baby. He is named Rodney, and he becomes a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place. Rodney idolizes Bigweld, 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 supervisor unexpectedly confronts them, Wonderbot breaks dishes, causing Herb to be put in debt and Rodney to be dismissed. Rodney takes his invention to Robot City to see Bigweld and get a job as an inventor at Bigweld Industries, so that he can help his father pay back his supervisor. His father encourages him and confides that he has always regretted not pursuing his dream of becoming a musician. Rodney arrives in Robot City and meets Fender, a ramshackle robot who takes souvenir photos and sells maps to the stars' homes. After a spectacular but harrowing ride on the crosstown express, Rodney arrives at the gate of Bigweld Industries.

However, he learns that Phineas T. Ratchet has taken over Bigweld Industries and is about to discontinue the manufacture of spare parts. Ratchet believes the company can make a bigger profit if it focuses on selling expensive upgrades; if the robots refuse, they are sent to the underground Chop Shop, where they are shredded and melted down by Ratchet's evil mother, Madame Gasket. Rodney is forced out and shares quarters with Fender at Aunt Fanny's low-rent boarding house, along with an assortment of other "Rusties" — four other outmoded robots threatened with the Chop Shop (one of whom is Fender's younger sister, Piper, who develops a crush on Rodney). 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, who greatly thank him as a lifesaver. Upon discovering this, Gasket orders Ratchet to stop Rodney and kill Bigweld.

Rodney discovers Herb needs replacement parts. Rodney decides to contact Bigweld directly to beg him to restart the manufacture of spare parts. Wonderbot reminds him 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 confronts Ratchet, but security robots stop him. Cappy, a beautiful robot-executive who dislikes Ratchet's scheme, saves him, and together with Fender and his new girlfriend, Loretta Geargrinder, they escape from the ball.

Fender walks Loretta home, but he is taken to the Chop Shop. While escaping, he loses the lower half of his body and reluctantly attaches a new pair of female legs. Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigweld's home. When Rodney inadvertently knocks over a domino, Bigweld appears. Rodney asks 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 once again encourages Rodney to pursue his dreams. Rodney rallies the Rusties into fighting back against Ratchet. Fender reveals that Ratchet has built a fleet of super-sweepers with the intention of rounding up and destroying all older robots. Bigweld eventually comes with the group, having realized what Rodney meant to him.

At Bigweld Industries, Bigweld dismisses Ratchet, but Ratchet hits him over the head with a phone. This sends Bigweld insane and eventually leads into a chase. Bigweld is repaired just as they enter the Chop Shop but is captured. A desperate battle ensues between Gasket's henchmen and Rodney's repaired robots. During the chaos, Rodney rescues Bigweld, the choppers and sweepers are destroyed, Wonderbot kills Gasket by tossing her into the furnace, and Ratchet loses his upgrades. 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, and the audience dances to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" as a victory celebration.


  • 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, a yellow robot who is Fender's younger sister who has a crush on Rodney
  • Drew Carey as Crank Casey, an orange 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 aft
  • Harland Williams as Lug, a large green robot who befriends Rodney along with his mute companion Diesel
  • Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, the main antagonist of the film; a twisted, malevolent, and tyrannical 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 (voiced by Cat Deeley in the UK release)
  • Paul Giamatti as Tim the Gate Guard
  • Dan Hedaya as Mr. Gunk, Herb Copperbottom's rude, inconsiderate boss
  • Brian Scott McFadden as Trashcan Bot (voiced by Vernon Kay in the UK release)
  • Jay Leno as a Fire Hydrant
  • Lucille Bliss as a Pigeon Lady
  • Paula Abdul as Wristwatch #1
  • Randy Jackson as Wristwatch #2
  • Ryan Seacrest as Wristwatch #3
  • Al Roker as Mailbox
  • Stephen Tobolowsky as Bigmouth Executive and Forge
  • Randall Montgomery as Zinc
  • Tim Nordquist as Tin Man
  • Lowell Ganz as Mr. Gasket, Madame Gasket's husband and Ratchet's father (voiced by Sir Terry Wogan in the UK release)
  • James Earl Jones as a voice box at hardware store[3]
  • Chris Wedge as Wonderbot and Phone Booth
Halle Berry
Greg Kinnear
Robin Williams
Amanda Bynes
Halle Berry (Cappy), Greg Kinnear (Phineas T. Ratchet), Robin Williams (Fender Pinwheeler), and Amanda Bynes (Piper Pinwheeler) at the film's premiere in Westwood, Los Angeles[4][1]


Rivet Town is based on Watertown, New York, where movie director Chris Wedge lived during his teens.

Movie director Chris Wedge says New York City, Toronto and London, 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.


Robots premiered on March 6, 2005, in Westwood, Los Angeles,[4][1] 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.[5] Robots was digitally re-mastered into IMAX format (IMAX DMR) and released in select IMAX theatres around the world. It was the first Twentieth Century Fox's 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.[6]

Home media[edit]

The DVD and VHS of Robots were released on September 27, 2005.[7] The film was accompanied by an original short animated film based on Robots, titled Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty.[8][9] On March 22, 2011, it was released in high-definition on Blu-ray disc.[10]


Critical reaction[edit]

The film received mixed or positive reviews from critics with critics praising the animation and visuals, but criticizing the story. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has noted that 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."[11] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave a score of 64 based on 33 reviews.[12] 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."[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]


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".[16]



Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released March 1, 2005 (2005-03-01)
Genre Pop, alternative rock, pop rock, R&B, hip hop, funk, soul
Length 41:09
Label Virgin Records

Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on March 1, 2005 by Virgin Records.[17]

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:
Other songs in the film include


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.[18]

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:

Video game[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ball, Ryan (February 9, 2005). "Blue Man Group Helps Score Robots". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ Jones, Malcolm (March 13, 2005). "Heavenly Metal". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Robots (2005)". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 8, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "'Robots' Premiere". CBS News. March 6, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ Murray, Rebecca (March 4, 2005). "Star Wars Episode III Full Length Trailer Premieres with Robots". Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ IMAX Corporation (March 3, 2005). "Robots: The IMAX Experience Gears Up to Open March 11th!". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ "New Releases 09.27.05". IGN. September 27, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ Gilchrist, Todd (September 28, 2005). "Robots". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  9. ^ Foster, Dave (August 24, 2005). "Robots (R2) in September - Menus added". The Digital Fix. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Calonge, Juan (January 21, 2011). "Family Blu-ray Wave from Fox in March". Retrieved May 5, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Robots (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Robots". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 7, 2005). "Robots". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Robots (2005) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  15. ^ "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  16. ^ "Awards for 'Robots' (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  17. ^ Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  18. ^ Robots: Original Motion Picture Score at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.

External links[edit]