Robots (2005 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byChris Wedge
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Ron Mita
  • Jim McClain
  • David Lindsay-Abaire
Music byJohn Powell
Edited byJohn Carnochan
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
Running time
90 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$75 million
Box office$260.7 million[3]

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, Robin Williams, Greg Kinnear, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes and Drew Carey.[4]

The film was released on March 11, 2005, and grossed $260.7 million on its $75 million budget.


In a world populated by sentient robots, Rodney Copperbottom is an aspiring young inventor from Rivet Town who idolizes Bigweld, an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose company provides robots with products ranging from everyday appliances to spare parts. Following Bigweld's example to "see a need, fill a need", Rodney creates Wonderbot to assist his dishwasher father Herb. When Herb's 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; despite objections from his mother Lydia, Herb encourages Rodney to pursue his dream, as he gave up his musical ambitions for his safer dishwashing job and has regretted it ever since. Upon arrival at Robot City, Rodney is ejected from Bigweld Industries by his second-in-command Phineas T. Ratchet, who in Bigweld's absence has stopped producing spare parts in favor of expensive "Upgrades", thereby "outmoding" robots who are unable or refuse to pay for them. Ratchet's mother, Madame Gasket, runs the Chop Shop, a facility that collects scrap and spare parts with Sweeper trucks, and melts them to create Upgrades.

Rodney meets ne'er-do-well Fender Pinwheeler under less-than-friendly circumstances; after fixing Fender's neck, he is taken in by Fender and his fellow outmodes, known collectively as the "Rusties": his sister Piper, Crank, Lugnut, Diesel, and their boarding mother Aunt Fanny. Word of Rodney's 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. Rodney also receives news that Herb is in dire need of replacement parts. Hoping to enlist Bigweld's help, Rodney and Fender attend the Bigweld Ball (where he is reputed to make an appearance), only for Ratchet to announce that he will not attend. Enraged, Rodney publicly berates Ratchet, who orders his security team to eliminate him. Cappy, a Bigweld Industries executive opposed to Ratchet's plans, rescues Rodney and Fender.

Fender is captured by a Sweeper and taken to the Chop Shop, where he discovers Gasket and Ratchet's 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 Bigweld's mansion, where Rodney confronts Bigweld, imploring 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 orders Rodney to leave. Crushed, Rodney calls his parents, intending to return to Rivet Town, but Herb convinces him to stay and fight for his dreams. As the Rusties arrive to bid Rodney farewell, Fender reveals Gasket and Ratchet's 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 the Rusties (who have left Piper and Aunt Fanny behind for their safety) rescue Bigweld, but Ratchet intercepts them and chases them towards the Chop Shop, where Bigweld drops off their magnet truck and rolls into the processing area. After creating improvised weapons and "upgrades" from scrap parts, Rodney, Cappy and the Rusties confront Gasket before she can melt him down in her furnace. Outnumbered by Gasket's workers, Piper and Aunt Fanny join them with an army of grateful outmodes that Rodney had previously repaired. Cappy, the Rusties and the outmodes battle the workers while Wonderbot duels with Gasket, who is destroyed when she falls into her own furnace; Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super-Sweepers and defeat Ratchet, leaving him tied up and hanging from the ceiling alongside his more polite father, and destroying his Upgrades in the process. 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; as a final gift thanking him for always believing in him, he gives him 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".


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[1][5]
  • Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, an idealistic young blue robot and aspiring inventor.
  • Halle Berry as Cappy, a level-headed executive at Bigweld Industries and Rodney's love interest.
  • Robin Williams as Fender Pinwheeler, a troublemaking red robot who befriends Rodney and is constantly falling apart.
  • Mel Brooks as Bigweld, a jolly inventor and the owner of Bigweld Industries.
  • Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, the greedy right-hand-man of Bigweld, and Madame Gasket's son.
  • Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, the tyrannical owner of the Chop Shop.
  • Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, a feisty yellow robot who is Fender's younger sister.
  • Drew Carey as Crank Casey, a pessimistic orange robot who befriends Rodney.
  • Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Fanny, a motherly robot who takes in outmoded robots.
  • Harland Williams as Lugnut, a large, friendly green robot who befriends Rodney along with his mute companion Diesel.
  • Stanley Tucci as Herb Copperbottom, Rodney's father and a dishwasher at Gunk's.
  • Dianne Wiest as Lydia Copperbottom, Rodney's mother.
  • Chris Wedge as Wonderbot, Rodney's invention and sidekick.
    • Wedge also voices a telephone booth robot.
  • Natasha Lyonne as Loretta Geargrinder, a receptionist at Bigweld Industries and Fender's love interest.
  • Paul Giamatti as Tim, the gate keeper at Bigweld Industries
  • Dan Hedaya as Mr. Gunk, Herb's rude, inconsiderate boss.
  • Brian Scott McFadden as Trashcan Bot
  • Jay Leno as Fire Hydrant
  • Lucille Bliss as Pigeon Lady
  • Paula Abdul as Wristwatch #1
  • Randy Jackson as Wristwatch #2
  • Al Roker as Mailbox
  • Stephen Tobolowsky as Bigmouth Executive / Forge
  • Tim Nordquist as Tin Man
  • Lowell Ganz as Mr. Gasket, Madame Gasket's husband and Ratchet's father.
  • James Earl Jones as a Darth Vader voice box at a hardware store[6]


Rivet Town was rumored to be based on Watertown, New York, where movie director Chris Wedge lived during his teens.

Originally developing a film version of Joyce's book Santa Calls, Wedge and Joyce then decided to develop an original story about a world of robots.[7] Rivet Town was rumored to be based on Watertown, New York, but director Chris Wedge dismissed this in an interview.[8]


Robots was originally scheduled for a 2004 release,[9] but the release date was changed to 2005. The film premiered on March 6, 2005 in Westwood, Los Angeles,[1][5] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Home media[edit]

The film, released on DVD and VHS on September 27, 2005,[12] was accompanied by an original short animated film based on Robots, titled Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty.[13][14] The film was released in high-definition on Blu-ray Disc on March 22, 2011.[15]


Critical reaction[edit]

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 64% based on 178 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line."[16] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, gave a score of 64 based on 33 reviews.[17] 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."[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]


Robots won an ASCAP award in the category of top box office films. The movie received two Annie Award nominations and two Kid's Choice Award nominations. Robots was also nominated for a Teen Choice Award and a Visual Effects Society Award.[21]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:



Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Robots- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedMarch 1, 2005 (2005-03-01)
  • 5 Cat Studios
  • Avatar Studios, New York, NY
  • Circle In The Square, New York, NY
  • Flyte Tyme West, The Village Recorders, Los Angeles, CA
  • Magnet Vision Studios, Santa Monica, CA
  • Pulse Recording, Los Angeles, CA
  • STratosphere Sound, New York, NY
  • The Blue Man Studios
  • The Studio, Philadelphia, PA
GenrePop, alternative rock, pop rock, R&B, hip hop, funk, soul
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[23]

Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on March 1, 2005 by Virgin Records.[23][24] The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard Soundtracks chart.[25]

Critical reception[edit]

Heather Phares of Allmusic noted that the soundtrack as "does create a feel-good, party-time mood".[23]


1."Shine"Ricky Fanté4:08
2."Right Thurr"Chingy4:12
3."Tell Me What You Already Did"Fountains of Wayne1:59
4."Wonderful Night"Fatboy Slim featuring Lateef2:46
5."Get Up Offa That Thing" (Ali Dee Remix)"James Brown3:40
6."(There's Gotta Be) More to Life"Stacie Orrico3:23
7."Love's Dance"Earth, Wind & Fire4:29
8."Low Rider"War3:15
9."I Like That"Houston, Featuring Chingy, Nate Dogg and I-203:58
11."Walkie Talkie Man"Steriogram2:15
12."Robot City"John Powell, Featuring Blue Man Group4:09
Total length:41:09


Other songs in the film include


Robots: Original Motion Picture Score
Film score by
ReleasedMarch 15, 2005 (2005-03-15)
LabelVarèse Sarabande

Robots: Original Motion Picture Score was composed by John Powell and was released on March 15, 2005 by Varèse Sarabande Records.[26]

1."Opening Titles/ Building A Baby"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."The Crosstown Express"1:19
7."Wild Ride"1:36
8."Madame 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
15."Deciding to Fight Back"1:13
16."Attack of the Sweepers"1:26
17."Butt Whoopin'"3:42
19."Dad's Dream"1:25
Total length:43:41

Video game[edit]

Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty[edit]

Aunt Fanny's 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.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b c Ball, Ryan (February 9, 2005). "Blue Man Group Helps Score Robots". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  2. ^ "Robots (US domestic version)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo.
  4. ^ Jones, Malcolm (March 13, 2005). "Heavenly Metal". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ a b "'Robots' Premiere". CBS News. March 6, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Robots (2005)". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  7. ^ "Chris Wedge and Bill Joyce Talk 'Epic'".
  8. ^ "'Epic' movie: F-M grad Chris Wedge brings another animated gem to the big screen". Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  9. ^ Hettrick, Scott (June 25, 2002). "Fox thaws 'Ice' vid plan". Variety. Retrieved May 9, 2015. Blue Sky is working on its next CGI movie for Fox called "Robots," due out in 2004, with a sequel to "Ice Age" to follow.
  10. ^ Murray, Rebecca (March 4, 2005). "Star Wars Episode III Full Length Trailer Premieres with Robots". Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  11. ^ IMAX Corporation (March 3, 2005). "Robots: The IMAX Experience Gears Up to Open March 11th!". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  12. ^ "New Releases 09.27.05". IGN. September 27, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Gilchrist, Todd (September 28, 2005). "Robots". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Foster, Dave (August 24, 2005). "Robots (R2) in September - Menus added". The Digital Fix. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  15. ^ Calonge, Juan (January 21, 2011). "Family Blu-ray Wave from Fox in March". Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  16. ^ "Robots (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  17. ^ "Robots". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  18. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 7, 2005). "Robots". Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  19. ^ "Robots (2005) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  20. ^ "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  21. ^ "Robots (2005) - Awards".
  22. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  23. ^ a b c d Phares, Heather. "Robots: Original Soundtrack".
  24. ^ a b "Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack".
  25. ^ "Robots: Soundtrack (Top Soundtrack Album's)".
  26. ^ Robots: Original Motion Picture Score at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.

External links[edit]