Robots (2005 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Wedge|
|Music by||John Powell|
|Edited by||John Carnochan|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|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. It was directed by Chris Wedge and produced by Jerry Davis, William Joyce, and John C. Donkin. It features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, and Robin Williams.
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. The film grossed $260.7 million on a $75 million budget.
In Rivet Town, Rodney Copperbottom is a young inventor who dreams of making the world a better place. He idolizes Bigweld, a master inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries. During Rodney's adolescence, he invents a gadget called the Wonderbot, intended to help his father Herb clean dishes at a restaurant. When Herb's supervisor confronts them, Wonderbot breaks the 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 Herb pay back his supervisor. Herb encourages him and confides that he has always regretted not pursuing his dream of becoming a musician. Rodney arrives in Robot City and meets outmoded robot Fender Pinwheeler. 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 the owner of the Chop Shop, Madame Gasket, who is Ratchet's mother. Rodney is forced out and shares quarters with Fender at a low-rent boarding house owned by Aunt Fanny, occupied by a group of other outmoded robots threatened with the Chop Shop, called the "Rusties", consisting of Fender, his sister Piper, Crank, Lugnut, and Diesel. When news gets out that spare parts have been discontinued by Bigweld Industries, Rodney begins fixing old robots on his own. Upon discovering this, Gasket orders Ratchet to stop Rodney and destroy Bigweld.
Rodney later receives news that Herb needs replacement parts. Rodney decides to contact Bigweld directly to beg him to restart the manufacture of spare parts. Wonderbot reminds him that Bigweld will show up at the annual Bigweld Ball, which 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 of the company who dislikes Ratchet's plan, saves him, and together with Fender and his new girlfriend Loretta Geargrinder, they escape from the ball.
After Fender walks Loretta home, he is taken to the Chop Shop by Gasket, but escapes. Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigweld's home and meet him. Rodney asks Bigweld to return to his company and make spare parts available again, but Bigweld refuses, explaining that Ratchet forced him out of the company. Rodney calls his parents, intending to give up his dream and return to Rivet Town, but Herb encourages Rodney to continue pursuing it. Rodney rallies the Rusties into fighting back against Ratchet and Gasket. Fender reveals that, under Gasket's orders, Ratchet has built a fleet of super-sweepers with the intention of rounding up and destroying all of the 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 by Gasket. A battle ensues between the Rusties and Ratchet and Gasket's henchmen. During the chaos, Rodney rescues Bigweld, the choppers and sweepers are destroyed, Wonderbot engages Gasket in combat, and eventually destroys her by tossing her into the furnace, and Ratchet loses his upgrades. Retaking control of Bigweld Industries, 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 of being a musician 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 (sung by Diesel, having received a brand new voice box from Bigweld).
- Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, a young blue robot and aspiring inventor. McGregor used an American accent to portray the character[original research?].
- Halle Berry as Cappy, a human-themed worker at Bigweld Industries and Rodney's love interest.
- Robin Williams as Fender Pinwheeler, a red robot who befriends Rodney and is constantly falling apart.
- Mel Brooks as Bigweld, the jolly inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries; until Rodney met him, Bigweld had slipped into depression at Madame Gasket's actions.
- Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, an arrogant, greedy, and self-centered robot, Rodney's arch-rival, and Madame Gasket's son, partner and henchman.
- Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, a twisted, malevolent, and tyrannical robot, Rodney's enemy, Bigweld's arch-rival, and Ratchet's mother, partner, leader, and boss.
- Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, a yellow robot who is Fender's younger sister and 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 "broken" robots; she has the unintentional effect of bumping people with her large aft.
- Harland Williams as Lugnut, a large 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 / Phone Booth
- Natasha Lyonne (USA) / Cat Deeley (UK) / Jackie O (AUS) as Loretta Geargrinder, a receptionist at Bigweld Industries and Fender's love interest.
- Paul Giamatti as Tim the Gate Guard
- Dan Hedaya as Mr. Gunk, Herb's rude, inconsiderate boss.
- Brian Scott McFadden (USA/AUS) / Vernon Kay (UK) as Trashcan Bot
- Jay Leno as Fire Hydrant
- Lucille Bliss as Pigeon Lady
- Paula Abdul as US Wristwatch #1
- Randy Jackson as US Wristwatch #2 / UK Wristwatch #1
- Kimberley Williams as UK Wristwatch #2
- Al Roker as Mailbox
- Stephen Tobolowsky (USA/AUS) / Eamonn Holmes (UK) as Bigmouth Executive / Forge
- Tim Nordquist as Tin Man
- Lowell Ganz (USA/AUS) / Sir Terry Wogan (UK) as Mr. Gasket, Madame Gasket's husband and Ratchet's father.
- James Earl Jones as a voice box at hardware store
According to IMDb, the wristwatches were voiced by 6 Australian kids who won a competition to appear in the film and a voice coach trained them to speak with an American accent.
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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 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 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.
The DVD and VHS of Robots were released on September 27, 2005. The film was accompanied by an original short animated film based on Robots, titled Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty. On March 22, 2011, it was released in high-definition on Blu-ray disc.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 64% based on 177 reviews. The site's 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."
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.
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".
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
|Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||March 1, 2005|
|Genre||Pop, alternative rock, pop rock, R&B, hip hop, funk, soul|
|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|
|9.||"I Like That"||Houston, Featuring Chingy, Nate Dogg and I-20||3:58|
|11.||"Walkie Talkie Man"||Steriogram||2:15|
|12.||"Robot City"||John Powell, Featuring Blue Man Group||4:09|
- Other songs in the film include
- "Underground" - Tom Waits
- "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" - Barry White
- "...Baby One More Time" - Britney Spears
- "See Me" - Melanie Blatt
- "Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor
- "From Zero to Hero" - Sarah Connor
- "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" - C+C Music Factory and Freedom Williams
|Robots: Original Motion Picture Score|
|Film score by John Powell|
|Released||March 15, 2005|
|1.||"Opening Titles/ Building A Baby"||4:02|
|2.||"Rivet Town Parade"||0:54|
|3.||"Bigweld TV / Creating Wonderbot"||2:45|
|6.||"The Crosstown Express"||1:19|
|10.||"Meet The Rusties"||2:06|
|15.||"Deciding to Fight Back"||1:13|
|16.||"Attack of the Sweepers"||1:26|
Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty
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. In the short, Aunt Fanny gives a tour of the Robot City Train Station to motley collection of robots, including Fender Pinwheeler, Zinc, Tammy, Hacky and an Old Lady-Bot.
- Ball, Ryan (February 9, 2005). "Blue Man Group Helps Score Robots". Animation Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
- "Robots (US domestic version)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
- "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo.
- Jones, Malcolm (March 13, 2005). "Heavenly Metal". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- "Robots (2005)". British Film Institute. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
- "'Robots' Premiere". CBS News. March 6, 2005. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
- 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.
- Murray, Rebecca (March 4, 2005). "Star Wars Episode III Full Length Trailer Premieres with Robots". About.com. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- IMAX Corporation (March 3, 2005). "Robots: The IMAX Experience Gears Up to Open March 11th!". PR Newswire. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
- "New Releases 09.27.05". IGN. September 27, 2005. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Gilchrist, Todd (September 28, 2005). "Robots". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Foster, Dave (August 24, 2005). "Robots (R2) in September - Menus added". The Digital Fix. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Calonge, Juan (January 21, 2011). "Family Blu-ray Wave from Fox in March". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
- "Robots (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- "Robots". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (June 7, 2005). "Robots". Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "Robots (2005) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
- "Robots (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2008.
- "Awards for 'Robots' (2005)". IMDb. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19.
- Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- Robots: Original Motion Picture Score at AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
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