Having just watched Robots (2005) for the first time, I’m amazed I didn’t go see when it came out. I don’t know what I was thinking, but now I know I’d have enjoyed it thoroughly.
The plotline sounds familiar: a small-town boy goes to the big city and makes good, in spite of all odds. But as we all know, it’s not the yarn, it’s how you spin it that makes it interesting. This story is told in a quirky, entertaining way that makes it worth our time. The boy is a robot, who goes to the big city to follow a dream, and in the process, saves all Robot World from certain disaster while instilling hope in the hearts of countless other robots.
That big metal world is brought to life on-screen, and although we’re constantly reminded the characters are robots, we personify and identify with them. A wonderful benefit of the robotic nature of the characters is the ability to pull countless gags, which is where the screenwriters leave no stone unturned. Fender, played by Robin Williams, is the main go-to character for gags, and he delivers on every one. Although Robin Williams’ riffs and improvisations are too much in real life, they’re perfect for voice-overs. He was great in all of Disney’s Aladdin movies, he was great in Happy Feet (2006) and he’s great in this movie as well.
Mel Brooks fit into the role of Bigweld surprisingly well. But other than him, I had a hard time recognizing the voices of the other famous actors employed for the voice over work. And that begs the question, other than the bragging rights, why hire famous actors for all of the major roles in a movie like this? It’s probably more expensive, and there are plenty of voice talents waiting in the wings who’d welcome the chance to shine.
I liked the animation, and loved the details on the robots, like the little rust spots, the almost real bolts, the glassy eyes, and the tinny, yet moldable faces. Like I said, the way the story’s told really makes it worth our time. Ligia and I were swinging along to “junk” by the end of the movie. You’ll know what I mean once you watch the movie! 🙂