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Robots is a 2005 American computer-animated adventure comedy filmproduced 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, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, and Robin Williams.[4]

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

Plot Edit

In Rivet Town, Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) is a young inventor who idolizes Bigweld (Mel Brooks), whose company develops useful machines. Rodney invents the Wonderbot (Chris Wedge) to help his father Herb (Stanley Tucci) clean dishes at a restaurant. When Herb's supervisor confronts them, Wonderbot breaks the dishes, leaving Herb in debt. Rodney takes his invention to Robot City to work at Bigweld Industries and help pay back his father’s debt. On arrival, he learns Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) has taken over Bigweld Industries and stopped making spare parts in favor of expensive ‘upgrades’.

Rodney is thrown out and meets Fender Pinwheeler (Robin Williams) (who he met earlier at the train station), Fender’s sister Piper (Amanda Bynes), Crank (Drew Carey), Lugnut (Harland Williams), and Diesel, collectively known as ‘the Rusties’. Rodney stays with them at a boarding house owned by Aunt Fanny (Jennifer Coolidge). Rodney begins fixing old robots, known as ‘outmodes’, in the neighborhood. Discovering this, Ratchet’s mother Madame Gasket (Jim Broadbent) orders Ratchet to stop Rodney and destroy Bigweld.

Rodney later receives news that Herb needs replacement parts, and decides to find Bigweld to ask him to return and keep on making spare parts. Wonderbot reminds him Bigweld will attend the Bigweld Ball. Rodney and Fender go to the ball in disguise only to hear Ratchet announce Bigweld is unable to attend. Rodney confronts Ratchet but is captured by security. Cappy (Halle Berry), a robot executive at Bigweld Industries opposed to Ratchet's plan, rescues Rodney and Fender.

Fender is captured by a sweeper and taken to the Chop Shop, where the city’s junk is melted down, but escapes. Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigweld's house. Rodney asks Bigweld to return to Bigweld Industries and start making spare parts again, but Bigweld refuses, telling Rodney to give up and leave. Rodney calls his parents, intending to return to Rivet Town, but Herb convinces Rodney to stay. Rodney rallies the Rusties and prepares them for combat. Fender reveals Ratchet has built a fleet of super-sweepers to destroy all outmodes. Bigweld returns to the group, having regained his resolve.

The group return to Bigweld Industries where Bigweld fires Ratchet, but is tricked and knocked unconscious. Rodney, Cappy and the Rusties rescue Bigweld and are chased across the city, but leave Piper and Aunt Fanny behind. The remaining robots arrive at the Chop Shop, where Bigweld accidentally rolls into the processing area. Piper and Aunt Fanny arrive with an army of outmodes. A battle between the outmodes, Gasket's henchmen and the super-sweepers ensues. Wonderbot fights Gasket, who falls into her own furnace. Ratchet loses his upgrades after getting trapped in some chains. Rodney disables the super-sweepers and rescues Bigweld. Retaking control of Bigweld Industries, Bigweld visits Rivet Town to tell Rodney's parents their son is his ‘right-hand bot’ and eventual successor.

Voice cast Edit

  • Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, a young blue robot and aspiring inventor.
  • Halle Berry as Cappy, an executive 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, a jolly inventor and owner of Bigweld Industries.
  • Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, a materialistic, arrogant, treacherous, 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, manipulative, and tyrannical robot, Rodney's arch-enemy, Bigweld's arch-rival, and Ratchet's mother, partner, and boss.
  • Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, a yellow robot who is Fender's younger sister.
  • 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.
  • 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 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]

Locations Edit

Rivet Town was rumored to be based on Watertown, New York, but director Chris Wedge dismissed this in an interview.

Release Edit

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][7] 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]

Reception Edit

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 Ebertgave 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]

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".[citation needed]

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

  • 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10: Nominated Animation Film[21]

Music Edit

Soundtrack Edit

Robots: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on March 1, 2005 by Virgin Records.[22]

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 featuring Lateef 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
  • "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

Score Edit

Robots: Original Motion Picture Score was composed by John Powell and was released on March 15, 2005 by Varèse Sarabande Records.[23]

No. Title Length
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
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

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.


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