Clunky "Robots" overwhelms


March 15, 2005, midnight | By Joanna Pinto-Coelho | 19 years, 4 months ago

Too much visual stimulation, not enough Robin Williams


Though sweet and with good intentions, 20th Century Fox's new animated film, "Robots," seems to overstimulate. The clanking and clunking industrial robot world is meticulously and almost exhaustively visually complicated. Though the achievements in effects and animation are admirable, they are overwhelming to the average moviegoer and distract attention from the more important parts of the movie—the characters and their conflicts. Despite this shortcoming, however, "Robots" is a fun flick.

The star-studded voice cast doesn't overshadow the plot or the characters. Ewan MacGregor stars as small-town robot Rodney Copperbottom (voiced at younger ages by Crawford Wilson and Jansen Panettiere), who has big dreams of being an inventor in Robot City, the robot equivalent of the Big Apple. At first he seems defeated by the evil corporate Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) and his even eviler mother Madame Gasket (a fabulously hateable Jim Broadbent). But with the help of upbeat and goofy outmode Fender (the ever-amazing and hilarious Robin Williams) and Fender's sister Piper (Amanda Bynes), his friend Crank (Drew Carey), generous city hero Bigweld (Mel Brooks), ex-biz exec Cappy (Halle Berry) and aptly named landlady Aunt Fanny (Jennifer Coolidge), he defeats the bad guys. All the while he strives to make homemaker mommy Copperbottom (Diane Wiest) and dishwasher daddy Copperbottom (Stanley Tucci) proud.Though Williams' part in the film was grossly overrepresented in the previews, his voice acting was nothing less than the best and left moviegoers wanting more. Amanda Bynes delivered a spunky performance as the plucky Piper, Ewan MacGregor was a perfect impassioned and naïve protagonist, and only the lackluster vocals by Halle Berry as Rodney's love interest, Cappy, brought the overall performance quality down.

Though it has its share of faults, "Robots" is an overall great flick, especially for kids. Its liberal-leaning plot, one that denounces materialist, cold-hearted corporate America in favor of the blue-collared stout of heart, is well formulated and teaches a great message to children. It's also an enjoyable watch for older siblings and parents because of its subtle suggestive humor that flies right over the tops of children's heads. Even if you only go to hear Robin Williams, it's definitely worth your money.

"Robots" (91 minutes) is rated PG for some brief language and suggestive humor.

Last updated: May 4, 2021, 12:29 p.m.


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Joanna Pinto-Coelho. Things you should know about Joanna: 1) She likes to eat bagel lox, her grandma's carrot cake, her mommy's chocolate chip cookies and filet mignon (medium rare). 2) She is half-Brazilian. 3) She is a gainfully employed member of the American workforce. 4) She will … More »

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