Robots (2005) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: Robots (2005)


I like animation. Every Saturday I watch my morning cartoons (on the WB of all places!) Late at night I watch Cartoon Network to watch the crazy-ass anime imports. I am a true believer that watching this shit will keep you young at heart. Based on this I looked forward to watching the latest Hollywood CGI creation: Robots.

The movie chronicles Rodney Copperbottom, a young robot, determined to make his way to the big Robot City to follow his dream of being an inventor. A simple enough premise that could be pulled off with the right blend of animation, inventive backdrops, a high-powered cast to provide voices and adult themed humor.

On most of these four points the movie hits a triple (baseball lingo for those confused). The animation in this movie is top-notch. Everything is fluid and well choreographed. Colors are vibrant and the characters (both main and incidental) are interestingly designed.

The backdrop of the movie is set in Rivit Town and Robot City. Robot City is a well thought out location. My only pet peeve is, if this is a world of robots and supercomputers, then why is the mass transit system based off of pulleys, rubber bands and other assorted 19th century shit?

The movie definitely has an all-star cast offering their voices. Halle Berry, Mel Brooks (!), Drew Carey, Greg Kinnear, Ewan McGregor and unfortunately Robin Williams. I just don’t like Robin Williams. He tries too hard. He has no single train of thought. It’s a pain in the ass to try and follow his comedy. It is a pain in the ass to try and follow his character Fender in this movie. All I did was visualize Robin Williams and a feeling of dread would wash over me. Who the fuck wants to feel dread while watching an animated movie?

Lastly, Robots does well to give the parents a good dose of adult humor along the way. My favorite? I’m a sucker for fart jokes. Two minutes of the movie is dedicated to farts and/or fart sounds. I can laugh all day long at farts. There’s also a good amount of urban references dashed here and there. Nothing too racy (that’s what killed “Shark Tale”), it’s got just the right mixture for all audiences.

Of course the movie has additional flaws. Why is there a need for inventors? If his is a society filled with robots, machines and computers…why wouldn’t everything be created already? Why isn’t there any robots specializing in fixing older robots? There are stores that sell parts, but no one to actually fix anything!

The movie is worth the 91 minutes it requires you to sit down to watch it. It’s not the top animated flick out there (“Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles” are better to just name a few), but it is a top runner of tier two flicks. Nothing wrong with winning the NIT if you can’t make the big dance (NCAA basketball reference, asshole).

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
4 Star Rating: Good

4

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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.


'Movie Review: Robots (2005)' have 6 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 17, 2005 @ 2:02 pm Nashtradomus

    Sweet mother of god!! Tell me it’s just not me who felt that these Robots were on some lithium drip monkeying around like chip munks high on valium.
    Before I go ahead, I feel my thinking of this animation was something else since Pixar made it, thanks to Shrek mentality.
    While the gee-whiz factor is at its highest setting with regard to the animation and rendering wizardry, it turns out to be that age-old, time-honored thing called a plot that needed an overhaul in this overworked fantasy.
    I was shockingly dissapointed by this mediocre collection of half-hearted film references, predictable cliched gags, and painfully trite plot elements. Williams tries with almost manic effort to save this overblown collection of misfit widgets from self-destructing, but his pale imitation of his Genie character fails to hide the predictable, ill-fitted cogs cranking away in the foreground. I attempted to compile a list of the absurd gags and awkward moments, but I gave up after developing a terrible headache. There are too many characters, and none of them have any depth, reality, or honestly function in the story. The main character has two….love interests. Neither of them ever goes anywhere. The script tries to strike the charming blend of zany sidekick characters and toungue-in-cheek world elements that has propelled Pixar to the head of this burgeoning genre, but it just doesn’t work here.
    Even the films villains, including the criminally underused Kinnear, are card-board cutouts with incomprehensible motivations and little menace. The bottom line is that this was thrown together with a handfull of hot-button names and a mediocre script. While the visuals were occasionally impressive, they felt more like graphics demos than relevant items to the plot. Yes, we get it, you developed a graphics engine to allow thousands of objects like marbles or *gasp* dominos to bounce around realistically, but it’s totally pointless in the film! The PAINFULL transportation sequence is equally out of place.
    I’ll close by saying that this is the worst of the animation films yet released, though Shark Tale is a close second. They should stop mentioning their association with Shrek- it’s the only thing preventing Pixar from being a total monopoly, and they besmirch it’s name with every half-baked disaster they render to the screen. The only saving grace to this move was some cool music. I can’t believe I have to critic an animation saying that its music is good.
    This baby gets a straight D-
    The Robots might look shiny in there armour, but they need to be waxed.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 18, 2005 @ 9:52 am Mr. Brown

    You can always tell when a critic doesn’t have any children. They miss the purpose of the movie. In this case it is clear Nashtradomus wasn’t viewing this movie from a child’s perspective, but from his own evil, twisted child-hating view.
    Now on to his comments.
    I’ll agree with the fact that the villains were underused and nonmenacing. But, who wants their kids to have nightmares from an overly realistic bad guy? Certainly not me!
    Robin Williams overacting? Who would have thought that could happen! This man should not ever, ever be in a film or television again. Period.
    Also, as I stated in my original review, this movie is by no means a top-tier animated flick. It is a solid second-tier movie. And unfortunately, it does take on many facets of movies that came before it. Things like: jokes that can be construed in both an adolescent and adult manner; grand, illustrous worlds; big name voice talent. From my standpoint, I think it will be difficult to recreate the animated genre. If it ain’t broke, don’t f**k with it. Hollywood is making a sh*tload of money from catering to this age group. They’ll reinvent it when they critical mass and the children realize they’re being fed the same sh*t again and again…however, I don’t think they’ve hit that wall yet.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 18, 2005 @ 11:28 am Nashtradomus

    Just cuz I have a different view point, now I’m being categorized as a child hater!! I’m speechless Mr.Brown.
    As for your comment, would you prefer an overly realistic bad guy or a low-ball humor and suggestive innuendo, now which is healthier for children?
    I disagree with Hollywood would reinvent only when they realize of hitting a wall. We are talking about an industry which thrives on making money by being entertaining. The only way to entertain is contantly try to be coming up with inventive ways of making it original and redundant. If Hollywood feels there is a way to make “more” money than what they are making now, they WILL haul there bloated asses to make it happen and not wait until they hit a wall.

    This movie with its robotic dancing, pop music, and all too familiar stereotyped characters, which demography is this movie catering to?
    Robots is full of mixed metaphors and had no message for the children to follow other than look at a big tush and some fart gags. If this animation was in anyway intended for that genre of movie watchers, this one failed miserably. I would say Hollywood just about hit the wall!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 18, 2005 @ 11:38 am Mr. Brown

    Where to begin…
    The movie industry is like the recording industry. They will milk the holy hell out of something that works before even thinking about changing it. Usually these monoliths are extremely slow to realize a changing trend and are even slower to monopolize…but when they do the public is swamped with the same old sh*t.
    Now back to the movie.
    Generally speaking, children don’t understand the adult themes that movies like Shrek and Robots portray. They are transfixed by the bright colors, funny voices and odd shapes thrown at them. And you’ll notice this is the current concoction Hollywood is feeding us.
    It works. It will work for another few years too. Child hater.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 19, 2005 @ 8:51 am Nashtradomus

    I don’t think Hollywood is slow in recognizing changing trends, they spend huge dollar amounts on marketing and getting feedbacks on what works and does not. They do recognize the changing trends, but they stall to make changes until they feel the cost and material spent on a particular kind of trend does not justify or they felt that a new trend would make them more money.
    I agree with your comments on children transfixed on bright colors and funny voices, but you are looking at a very small section of the age group from 2-4 year olds. I would have to disagree if you would suggest that bright colors and funky voices would capture the attention of a 5 year old the entire length of the movie. Robots simply did not have any single characted that would have a child’s attention for more than 5 minutes.
    I’m making my argument with respect to the plot of the movie for any age group and not the visuals and sound.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 19, 2005 @ 9:32 am Mr. Brown

    Perhaps I misspoke. Behomeths are more than aware of the climate changing around them. However, before they decide to retool the machinery to accomodate the new trends, they will try like hell to milk every last drop from the current crop of crap they are feeding us.
    I would argue with you on your thoughts of the animated movie demographics. Robots has grossed $116M (as of this week) in 1.5 months. I’d gather that, that number is being generated by parents taking their 3-10 year old children to see this movie…perhaps several times too.
    Children love animation. They love bright colors. They love goofy characters that talk funny and sing and dance.
    Now, as I said before, and seem to agree with you on, is that this movie IS NOT a top-tier or overly original movie. It is however worth seeing, provided you either: have children, have an adolescent mentality or some combination of both.

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