Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, Amanda Bynes
Director: Chris Wedge
Running Time: 89 mins
Robots is an American film about a world of robots where an aspiring young inventor travels to the big city to pitch his creations, but soon realises that the company he once idealised now holds plans to wipe out outmoded robots like him.
I loved this film. It’s so funny from start to finish, with some amazing voice performances, great humour, and vibrant and energetic animation everywhere you look, making it a hugely enjoyable watch throughout. Its story may be astonishingly formulaic (more on that in a bit), but as far as kids’ movies go, this is one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time.
For starters, I want to talk about the animation here. Since the advent of Pixar and Dreamworks animation, we take these computer-generated worlds for granted, but in Robots, I was really impressed with how the whole world looked. It may all be designed with the objective of selling toys, but every scene is just teeming with life wherever you look.
Whether it’s the great attention to detail on the design of the robots themselves, or the vibrant backdrops that make the film look like a steampunk marble run, this is a very bright, lively and exciting film to look at, and it’s by far the main reason that I was able to look past any glaring story issues to have a really enjoyable time watching the film, which was great to see.
The voice performances are great too. Ewan McGregor isn’t outstanding in the lead role, but his character is probably the least eccentric of the film, but he still does a good job to make him fun and likeable. Robin Williams really shines as a manic robot who throws all of his impressions around, whilst the rest of the amazing A-list cast, including Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes, Mel Brooks, Drew Carey and more, are all fantastic at adding a great sense of diversity and vibrancy to this robot world.
There’s so much to love about this film, even if you’re over 8 years old. Its comedy is mad and eccentric throughout, and there were so many big laughs that I absolutely relished every time.
However, despite adoring almost every minute of Robots, there is one huge problem that I have to criticise. For all its fun and imaginative world-building and characters, the plot is painfully formulaic. It’s a kids’ film that includes all the tropes such as ‘you’re special as you are’, ‘never give up’ etc., and whenever the film does try to make some heartwarming and/or emotional sequences around those messages, it falls completely flat, feeling painfully cheesy, unnecessary and irritating.
Overall, I really liked Robots. It’s full of life, great humour and a whole host of brilliant voice performances, and I was laughing my head off from start to finish. However, its shockingly generic plot (which you’ve seen a billion times before) was a real disappointment, and made for some unforgivably cheesy moments when the film wasn’t as fun as it should have been, and that’s why I’m giving Robots a 7.7.