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Robots
Robots2005Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Wedge
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • David Lindsay-Abaire
  • Lowell Ganz
  • Babaloo Mandel
Story by
  • Ron Mita
  • Jim McClain
  • David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring
Music by John Powell
Editing by John Carnochan
Studio Blue Sky Studios
20th Century Fox Animation
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) March 6, 2005 (2005-03-06) (Westwood, Los Angeles)
March 11, 2005 (2005-03-11) (United States)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Money made $260.7 million

Robots is a 2005 American computer-animated science fiction adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Chris Wedge, co-directed by Carlos Saldanha, and produced by Jerry Davis, William Joyce, and John C. Donkin, stars the voices of Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Greg Kinnear, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey and Robin Williams, and features music by John Powell. Development on the film began in 2000, when Wedge and Joyce failed to adapt Joyce’s book Santa Calls and they decided to do a story on robots. The story follows a robot named Rodney Copperbottom who seeks out his idol at his company in Robot City, only to discover a plot by its new owner to cheat older robots into buying expensive upgrades.

Robots was theatrically released on March 11, 2005. It grossed $260.7 million worldwide against a $75 million budget and received praise for its animation, humor and voice performances.

Plot

In a world populated by sentient robots, Rodney Copperbottom, son of Herb and Lydia Copperbottom from Rivet Town, is an aspiring young inventor. He idolizes Bigweld, a famous inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist whose company, Bigweld Industries, hires other inventors and provides robots with spare parts. Following Bigweld's example to "see a need, fill a need", Rodney develops a small, flying robot, named Wonderbot, to assist his father, who works as a dishwasher at a restaurant. When Herb's supervisor Mr. Gunk confronts them, Wonderbot malfunctions and wreaks havoc in the kitchen.

To help Herb pay for the damages, Rodney decides to move to Robot City, hoping to present Wonderbot to Bigweld Industries. Upon his arrival at Robot City, Rodney is ejected from Bigweld Industries by the company's current head Phineas T. Ratchet, who, in Bigweld's absence, has stopped producing spare parts and inventions in favor of expensive "upgrades", thereby "outmoding" robots who are unable or unwilling to pay for them. Ratchet's mother, Madame Gasket, runs the Chop Shop, a place that collects scrap and spare parts (and sometimes outmoded robots) and melts them to create ingots for Upgrades.

Rodney befriends Fender Pinwheeler, a ne'er-do-well he met at the train station. Fender takes him in to a boarding home populated by other outmodes, known collectively as the "Rusties". Word of Rodney's mechanical prowess spreads, and he is hailed as a local hero after he and the Rusties fix outmodes throughout the neighborhood, although they are eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the spare part shortage. Hoping to enlist Bigweld's help, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the Bigweld Ball – where Bigweld usually makes an appearance – only for Ratchet to announce that Bigweld will not attend. Enraged, Rodney publicly berates Ratchet, who orders his security team to eliminate him. Cappy, a Bigweld Industries executive opposed to Ratchet's plans, rescues Rodney and Fender. Fender is captured by a Sweeper, a vehicle that collects scrap metal and outmodes, and taken to the Chop Shop where he discovers Gasket and Ratchet's plan to use a heavily-armed fleet of Super-Sweepers to destroy all outmodes throughout the city in order to make and sell more ingots.

Meanwhile, Rodney and Cappy fly to Bigweld's mansion, where they eventually find Bigweld and tell him what has been going on. Bigweld reveals that Ratchet's greed and business sense won over his idealism in the management of Bigweld Industries, and orders Rodney and Cappy to leave. Crushed, Rodney calls his parents and plans to return to Rivet Town. Herb encourages Rodney to fight for his dreams, or he will spend the rest of his life regretting it like Herb did. Fender returns upon escaping from the Chop Shop and reveals Ratchet and Gasket's plot. Rodney rallies Cappy and the Rusties to stop them. They are joined by Bigweld, who has regained his resolve after realizing how much he and his ideals meant to Rodney.

The group returns to Bigweld Industries where Bigweld fires Ratchet, who ultimately knocks him unconscious, planning on melting him down as well. Rodney, Cappy, and Wonderbot rescue Bigweld from Ratchet and escape with the Rusties in a security vehicle with Ratchet close behind. Rodney unclips Ratchet’s vehicle to break free, but their vehicle loses control in front of the Chop Shop and Bigweld is rolled inside. Refusing to give up, Rodney upgrades the Rusties to rescue Bigweld. Rodney, Cappy and the Rusties battle Ratchet, Gasket, and their army of Super Sweepers alongside an army of outmodes that Rodney had repaired earlier. Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super-Sweepers and defeat Ratchet, who accidentally kills Gasket by knocking her into the incinerator while trying to escape. Ratchet is stripped of his upgrades, being left chained to the ceiling with his father.

Taking control of Bigweld Industries once again, Bigweld promises to make spare parts available to everyone. Later, he holds a public ceremony in Rivet Town, where he nominates Rodney as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. Rodney provides Herb with new replacement parts and a flugelhorn-like instrument to fulfill his dream of being a musician. After a shaky start, Herb leads Rodney, Cappy, the Rusties, Bigweld and the townspeople in a rousing rendition of "Get Up Offa That Thing".

Voice cast

  • Ewan McGregor as Rodney Copperbottom, an idealistic young blue humanoid robot, and aspiring inventor.
    • Will Denton and Crawford Wilson as Young Rodney
    • Jansen Panettiere as Younger Rodney
    • Dylan Denton as Youngest Rodney
  • Halle Berry as Cappy, a level-headed executive at Bigweld Industries and Rodney's love interest.
  • Robin Williams as Fender Pinwheeler, a troublemaking red blender-like robot who befriends Rodney and is constantly falling apart.
  • Mel Brooks as Bigweld, an elderly sphere robot who is the jolly inventor and the owner of Bigweld Industries.
  • Greg Kinnear as Phineas T. Ratchet, the treacherous, greedy right-hand-man of Bigweld, and Madame Gasket's son.
  • Jim Broadbent as Madame Gasket, the tyrannical owner of the Chop Shop.
  • Amanda Bynes as Piper Pinwheeler, a feisty yellow tomboy robot who is Fender's younger sister.
  • Drew Carey as Crank Casey, a pessimistic orange vacuum cleaner/monster truck-like robot who befriends Rodney.
  • Jennifer Coolidge as Aunt Fanny (in the US version, also known as Aunt Fan in the UK version), a motherly snail-like robot who takes in outmoded robots.
  • Harland Williams as Lugnut, a large, friendly green muscular 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, a small helicopter/cup-like robot, who is Rodney's invention.
  • Cat Deeley (in the UK version) and Natasha Lyonne (in the US version) as Loretta Geargrinder, a receptionist at Bigweld Industries and Fender's love interest.
  • Paul Giamatti as Tim, the gatekeeper 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 (in the US version), and Eamonn Holmes (in the UK version).
  • Tim Nordquist as Tin Man
  • Terry Wogan (in the UK version), Lowell Ganz (in the US version) as Mr. Gasket, Madame Gasket's husband and Ratchet's father.
  • James Earl Jones as a Darth Vader voice box.

Video game

Aunt Fanny's/Fan’s Tour of Booty

Aunt Fanny's/Fan’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/Fan 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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