Cody the Robosapien
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cody the Robosapien (originally released as Robosapien: Rebooted in the U.K.) is a live-action adventure based on WowWee's remote-control robot toys. The movie focuses on the relationship between Henry, a precocious 12-year-old, and Cody, the robot he finds and rebuilds. Through their friendship, which is reminiscent of all human child-nonhuman buddy movies, like E.T. or The Iron Giant, both characters discover how teamwork and sacrifice can change people (and robots) for the better. There are mild insults ("stupid") and violence (a couple of punches and a pursuit by armed security guards), but this is overall a movie that's fine for the whole family.
What's the story?
CODY THE ROBOSAPIEN starts out at Kinetech Labs, a New Orleans tech firm where scientist Allan Topher (David Eigenberg) has created a humanoid robot, the Robosapien, for search and rescue. When Allan discovers the firm's CEO Porter (Kim Coates) is planning to weaponize and sell Robosapien, he escapes with his beloved creation and programs it to run away from Kinetech's security guards. Robosapien ends up falling into a dumpster, where he's found by 12-year-old Henry Keller (Bobby Coleman), who's also running from a group of bullies. Henry takes Robosapien's pieces back home and puts him back together, naming him Cody. Like a robot E.T., Cody learns about Henry's life, attends his school, and helps him defeat the class bully. Henry returns the favor by helping Cody reunite with his \"father\" Allan.
Is it any good?
CODY THE ROBOSAPIEN isn't as overt a merchandise tie-in as the Barbie, Transformers, or My Little Pony movies -- probably because the Robosapien toys aren't nearly as ubiquitous as Mattel's or Hasbro's offerings. Cody (voiced by Jae Head) is charming enough to keep kids interested in his silly one-liners and jokey banter with first his father figure Allan (whom adult fans will recognize as Steve from Sex and the City) and then adorably nerdy young Henry (who looks like a young Richard Lewis circa 1989 with his floppy long hair and shrugging soldiers).
The special effects aren't up to par with theatrical releases, nor is the plot anything that even a kid would call sophisticated, but there are enough laughs and messages for both children and parents to stay relatively entertained. Parents who watch the hit FX show Sons of Anarchy will be especially pleased to see Coates playing a clean-cut corporate villain instead of a tattooed biker. If you're looking for a family movie for younger kids who want a little action adventure but nothing too heavy, this is a decent, albeit slightly bland pick.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Cody and Henry's friendship and how it changes both of them. What do they teach each other, and how do they help the other grow?
What are other examples of human and non-human friendships and collaboration in movies? What themes are present in most of the movies, and which ones are your favorites?
Discuss the various ways bullying can occur and check out our video about dealing with digital harassment and cyberbullying.