Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Robots Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Endearing "follow your dreams" story with plenty of laughs.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 41 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

In this familiar story with a twist (robots instead of people) there are several clearly stated messages: “Follow Your Dreams"; “Never, Never Give Up"; and “You Can Shine No Matter What You Are Made Of.” When the greedy corporation adapts the slogan “Why be you when you can be new,” the heroes counter that slogan and everyone learns the value of repairing and revitalizing the old, sturdy favorites. Themes include perseverance, courage, and compassion.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rodney Copperbottom is a hero who is smart, loyal, compassionate, courageous, steadfast, and doesn’t give up no matter what the odds. His father’s greatest gift to him is believing in his son and letting him go out into the world to prove himself and realize his dream of making the world a better place. The two villains are greedy and care nothing for their fellow robots. Rodney has a group of friends who also prove their loyalty and individual worth.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon chases, falls, captures, and battles take place. Because all the players are robots, the most serious threat is that of being melted down in a “chop shop’s” fiery oven and turned into scrap metal. Many of the action sequences are funny in that the characters' vulnerable body parts are metal and made of a variety of ordinary objects (pots, pans, screwdrivers, utensils). The two villains, a mother and son combination, are greedy, ruthless corporate types who may look or sound scary to the very youngest viewer.

Sexy Stuff

Some flirtatious behavior between two sets of characters. A very few humorous sexual references (i.e. cross dressing) that will most likely go over the heads of most youngsters.


No actual swearing or coarse language with the exception of a short sequence of farting, which includes a fart contest.  Other words used are “fanny,” “booty,” and a pun when one robot “gets screwed.”

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

In one party scene, robot characters are seen drinking “oil” from martini glasses and champagne flutes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Robots has cartoon-style peril and violence with some thrill-ride-ish special effects. There's a little potty language ("booty," "fanny") plus some potty jokes, including an extended fart joke sequence. There's also some mild sexual humor, including jokes about cross-dressing and "fixing" a dog. Great messages abound about following your dreams and not giving up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStephanie S. April 9, 2008

Modern cartoon with a little adult humor

While I agree that the fart sequence is a little unnecessary I find this movie really cute. I think all in all the lessons it's teaches are worthwhile. I t... Continue reading
Adult Written bynduns July 31, 2016

I didn't think much of this film until I found out the subtext behind it

I'm gonna blow your mind with a bit of information: this entire film is a metaphor for the animation industry. Yeah, the big company owners trying to forc... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 30, 2019

This Is Very Inappropriate

Their are constant inappropriate jokes, and I'm not even kidding! In one scene a robot gets home to his wife and she says "You missed the delivery.... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bycarlyboyer April 3, 2019

No one should watch this movie

I watched this movie once when I was maybe 5, and I had a recurring nightmare for at least 2 years where the main robot was in my bathroom and disassembled hims... Continue reading

What's the story?

ROBOTS takes place in an all-mechanical world. Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) arrives after 12 hours of labor -- that's how long it takes his robot parents too assemble him from a kit. They are loving and devoted but not wealthy. As Rodney grows, he gets new hand-me-down parts, including one embarrassing year with a torso that once belonged to a teenaged girl cousin. Rodney dreams of being an inventor and making life better and easier. His hero is Bigweld (Mel Brooks), who urges everyone to come up with ideas to solve problems. But Bigweld is replaced by Ratchet (Greg Kinnear), the new president of Bigweld industries. Ratchet decides the company will no longer provide parts to fix old robots. They will make money by making perfectly good robots feel bad about themselves so that they will order unnecessary upgrades. Their slogan will be, "Why be you when you can be new?" So Rodney and his friends have to find a way to bring back Bigweld and make the world safe for the mutts and oddballs, especially the ones with a dream.

Is it any good?

Just like its endearing hero Rodney, this movie is assembled from hand-me-down parts (like its classic underdog story), but it has tons of heart. This helps transform it into something irresistibly fresh and downright adorable. Robots is brilliantly imagined by illustrator William Joyce, and every single shot is filled with fabulously imaginative detail, every bit of it adorably witty, wonderfully fantastic, and perfectly logical.

The movie has excitement, snappy wisecracks, and music that will make you want to get up and dance. As often in animation, the actors provide pleasant but not very distinctive voices and the comedians steal the show. Robin Williams, Brooks, and Jennifer Coolidge are the highlights. But the star here is the design, as much a part of the story as the plot and the characters. It all comes together in a story that works on every level, with something for every age, with silly humor, clever puns, sly satire, endearing characters, and, rarest of all, a story that is not just heartwarming but meaningful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the great messages in Robots of not giving up and following your dreams. What other movies have characters that are both resilient and big dreamers?

  • How do Rodney's and Ratchet's ideas about helping people differ? Why doesn't Crank want to try and what changes his mind? What's the difference between Bigweld's and Ratchet's views on what a corporation should do?

  • Why did Rodney say that the most important thing his parents gave him was believing in him? Who can you help by believing in them?

  • Families might like to learn about the history of inventions and becoming an inventor. If you could be an inventor like Rodney, what would you like to invent?

  • How do the characters in Robots demonstrate perseverance, courage, and compassion? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love robots and big imaginations

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