Robots

  • Review Date: September 25, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Endearing "follow your dreams" story with plenty of laughs.
  • Review Date: September 25, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
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.

Positive role models

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.

Language

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.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie 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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

Just like its endearing hero Rodney, this movie is assembled from hand-me-down parts (like its classic underdog story) but it has so much heart that it is transformed 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the great messages here 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?

  • If you could be an inventor like Rodney, what would you like to invent?

  • Families might like to learn about the history of inventions and becoming an inventor.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 11, 2005
DVD release date:September 27, 2005
Cast:Amanda Bynes, Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry
Director:Chris Wedge
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Robots
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some brief language and suggestive humor.

This review of Robots was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I ................

you and your family have to buy or rent it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Adult Written bybluedevil April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Clever, not endearing

This movie had my wife and me laughing at its cleverness and puns and there is certainly an uplifting message at its core. But there is a good deal of juvenile bathroom humor and, yes, some suggestive lines -- all designed, no doubt, to keep adults entertained. While our family enjoyed the movie we found it, at times, very busy, fast-moving and visually challenging to watch (the rollercoaster and battle scenes move too fast to truly comprehend.) Upon exiting the theater, we were on sensory overload. We took our 5 year old to see it and aren't sad that we did, but it is truly more appropriate for second or third graders or older.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

i laughed so hard

it was so funny i'm getting it soon

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