A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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.”
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one party scene, robot characters are seen drinking “oil” from martini glasses and champagne flutes.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.