Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 2005. Twentieth Century Fox Animation, Blue Sky Studios. Story by Ron Mita, Jim McClain, David Lindsay-Abaire, Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel. Produced by Jerry Davis, John C. Donkin, William Joyce, Lorne Orleans. Music by John Powell. Production Design by William Joyce. Film Editing by John Carnochan.
In a world where mechanized robots are living creatures with hearts and souls, young Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) dreams of making it as an inventor. Growing up in a small town and watching his favourite industrialist Bigweld (Mel Brooks) on TV, an ambitious Rodney travels to Robot City where he intends to meet his idol and get a job working in his factory. Trouble is, things have changed since Rodney was a boy and the factory is now run by a heartless, profit-driven egomaniac (Greg Kinnear) who wants to stop producing replacement parts for robots and instead sell impossible to afford upgrades for the elite. Not one to take anything lying down, Rodney teams up with a group of misfits and fights the power, uniting all of Robot City’s less fortunate against corporate evil and searching out where Bigweld has been hiding for so long. The story’s allegory isn’t really hard to unearth, nor is the plotting in any way unpredictable, but the dazzling animation will definitely entertain the kids and adults will have fun listening to Robin Williams‘s goofy performance as the sidekick tin can who is in constant need of repair. The idea of anthropomorphizing worlds of objects or animals (bugs, toys, fish, you name it), is an animation standard, and the folks at Fox haven’t thought up any impressively new ways to transfer human experiences to their world of mechanics (oh look, they pee grease, how clever!) It does pass the time well enough, though, and the kids will stay quiet until it’s over.