Robots—20th Century Fox
While computer-animated technology has made for increasingly eye-popping movies, remarkably, story and humor have kept pace—well, most of the time. Unfortunately, Robots doesn’t live up to this standard. While the design and depth of Robot City and the action set pieces are truly astonishing, the characters ring hollow, and attempts at humor rarely rise above a first-grade mentality.
Rodney Copperbottom, voiced by Ewan McGregor, a lower-middle-class robot having been raised by a dishwasher dad and a doting mom, spends years inventing his Wonder-Bot, a robot for robots, if you will. When they decide that the best place for Rodney to sell his invention is Robot City, Dad and Mom send Junior off to the big city, where he quickly falls in with outmoded robots called "rusties" and the robot woman who looks after them, Aunt Fanny (Jennifer Coolidge). Now, if you like big-butt jokes, you’ll love Robots, and the bonus short "Aunt Fanny’s Tour of Booty" is filled with more "Aunt Fanny’s got a big ol’ butt" comedy. Other features include the test short that Blue Sky used to sell Robots to Fox (which oddly incorporates bits of Marilyn Monroe dialogue from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), a featurette on the Blue Man Group’s involvement in the score, and more.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic format lends itself to the fantastic visuals of Robots, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS soundtracks work to great effect during the many action set pieces. It’s too bad the writing isn’t as impressive.