From the Archive – MOVIE REVIEW – Robots

Originally posted 3/25/05

: Chris Wedge, with co-director Carlos Saldanha
Writers: Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire and Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, based on a story by Ron Mita & Jim McClain and David Lindsay-Abaire
Producer: Jerry Davis, John C. Donkin, William Joyce
Featuring the voices of: Ewan MacGregor, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes, Jennifer Coolidge, Drew Carey, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Weist, Paul Giamatti

Robots is an absolute delight for the eyes. Through the work of production designer William Joyce, art director Steve Martino and a gifted crew of animators from the Fox-based Blue Sky, it’s a fast and colorful riot of gears, springs, bearings and dials. The world of Robot City is endlessly imaginative and machined to a fare-thee-well, the characters so tactile you want to pick them up and play with them, pining for the days when all really cool toys were made out of die-cast metal. I can practically recommend the movie simply so you can appreciate its manic geometry.

Those adults looking for sneaky pleasures while their kids soak it all up, though, will have to be satisfied with sporadically clever gags and the eye candy, because Robots has a rather lazy and overly-familiar story to tell. At times the plot seems to lurch forward simply out of habit, relying on your familiarity with its clichés to stretch across the gulf in effort between the painting of this gorgeous world and making any emotional connection to it.