Robots (2005)
October 2, 2018 11:55 AM - Subscribe

In a robot world, a young idealistic inventor travels to the big city to join his inspiration's company, only to find himself opposing its sinister new management.

Roger Ebert:
The thing that struck me first of all about "Robots" was its pictorial beauty. I doubt that was the intention of the filmmakers, who've made a slapstick comedy set in a futurist city that seems fresh off the cover of a 1942 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. Towers and skyways and strange architectural constructions look like an Erector set's erotic dreams, and the ideal skyscraper is a space needle ringed by metallic doughnuts.


Like "Finding Nemo," this is a movie that is a joy to behold entirely apart from what it is about. It looks happy, and, more to the point, it looks harmonious. One of the reasons this entirely impossible world works is because it looks like it belongs together, as if it evolved organically.
posted by zinon (5 comments total)
This is a good movie, and was a breath of classic Disney Optimism in a time when the stuff Disney was putting out was just embarrassingly bad. There were a lot of fun jokes here, both visual slapstick gags as well as wordplay, and a weird amount of scatological humor given the setting.

It's sad that Robots went on to be Blue Sky Studios' least-remembered movie, dwarfed by Ice Age's continuing appeal and Rio's flash-in-the-pan popularity. Hey! I according to Wikipedia, Blue Sky is making an animated adaptation of Noelle Stevenson's Nimona! That's cool as shit!

In conclusion, Robots is a land of contrasts. Thank you for your time.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:32 PM on October 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow. I totally forgot about this one. I remember it being beautiful to see. I can’t recall the story much, but I definitely recall the art.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:58 PM on October 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

when the stuff Disney was putting out was just embarrassingly bad.

Hah, I kind of worked on Chicken Little. They used my then company's storage servers for rendering and we did a bunch of changes to the software just for Disney. We had posters for the movie up all over the office and went to the opening as a team. And then the movie sucked so bad that Disney shut down that animation studio and bought Pixar instead and we lost the contract.

Back to the subject, I do remember liking Robots but thought that Williams was sort of phoning it in.
posted by octothorpe at 4:21 AM on October 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

The mid 2000s were a pretty bad time for animation in general. Lots of companies were flocking to 3D rendering but the software and the expertise just wasn't there yet.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:01 AM on October 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Back to the subject, I do remember liking Robots but thought that Williams was sort of phoning it in.

A lot of my disappointment with the film actually came from having too high expectations for Williams' presence. As someone who saw him as Genie in the theaters, I was stoked to see him do animation again...and somewhat disappointed. Oi.

This is probably one of the best films Blue Sky has ever put out, in my opinion. That's not to say it's an amazing film, but a lot of Blue Sky stuff doesn't try nearly as hard as its competitors.
posted by Atreides at 10:10 AM on October 5, 2018

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