"Technically brilliant with plenty of laughs thrown in too"
Although Robots shares very similar themes to Shark Tale, in the fact that it is about a son of an average Joe who has dreams of making it big in the city, it surpasses that undersea adventure with its wildly creative inventiveness and a much stronger wit.Rodney Copperbottom is a young robot who ambitiously heads off to Robot City in the hope of being taken on as an inventor by Bigweld Industries, the biggest spare parts provider in the city who specialise in new technologies and spare parts for robots. It is also owned and run by Rodney’s idol, Mr Bigweld.
Once in Robot City however, Rodney finds all is not what he expected with Bigweld Industries being taken over by the corporate tyrant Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who has no time for second class citizens and literally sees them as scrap metal. He has discontinued all of the spare parts line with the only option being a very expensive upgrade that only the rich would be able to afford. Meanwhile Mr Bigweld seems to have disappeared without a trace.
As Rodney navigates around this robotic metropolis he meets a ragtag group of robots who call themselves the Rusties. Fender (Robyn Williams) immediately becomes Rodney’s best buddy in Robot City and with the rest of the Rusties they embark on a mission to foil the evil plans of Ratchet and his domineering mother Madame Gasket (Jim Broadbent) in order to save Robot City.
Although it seems odd that animation studios will hire an American to do a Scottish accent (Mike Myers in Shrek) and now a Scotsman to do an American in Robots, Ewan McGregor does do a splendid job here. In fact all the entire cast hits the spot but it is Robyn Williams who completely steals the show with his flamboyant portrayal of a decrepit bot with a heart of gold and wicked sense of humour. The animation is breathtaking with a standout being the unique travel system in Robot City which is shown in a spectacularly clever sequence that is like a cross between the board game Mouse Trap and Sonic the Hedgehog. Another nice touch is the perfect use of Tom Waits’ Underground in the scrap metal factory scene.Visually in Robots there is so much going on that it is hard to take it all in with a single viewing. Admittedly the plot is not as detailed or as clever as the Shrek films or even more recently The Incredibles but the characters are endearing, it is very funny and is technically outstanding making this blemish instantly forgivable. It is a kid’s film after all and the target audience are bound to love it and there is plenty of fun for the adults too.