Prayer Focus
Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG for some brief language and suggestive humor

Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family, Kids
Comedy, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animation
1 hr. 31 min.
Year of Release:
Featuring: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear
Director: Chris Wedge
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Relevant Issues
Copyright, 20th Century Fox

Repair for adventure!

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Set on a world populated entirely by robots, this is the story of a young genius, Rodney (Ewan McGregor), who wants to make robots capable of making the world a better place, but he finds his dream challenged by a corporate tyrant and a master inventor, Big Weld (Mel Brooks), while also being seduced by a sexy corporate robot, Cappy (Halle Berry).”


Welcome to Rivet Town where two happily married, working-class robots finally have a baby ’bot to assemble. Baby robots arrive in build-it-yourself kits, and the long hours of assembly are a labor of love, because, as Mrs. Copperbottom explains, “…making the baby is the fun part.” After 12 hours of happy assembly, little Rodney Copperbottom (the voice of Ewan McGregor) is “born.”

As Rodney grows from year to year, he is assembled from hand-me-down parts. As a little tike, he uses training wheels to learn to “walk.” He has one embarrassing year in high school with a torso that once belonged to a teenaged girl cousin. Rodney dreams of being an inventor and making life better and easier for his family. Rodney’s hero is Big Weld (the voice of Mel Brooks), who is on TV regularly—urging everyone in Robot Land to come up with ideas to solve problems. He welcomes new ideas at his big corporation, Bigweld Industries. Big Weld says, “See a need, fill a need.” His slogan is, “You can shine no matter what you’re made of.” Everyone looks up to him.

However, one of Rodney’s inventions gets him and his Dad in trouble at Gunk’s Greasy Spoon, where his Dad works as a dishwasher (literally). His Dad is required to pay back the damages, which the family cannot afford.

Rodney is determined to go to Robot City. He is sure if he can just get in to see Big Weld, this encouraging mentor will give him a job inventing all kinds of great do-dads to help all robot kind. Rodney’s Dad has always inspired him to think big. Mr. Copperbottom encourages Rodney to show Big Weld his ideas. With fatherly wisdom, he bids his son goodbye—cheering him on with these words, “Follow your dreams, never give up!”

Rodney arrives in glamourous Robot City with high hopes and big dreams. He befriends Fender (Robin Williams at the top of his form), a robot with a few screws loose, and the rest of his rag-tag friends. They take Rodney to Aunt Fanny’s Place, a well known safe house for newcomers to the big city. Aunt Fanny (the well known voice of Jennifer Coolidge) is the brunt of a crescendo of rear end jokes—as her “fanny” is a pretty awesome derriere! When Rodney asks why she’s called Aunt Fanny, Fender exclaims “well, we couldn’t call her Aunt Booty!” The guys make little quips like she’s been rear-ended and referring to her as being really artsy-fartsy. All the kids in the theater were rolling in the isles at the finale to this scene, full of a wide variety of explosive sounds of robots passing wind.

Meanwhile, the sinister Rachet (the voice of Greg Kinnear) and his mother, the evil Gasket (voice of Jim Broadbent), have taken over Bigweld Industries, holding the beloved Big Weld hostage in his laboratory. Rachet, the new president, is determined to make himself and Mommy rich no longer providing spare parts to fix old robots (“outmodes”). From now on, the company will increase profits by making perfectly good robots feel bad about themselves, so that they will order unnecessary, but very shinny, overly-expensive upgrade parts. Bigweld Industries’ new slogan will be, “Why be you, when you can be new?” All outmodes are planned to be swept up and sent to the “Chop Shop” where they are never seen again… the equivalent to Robot Death!

There is one corporate robot, Cappy (the voice of Halle Berry), who does not agree with Rachet’s tactics, and is suspicious of the whereabouts of the big boss himself, Big Weld.

Through a set of hilarious circumstances, Cappy and Rodney come together to thwart the evil plans of Rachet and Gasket. After Big Weld fails to appear at the annual Big Weld Ball, they and their friends go in search Big Weld, so that he can help them save all robots—outdated, old and new alike.

Just in the nick of time Big Weld, Rodney, Cappy and Fender come to the rescue. The outmodes know it is their time to shine, as they defeat Rachet and Gasket’s menacing robot army, with Rodney’s ingenuity and fast on-his-feet inventions saving the day!

The movie includes comic references to robot’s hinder parts, and there are some potty jokes, including an extended fart joke sequence, and some mild sexual humor, including jokes about cross-dressing and “fixing” a dog. Adults will notice these slight innuendoes, but most will fly right over the heads of kids; they will be most enthralled with Aunt Fanny jokes. As expected, there is no foul language in this kid-friendly flick. On the way out of the theater, I asked some kids (ranging in age from 7 to 12) what they liked best about “Robots.” They all said they liked Fender and Aunt Fanny the best.

Adults will see a familiar story unfolding—the one we all know, of a misfit seeking his dreams, and through much peril, solid friendships, coupled with the support of family, overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds to achieve his goal. To children, this may be a new concept, reinforcing self esteem and unconditional love. Parents can use this story as a springboard to discuss the difference between the two mottos used by Big Weld and Rachet—and what it meant to Rodney to have his Mom and Dad believe in him and to know he had their unconditional support and love.

Over and over God encourages us to have faith (Heb. 11:1-6, Jude 20-21), hope (1 Peter 1:3, Romans 5:5), be a good example (1 Timothy 4:12, John 13:1-17), and to show love and kindness (Gal. 6:10, 1 Cor. 13:4-8). The characters in “Robots” are generally a good example for children of all ages. Parents can pick up on this and enforce this type of behavior. Our world is reft with so much negative information, what a refreshing experience it was to sit for a while and bask in the glow of sheer joy and positive, even silly humor. Thank God for the gift of laughter.

By the way, you won’t want to miss the little CGI cartoon preceding the film, which is the continuing saga of a little squirrel trying to get a much sought after nut—a side splitter in itself!

Viewer Comments
Positive—I took my 5 and 6 year old daughters to see this film. For the most part the predictable, totally unoriginal plot is appropriate for children yet there are some scenes that might frighten a young non-“movie-hardened” child. The robots exhibit gender and personality differences. Fortunately my daughters didn’t ask (just as I would expect for their ages) about this since no explanation is given. Given the relatively few “family” films that come out of Hollyweird and the fact that we settle for what we get, I’d say the time and money we spent was not totally wasted.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3½
—Bob C, age 41
Positive—…father told his son to follow his dreams. Funny for adults. Kids need talk to their mom and or dad about what’s going on in this movie. My Ratings: [Average /3
—Thomas Dickensheets, age 43
Positive—I took my 8 4th grade Cub Scouts and their parents to see this movie as a reward for 6 months of very hard work. It gave me an opportunity to talk with the boys about the Scout Law, which in my opinion is a reflection of Godly character, and how Rodney and his friends lived it out. All of us had a great time watching the movie… the parents most of all as we listened to the boys rolling in their seats at the “farty” scene. Great fun and opportunity for conversation with the entire family. My Ratings: [Better than Average/4
—Pamela Burley, age 50
Positive—What a fun movie. First, hats off to the animators for an incredible job of designing Robot City—a creative robotic and metallic world. Secondly, the voices and characters matched beautifully. Fun “Rube Goldberg” elements fill the film and there is plenty of action to move the story along. Many things are in the movie that adults would catch quickly—commentary on airport screening, an ice capades dance on ball bearings, a Mel Gibson “Braveheart” tribute, and the simple pleasures of a cup of hot coffee. My wife and I were continually chuckling. Of course there is a lot there for kids and our two daughters were laughing throughout the show.

Through the movie are themes that parents and kids can talk about afterwards. Perseverance is a thread from the beginning—dedication to a noble idea and the work needed to make it a reality. Another good theme that gave us a lot of discussion is the “old” versus the “new.” With a pre-teen in our house facing peer pressures, this was one that touched on home, church and school. The “see a need, fill it” is one that has many biblical examples and real life application. Instead of waiting for someone else to do a job, you step in and lead the way. Despite being robots, there is a strong, loving mother and father at the head of the family and a healthy model of how to let your child move into the world. Finally, the hodgepodge of robot friends show love and dedication to one another, and a willingness to take risks to make a difference in their world. A charming movie that will end up in our DVD library.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Jeff Mc, age 45
Positive—We had a large group go see to Robots (2 couples, 2 nine year olds, and 2 eight year olds) and we all thought is was a great family movie. Besides the terrific computer animation, the message of the film was of love and encouragement. The main character robot learns that his parents believe in him, and through that love, he gains the strength to combat the movie’s villains. He is a good son and a good friend who uses his confidence and abilities to save the town! There is a little “fart humor” but it’s good natured and lots of funny one liners to tie it together. There will be plenty to talk about when you get home concerning the powers of good and evil. We recommend this family film.
My Ratings: Good/4
—Holley Wright, age 41
Positive—This movie is perfect for any age. There was nothing offensive in this movie. I loved it!
My Ratings: Excellent/5
—Derety Sanchez, age 34
Positive—My 5 year old and 9 year old boys loved “Robots,” and I enjoyed it as well. As the reviewer said, anything that even remotely might be inappropriate would sail miles over a single-digit child’s head. As a rule, I very much dislike gas-passing humor in movies, but the way this one is handled was funny. An additional moral message is right at the center of the movie: how the world focuses on making people discontented, so that they’re in a mood to buy. This is true on many levels, not just in the arena of consumerism. It started with Satan persuading Eve that she just did not have enough, that God had not given her enough; what she really needed was that fruit. Good movie.
My Ratings: Good/4½
—Dan Phillips, age 49
Positive—Our family enjoyed this film about following your dreams and using your talents. It was good to see that the father, who was a dishwasher, was seen in a very positive light and that he encouraged his son to go after his dream even if it meant possibly not attaining it. We didn’t laugh at the bathroom humor and the word idiot was used twice, but overall it was well done and very positive.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Maria Gottuso, age 36
Positive—This is a great film for all ages! It’s funny and tame enough for the younger set, yet sophisticated enough to entertain the adults. Like Pixar, 20th Century Fox is good about creating computer-animated films that appeal to both grown-ups and kids.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Shannon H., age 23

Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was very funny, and I loved it! There are a few things that would be inappropriate for some younger kids, but I think most kids over eight could handle it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Linda, age 14
Positive—At first I thought this movie was going to be boring, but after the first 15 minutes of it, I loved it. It was a sweet story with a good meaning. I highly recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Good / 4
—Kate, age 11
Positive—This film is a wonderful film for kids. I thought the CGI effects were excellent. It’s a great story for kids to see because it’s full of the attitude that “you can do whatever you put your mind to.” Everyone should go see it no matter what age.
My Ratings: Good/4½
—Jackie S., age 16
Positive—This movie is very funny, although the funny stuff doesn’t really start until the middle point of the movie, kids will love the “farty” jokes by Aunt Fanny. This movie is from the creators of Ice Age, and in my opinion, it’s almost just as good.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Kurt, age 13
Neutral—This film was passible. The animation and filmography was awesome, as was the clever metal world the characters inhabit, but the characters themselves and plot felt weak. I myself am used to many a long film, but I found myself looking at my watch wondering how much was left of this one. I felt it didn’t live up to my expectations put in place by “Finding Nemo” and “Shrek,” though there were a few roller coaster-like scenes that were enjoyable in the cinema. In the beginning a few people chuckled here and there, but for the most part everyone over the age of 8 was mostly silent (However, they found the Aunt Fanny jokes and Fender’s cross-dressing hysterical). The “arm fart” sequence was followed by all the kids in the audience proving their skill at this “art.” As everyone has mentioned, all the inappropriate content that pops up now and then would fly over most children’s heads. Overall, for the intended audience, this film is a good way to spend an hour or so, but I wouldn’t label this one “fun for the whole family”
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Emma, age 16
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. I went with my little brother and the “older” jokes went totally unnoticed to them. The movie was great and the roller coaster was fun to watch and so were the dominoes. I recommend it to any tike and hope that all can watch it.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Matt M., age 15
Positive—This movie is very funny and family-friendly. With the exception of a few potty jokes and sexual innuendos (which takes some good attention to catch). It is an appropriate movie for Christians. This is also some of Robin Williams’ best comedy work.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Chris Sharp, age 15
Positive—Robots was a good film that the family would enjoy on a Friday night together. The story was nicely put together, the plot had some problems, but overall it was good. Robots kept you concentrated on the movie because of the flow with the storyline. Scenes such as the Domino Effect and the Transportation Device made everyone enjoy themselves. It’s fun to watch 5 minute long effects such as these, because cause and effect plays with your mind and gets you to settle down.

The city is composed of nothing but metal objects, but we don’t know why. The reason for the entire world being robots wasn’t explained. Being a child’s film, no one seemed to mind, but critics would raise an eyebrow towards it. The exception of many funny moments cleared up your concerns about this though, so it was enjoyable nonetheless.
6 out of 10. Many will see it but those who don’t want to shouldn’t be forced to view. Doesn’t live up to the previous masterpieces of animations such as Shrek or Finding Nemo, but it ranges in the top 10 without a doubt. My Ratings: [Average/3
—Scot Brown, age 10
Positive—This movie is a definite family movie. Its has its parts though were it seems to drag on. But this movie teaches people a lot about determination and persevering through even the hard times, even when all things look impossible.
My Ratings: Good /4½
—Rachel, age 14
Positive—This is a very funny movie, and a very good family movie. There are some bad words so you should talk to your kids before or after the movie.
My Ratings: Average /4
—Joshua, age 8
Positive—This movie is so good! Funny and cool. See it! But the plot is confusing for kids under 4 years old…
My Ratings: Good /4
—Alvin, age 8
Positive—I thought it was a really cool movie and would see it as many times as I could, cause it’s real funny.
My Ratings: Better than Average/5
—Emily, age 10
Positive—This movie was very funny and I loved it! There are a few things that would be inappropriate for some younger kids, but I think most kids over eight could handle it.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—Linda, age 14
Movie Critics
…builds in a few sly sexual innuendoes and occasional potty humor…[but] It contains bucketfuls of positive messages…
—Tom Neven, Plugged In
…wildly inventive, sweetly subversive… folds in an unlikely combination of themes-corporate monopolies, plastic surgery and genocide-and still manages to be funny…
—Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune
…Characters are weak, but nonstop action and terrific CG animation should keep audiences well distracted…
—Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
…Like “Finding Nemo,” this is a movie that is a joy to behold entirely apart from what it is about…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…Robots’ mechanical plot is refurbished from other, better, movies… lacks the abundant, timeless charm of Nemo or The Incredibles…