Flashback Review: Robots

After “Ice Age” came out in 2002, now defunct production company, Blue Sky Studios worked on their next big projects. A sequel to the aforementioned big hit titled, “Ice Age: The Meltdown” & an underrated movie without humans known as “Robots.” Released in 2005, (same year Madagascar came out) Robots earned positive reviews from critics, families and movie goers alike. Besides good reception, the movie made enough cash at the box office. An animated short film called, “Aunt Fanny’s Tour of Booty” (that’s actually the title) focuses on the character with a huge backside who gives a tour in Robot City.

The reason why I wanted to write this article is because Ewan McGregor recently reprises his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a six-part mini-series based on the Jedi Master set nine years before the events of “A New Hope.” As a lifelong “Star Wars” fan, I’m open to see what’s in store for Obi-Wan’s six-part story arc. Most notably, his rematch with Darth Vader. Don’t forget to stream it on Disney Plus.

Today’s review contains no crucial SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.

Shiny & Rusty Elements

Shiny: The Main Cast including Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, (God bless his soul) Halle Berry, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, Harland Williams, Jennifer Coolidge, Greg Kinnear, Jim Broadbent & Mel Brooks all did a great job for their respective voiceover performances.

Other Cast Members such as Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Natasha Lyonne & Paul Giamatti all did a good job for their respective performances.

Fun Fact: Amanda & Paul both appeared in “Big Fat Liar.”

Chris Wedge did a decent job directing. He also provides the voice of Wonderbot.

Animation brings a few elements to life such as an immersive world, character models, fluid animation and environmental locations.

Humor contains visual gags, witty dialogue and risqué jokes that went over my head as a kid.

Fender isn’t an obnoxious moron like Dakota Fanning’s character in “War of the Worlds” constantly screaming, he’s funny as heck.

A fart scene made me laugh so hard.

There’s a chase scene involving Rodney. Ewan also had a similar chase scene in Michael Bay’s “The Island.”

Fender said, “Riddle me this.” “Batman Begins” came out in 2005.

Similar to his roles as Genie from “Aladdin,” “Batty Koda from “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest” & Ramon from “Happy Feet,” Robin improvised his dialogue.

A dominos scene is massive than another dominos scene from “V for Vendetta.”

Ratchet is probably named after half of the duo from “Ratchet and Clank.” Speaking of which, “Ratchet: Deadlocked” came out in 2005.

This isn’t the first time Robin played a robot. Does “Bicentennial Man” ring any bells?

Fanny paraphrases Al Pacino’s “Say hello to my little friend” from “Scarface.” Back in 2005, a video gamed titled, “Scarface: The World Is Yours” was in development.

Wonderbot has a duel with Gasket in lightsaber-esque battle. Ewan obviously had the high ground in “Revenge of the Sith.” By the way, a robot plays an audio clip of Darth Vader.

Ewan uses a southern accent for Rodney. He also did it in “Big Fish.”

Several famous faces like Jay Leno, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Al Roker, Terry Bradshaw, Stephen Tobolowsky & James Earl Jones have voiceover cameos.

There’s a dance party at the end. Unlike Disney’s expired Chicken McNugget “Chicken Little,” Robots’ ending was satisfying with well-written characters who aren’t cruel or idiotic. “Madagascar” also ended with a dance party.

Rusty: One character tells the lead to give up and go home. Later, the latter decides to do a one-eighty and resume his quest. Ugh! I hate it when a protagonist cancels his journey in a “We Are Done” trope, until he resumes in The Third Act.

During Ratchet’s meeting, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is played in the background. I hate it when it’s played in a movie or show, because it’s overused way too many times.

Another overused song is C+C Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now.” It worked in “Space Jam.” My friend Iain mentioned it’s a bad luck when you play this song in a movie, because it’s used in Chicken Little, “Jarhead” & “Evan Almighty.” The aforementioned movies minus Disney’s stinker bombed at the box office. Thank goodness Robots survived.

One more overused song is War’s “Low Rider.” It only worked in “Dazed and Confused,” “Friday,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds” & “A Knight’s Tale.” Thanks to George Lopez, he ruined it as the opening theme song to his show.

The Final Verdict: B-

Despite some hiccups, Robots is an average animated kids’ movie with redeeming qualities, indicating it still holds up. I was gonna give it a C, upon looking back at the positive aspects, but a B- will do thanks to the late Robin Williams’ performance, humor and Blue Sky taking a big gamble after “Ice Age” became a huge hit. If you wanna introduce your kids to Robots, give it a try.

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