PG Dir: Chris Wedge | Twentieth Century Fox | 89 min.
Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
Even as a small robot, Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) has dreamed of being an inventor and creating an invention that would help all of his fellow robots. He wants to invent to make the world a better place, not to become rich. He also dreams of meeting the robot who inspired him to want to help the world, the famous master inventor Bigweld (voiced by Mel Brooks). Rodney has always wanted to go down to Bigweld’s office, where the door is always open to new ideas and present his handiwork. When he advances a little, he invents a small robot that can make countless tasks simpler to carry out. So he heads off to the big city and runs into Fender (voiced by Robin Williams), an out of control robot who quickly becomes his friend. But when Rodney learns that Bigweld’s is now run by a robot who only eyes the bottom line, his dream is snuffed out. Or can Rodney somehow manage to fulfill his dream, even against all odds?
The wave of computer animation continues, as Blue Sky Studio follows up their prehistoric hit Ice Age with a picture that is a little more futuristic. Robots has some stiff competition to measure up to, such as Shrek, Toy Story, and Finding Nemo, but does it hold its own? I have an interest in robotics, at least in an Asimov sense, so I made sure to catch Robots in the theatrical run. I wasn’t bowled over, but I had fun and as expected, the movie had a lot of creative, well crafted visuals. As I revisited Robots for this home video release, I was much more entertained and that is rare. But it is true, I enjoyed Robots even more the second time, when I could take the time to scope out all the little details and pick up on more of the subtle dialogue. In the end, Robots doesn’t dethrone Pixar, but it is a blast and the entire family is sure to love it. Fox’s DVD has all the goodies we could want, so Robots earns a high recommendation, a purchase is more than worthwhile.
Video: How does it look?
Robots is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. We’ve come to expect near perfection from these computer animation features, so Robots had big shoes to fill. Fox has more than delivered however, with a transfer that is so close to flawless, it still deserves our highest score. The print is pristine, of course and no signs of softness are evident. The image is so clean and so sharp, even the smallest details are crystal clear, which is good, since the visuals are so complex here. I did see some very minor quibbles here and there, but very minute stuff, not even worth the hassle. I was dazzled by how awesome Robots look here, so kudos to Fox for another top notch transfer that is sure to delight viewers.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release boasts dual 5.1 surround options, so fans of both Dolby Digital and DTS are bound to be thrilled with this edition. Robots is a perfect film to show off a home theater with, thanks to the sheer depth and volume of audio to be heard. The robotic world is filled with noises, from small clanks to loud whirrs, with all steps in between represented. The DTS option brings the world of Robots to life in grand fashion, in one of the most enjoyable soundtracks I’ve heard in a while. Not to knock the Dolby Digital track, as it too sounds terrific, but by far, the DTS is the track of choice here. This disc also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The director of Robots, Chris Wedge provides his thoughts on an audio commentary track, in which he is joined by producer William Joyce. Wedge spends a lot of time on the development of the material, as well as his take on the robots as characters. I enjoyed this session and while a tad dry at times, if you liked the movie, you should like this track also. A second commentary track is home to numerous Blue Sky Studio production staff, but it is so crowded at times, it is hard to listen. Meet the Bots offers very cool interactive profiles of the characters, while Aunt Fanny’s Tour of Booty is a bonus animated short. This disc also includes a couple of other featurettes, the original Robots test, and a few deleted scenes.
- (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: MPEG-2
- Audio: Dolby Digital
- Audio: dts
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set