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Robots UMD

| UMD

The delightful designs of William Joyce (writer/illustrator of such popular children's books as George Shrinks and Bently & Egg) make Robots a joy to behold. The round, bouncy, and ramshackle forms of hero Rodney Copperbottom and his computer-animated friends are part of an ornate a universe of elaborate contraptions and gleaming metallic surfaces. Rodney (voiced with a hint-of-Scottish lilt by Ewan McGregor) is a young inventor who sets off for Robot City to work for Big Weld (Mel Brooks), the supreme inventor of the mechanical world. But upon his arrival, Rodney discovers that Big Weld has disappeared, and the slick, shiny Ratchet (Greg Kinnear, As Good As It Gets) is phasing out the spare parts that lumpen robots need to function and replacing them with "upgrades"--expensive and glistening new exoskeletons. Unfortunately, from this suitable beginning, the story degenerates into a series of action sequences that make very little sense, though some are kinetic and fun (though others are only there to serve the inevitable Robots video game). Most kids will enjoy the sheer visual pleasure of the movie, but compared to the narrative richness of Pixar movies like The Incredibles and Toy Story, that pleasure is pretty short-lived. Also featuring the voices of Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Bynes, Jennifer Coolidge, and many, many more. --Bret Fetzer

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