If there’s one group of people who’ll be happy with “Robots”, it’s Pixar. With the exception of Dreamworks’ “Shrek” franchise, Pixar is the sole king of the CG animated film hill with every other attempt at the genre yielding efforts ranging from light diversions (Ants, Ice Age) to embarrassing failures (Shark Tale, Final Fantasy). Now comes “Robots” which is without a doubt the worst of the lot and the first time I’ve felt like walking out of one of these CG animated films.
The problem is not in the animation though – the designers and graphics people have done a splendid job to to create a stunning looking robotic world filled with funky designs and colourful vistas. The film’s best sequences are the roller coaster like rides exploring this mechanical wonderland and all its levels. The reason the film is so terrible though is quite simply the script or lack there of. Recycling elements from every other animated movie ever made, everything feels more second hand than the robots on display.
That includes the humour which is purely of the toilet variety including jokes about asses, how ugly the villainess is, and even a farting sequence. For the under 6’s these will go down like a house on fire but for adults it’ll make you long for the likes of “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles”. The story too follows all the usual traps and is poorly paced – numbingly slow in parts, rapidly fast in others to the point that it feels like there’s significant gaps. None of the talent inspire, all stifled by a dull script save Williams desperately trying to add humour and failing (his Britney Spears sight gag is the film’s sole laugh).
It’s such a shame that more thought wasn’t put into coming up with a more compelling and original story. “Ice Age”, for all its clunky animation, at least had a genuine heart and a few great sequences like the dodos. This has absolutely nothing remarkable about it at all save for the visual appeal. The score, editing, and direction are all unremarkable or oddly amateur. The entertainment value is minimal and only for those easily distracted. This is one film that belongs on a junk heap.