Exuberance is more important than what could be depressing message for viewers
“Robots” is manufactured for both adults and children; it pieces together biting social commentary with bad fart jokes.As it begins, bold animated colors reminiscent of “Finding Nemo” grab kids’ attention. Concurrently, adults get a laugh out of subtle references to: how making the baby is the most fun part, how they exclaim “push, push” while putting pieces together, and how they end up with one seemingly extra part – until they realize it’s a boy.The movie kicks into high gear when the hero, Rodney Copperbottom, leaves home to become a big-city inventor. As he enters the futuristic world of dizzying transportation and erratic characters, he discovers Robot City doesn’t live up to its inviting image on television.In fact, money-hungry capitalists have supplanted the friendly, humanistic Bigweld, a man who placed people (I mean robots) above profit. Bigweld’s motto, “No matter what you’re made of, you can shine,” empowered robots to feel good about themselves. Ratchet replaces the motto with “Why be you when you can be new?” Then he removes robots’ option to rebuild themselves from used parts by only offering “upgrades.”If “Robots” didn’t zing along with so much exuberance, the underlying societal message would depress audiences completely. But, luckily for us, spicy robotic choreography set to the likes of “Britney Gears” tunes gloss over messages of genocide and a general commentary about how advertisements have brainwashed us all into low self-esteem. Oh, and then there’s the portrayal of soulless corporations, which have learned caring for people is not profitable.But in the end, it all works out. Despite its social commentary, “Robots” is essentially a kids’ movie; never mind if it reminds adults how we really are robots dressed in bright, shiny outfits – who still laugh when people fart.
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