March 19, 2005

MOVIES: Robots (Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha, 2005)

The animation is quite nice, but the story's a bit of a bore and there's nothing especially memorable about most of the voice acting. Robin Williams' manic shtick, in particular, has gotten very old. Jennifer Coolidge is funny in a small role, and as the principal villainess, Madame Gasket, Jim Broadbent (!) is effectively menacing.

Two sequences stood out for me. A trip on the "crosstown express" turns out to be a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption with gears and spirals and hammers that whack the characters from place to place; it's very clever and full of energy. And the full-cast dance sequence that ends the movie -- how many movies is that in the last few months that end with everyone dancing? -- allows the naturally stiff robots to loosen up a bit without seeming too fluid.

Worth seeing for animation fans and those with tiny tots who must be entertained; the rest can wait for cable and DVD, I think.

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