Directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha, starring the voices of Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Jim Broadbent, Dianne Wiest, Stanley Tucci, Drew Carey, Jennifer Coolidge, Will Denton, Greg Kinnear, Jay Leno, Tim Nordquist and Alan Rosenberg.
While delivering some wonderful sequences and presenting a lively array of characters, 'Robots' trails behind other animated blockbusters. Meandering along at a leisurely pace, you can't help feeling that it would have benefited from a serious injection of enthusiasm to liven up its spirit.
'Robots' follows the adventures of small-town robot Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor) who has decided to make his way to the big bad world of Robot City, in order to prove himself as an inventor. But he soon finds that the big city is not all that it had promised to be. His idol, corporation giant Mr Big Weld (Brooks), has somehow disappeared off the face of the planet, leaving the evil Phineas T Ratchet (Kinnear) to take over the empire and wreak destruction on the robot community.
Ratchet and his scheming mother have decided to phase out all the old robots by making spare parts a thing of the past. Rodney, who is held together by spare parts, promises to put a halt to Ratchet's gallop, outraged at the notion that it's either a shiny new upgrade or a trip to the scrap yard when the robots begin to age.
Rodney decides that a hero is called for and, with the help of new-found friends the Rusties and Cappy (Berry), he sets off in search of Big Weld, whom he knows will want to help him fight for lowly robots like himself. It is the Rusties, particularly Fender (Williams) and Piper (Bynes), who provide much of the comic entertainment in the search and rescue sequence.
Williams is, as usual, his manic witty self in a role that has his name written all over it. Ably assisted by Jennifer Coolidge in a very witty cameo as Aunt Fanny, he injects some life into what is a slightly tame meander through Robot City. Paul Giamatti must also get a mention for wonderful voicing of Tim the Gate Guard, who holds the keys to the Big Weld Empire - and more than enjoys the power trip that goes along with it.
But the level of humour in this latest CGI offering trails far behind recent animated releases like 'The Incredibles', 'Shrek' and 'Toy Story'. The comedy is not is as sharp as its predecessors, and while the story isn't overly stretched, you tend to leave with the feeling that not a lot happened between the start credits and the end. It's the sort of movie that ambles quietly to its close, with just a little sprinkling of juvenile fun along the way.
While its message is a sincere one, 'Robots' is slow to get off the ground. That said, young kids will probably go wild for it, but for adults there just isn't the same attraction.