The film’s message – that dreams are important to pursue and are worthy goals for parents to support – is a good one.  Also important is the film’s focus on the importance of creativity, innovation and individuality, especially in an extreme-makeover-obsessed world where services, rather than goods, tend to be most prized.

Unfortunately, “Robots” also contains several child-inappropriate situations and comments.  In one extended scene, the characters all compete for the loudest flatulence, only to be defeated by a female character with an extremely large rear end named “Aunt Fanny” (which they also joke about earlier in the film).  I truly do not know when flatulence became an appropriate object of discussion – much less a bottom-line requirement for children’s films.  Other disappointing elements include some cross-gender jokes, like Rodney wearing a girl’s “chest” (complete with breasts) as a spare part and an evil female character with a man’s voice (and who is mistaken for a man, despite her huge breasts), along with the occasional bad-taste comment, like a beggar whose sign reads, “I got screwed.”

The standard for family films has dropped so low that it is now very rare indeed to see a good, animated film which does not contain bawdy humor.  This makes movies like “The Incredibles” all the more exceptional.  So, as with other “family” films that have vulgar content, I must give this one a mixed review.  It is creative and fun, and it has a nice message.  And, compared to adult films, its inappropriateness is minimal.  But they’re hardly the standard for decency.

As a parent – and a diehard Southern Girl who believes in decorum – I won’t be taking my child to see “Robots.”  I can understand why others won’t want to, either.  A big disappointment.

AUDIENCE:  Children and adults

OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT:

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content:  None
  • Language/Profanity:  Several jokes about a woman’s rear end (including her name, “Aunt Fanny”) and an entire scene that revolves around flatulence.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Woman talks in a man’s voice and is confused with a man; beggar sits on sidewalk and holds sign that says, “Got screwed;” parent “forgets” to attach a part to make a robot a “baby boy” and does so, off-screen, while baby’s eyes widen in surprise; boy needs “hand-me-downs” while growing up and is forced to wear the bust of a female (his cousin) throughout high school; woman refers to her “Brazilian wax;” character drops his pants in surprise (we see underwear); male character asks about a female character with “the sweet keester” (clearly meaning, her huge rear end).
  • Violence:  Several scenes in a dark “underworld” style place where robots are sent into a fiery abyss and destroyed, under the auspices of an evil woman; the husband of this woman is strung up on chains in an apparent torture mode; robots are fearful of and run from the “sweepers,” which scoop them up and take them to the “chop shop” to be destroyed.