Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Kids Movies About Robots - Buzz, Whirr, Beep!

We've been thinking about kids movies about robots. We just watched Astro Boy and I realized that we've watched a lot of family and kids robot movies.

With the upcoming DVD and Blue-Ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with BB-8 and a new Signature Edition of The Iron Giant available to pre-order, it's a good time for a roundup of our favourite kids movies about robots.

We've included fun movies that feature robot characters as well as movies that have a more techie focus on robotics.

  1. Astro Boy

    Astro Boy is a very good movie from 2009. Astro Boy is based on a 1950s and 60s manga series of the same name which was adapted for TV. It's deep both emotionally and in the way it presents the future relationships between humans and robots. A lot of thought has gone into planning the world presented in the film.

    Astro Boy is also packed with neat robots. The window cleaning robots were my favourites. The voice cast is very good. Bill Nighy is a real treat.

    Be aware that this movie does have a lot of violence, but it's not mindless.  
  2. Flubber

    Flubber was made in 1998 but its themes are still very relevant. Robin Williams plays the main character who is an inventor who is so involved in his work that other parts of his life suffer.

    Although the 'Flubber' material is the invention in the title, a lot of the story is concerned with an fantastic companion robot called Weebo. It's a science fiction film but provides a great platform for family discussion about the future relationship between humans and robots. 
  3. Roborex

    Roborex is a 2014 kids science fiction movie. The main character is an 11 year old child inventor. The plot is a time travel adventure involving RoboRex a robot dog from the future.

    Very entertaining and packed with technology. My kids loved RoboRex. 
  4. Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 is one of our real favourites. It's set in futuristic San Fransokyo. The lead character Hiro is a robotics enthusiast and his older brother introduces him to the researchers at his university robotics lab.

    There's lots of emotion, adventure and technology in Big Hero 6. Unlike a lot of robot movies there is a focus on the technology and how it gets created. Highly recommended. 
  5. The Iron Giant

    The Iron Giant is a fantastic film based on The Iron Man book by Ted Huges. I first watched the film, which was released in 1999, long before having children. My kids have now watched it several times.

    This film is suitable for young children but older ones will find plenty to get them thinking. It's a story of friendship between a boy and a giant robot that appears unexpectedly. This is a proper movie with plenty of depth. 
  6. Wall-E

    Another movie that has to be included. Wall-E is a robot movie from Disney Pixar from 2008 which stars Wall-E the waste clearance robot and his robot friend EVE. Humans have destroyed earth and abandoned it. Wall-E has been left behind to clean up.

    Wall-E is a funny family film with a romance story between Wall-E and EVE and lots of space adventure.
  7. Short Circuit

    Short Circuit is a classic family robot movie from 1986. Yes it looks very dated, and there are things that will make you cringe. But it's still worth a watch. It features a military robot with other plans!

    The movie features the classic line 'Johnny Five is Alive!' and that's reason enough to watch it. 
  8. Robots

    Robots has to be on this list. This is a funny family film set in Robot City which is inhabited by robots who live human-style lives but with robot touches. The animation is fantastic and the voice cast is very high quality and include Robin Williams. 

    Parents will be happy to watch Robots along with their kids and it will appeal to older kids too.
  9. Hugo

    Hugo isn't a typical robot movie. Instead it features an automaton.

    Automatons were the predecessor to robots. This is a fantastic family movie packed with clockwork technology. Hugo Cabret works to fix the automaton to make a connection with his past.

    This is a very throughtful and artistic movie. My kids were entranced by it and have watched it a couple of times now. 
  10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Of course the Star Wars movies are packed with droids. Robotics has come on a long way in the real world since C-3PO and R2-D2 first appeared. The robots have their own characters and were very innovative when they first appeared.

    And BB-8 has been a huge success in The Force Awakens. We did take our kids to the cinema to see Star Wars VII but we'll definitely be watching the movie again at home (the others have been watched many times!) 

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