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the latest razz video and dvd reviews: THESE TIN MEN LACK A HEART; ROBOTS.

Byline: by rick fulton

THE madness inside Robin Williams' head turns Robots from a so-so animated film into a pretty good one.

Sure, it's colourful and has an amazing vocal cast, but there is something quite tinny about Robots.

The makers created the hugely enjoyable romp that was Ice Age, but with Robots everything seems hollow.

The film starts promisingly enough with the birth of Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor), who grows up in a suburb of the bustling metropolis of Robot City, dreaming of being an inventor and meeting his hero, inventor Big Weld(Mel Brooks).

To impress his idol, Rodney creates Wonderbot, a multi-tentacled mini-marvel to help his father (Stanley Tucci) in the kitchens of the local diner.

He heads to Robot City to impress Big Weld and encounters an obsolete gang of street-smart robots called the Rusties, one of whom, the maniacal Fender (Robin Williams), becomes Rodney's new best friend.

Fender introduces the wide-eyed newcomer to his sister Piper (Amanda Bynes) and Aunt Fanny (Jennifer Coolidge). But there's something clanging in Robot City.

Where is Big Weld? ? And what has Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) and his monstrous mother, Madame Gasket (Jim Broadbent), got up their iron sleeves?

With the slogan, "Why be you when you can be new", it seems robots who don't get upgraded will end up on the scrap heap.

While the set-pieces, characters and general look are good, Robots isn't in the same league as DreamWorld's Shrek or Disney Pixar's Toy Story.

For while there are some nice visual gags - the residents of Rivet Town buff their lawns rather than mow them, and the Star Map for Robot City includes a residence for Britney Gears - there is something lacking in Robots . a heart.

Like the Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz, the makers have forgotten that the best animated films also have a rivetting story, not just well-computerised rivets.

It falls to Robin Williams (in his best cartoon role since the original Aladdin) to save this film.

Without him, it wouldbe a dud. DVD Extras: Aunt Fan's Tour Of Booty, Discontinued Parts three deleted scenes, Sneak Peek: Ice Age 2. Also available to buy DVD pounds 19.99/DVD box set with Ice Age pounds 24.99/VHS pounds 16.99/UMD pounds 19.99
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 23, 2005
Words:384
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