This weekend, director Neill Blomkamp adds a new member to an exclusive club: movies with really cool robots. It’s a cross-section of movies big and small that drive the story forward with characters made of metal and wire. Sometimes they’re menacing, sometimes they’re hilarious, but the best movie robots are always unforgettable.
In honor of Blomkamp’s movie, Chappie, I’ve ranked my 25 favorite movie robots of all time. It wasn’t an easy task. There are so many subtle differences you have to consider. Is a cyborg a robot? Is an alien a robot? For example, Darth Vader is “more machine than man,” just like RoboCop. Are they both robots? In the end I went with my gut. If the character felt like a robot, or its robotic nature added something to the movie, it made the list. Also, this is (once again) a personal list. I didn’t grow up on Westworld or The Day the Earth Stood Still. I never really felt like Blade Runner‘s replicants were robots. So it’s a little weird and surprising but hopefully that’s why you want to check it out. Hit the jump to find out the 25 Best Movie Robots of All Time.
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Wednesday, Lego announced the two latest sets to be created under the “Ideas” banner. These are sets that are imagined by fans, voted on by fans, and then judged by a group of Lego employees. Every year, a few new sets are picked that get turned into actual Lego Ideas sets. Previous examples are the Back to the Future Delorean and Ghostbusters Ecto-1. Well the two newest ones are both based in pop culture, and both are incredibly awesome.
Wall-E and Doctor Who are getting their own official Lego sets later this year. See photos and video of the Wall-E Lego and Doctor Who Lego below. Read More »
More than almost any Disney character in recent memory, everyone wants a Wall-E. He’s cute, he’s got personality, he’s helpful and he cleans up after you. What could be better than that?
Unfortunately, we’ll never own an actual Wall-E because they don’t exist. He’s a figment of the imagination of director Andrew Stanton and hundreds of other talented people at Pixar. There are some cool Wall-E toys though, and fans have even taken it upon themselves to build ultra-realistic versions of the robot.
Disney has now done something right in the middle, releasing a “U-Command” Wall-E, which is remote controlled by an infrared waves. It has all kinds of articulations in the hands, face, voice controls and more. Check out the U-Command Wall-E Remote Control video below. Read More »
There’s been many a fan-made LEGO Wall-E, but none created by one of the people who worked on the film. Angus MacLane has been working for Pixar for years — he’s credited as animator on many of the company’s films, going back to Geri’s Game and A Bug’s Life. He directed recent short works such as Small Fry and the great Toy Story of Terror! special. And he’s a LEGO enthusiast, who has submitted his own Wall-E design for review through LEGO Cuusoo.
(For those unfamiliar with the LEGO Cuusoo process, designers can submit plans and models for potential LEGO sets, and those scoring 10,000 votes are reviewed quarterly by the company, with the potential for one to be picked to market as an actual product. That’s how the Back to the Future DeLorean came to be on shelves.)
Check out MacLane’s design below, with a link to his Cuusoo page to vote. Read More »
Michael McMaster from Bakersfield California decided to try to build a working life-size replica of Pixar’s WALL-E. McMaster belonged to the R2D2 Builders Club and decided to try to test his skills to recreate that other robot voiced by Ben Burtt. Since Star Wars was a live-action film, the R2 builders have a ton of real life prop and blueprint references to work off of. But WALL-E exists only in the computer, so they needed to create a design out of screen-grabs and various pieces of concept art that had been released by Pixar. The resulting remote controlled robot took five years to complete (or, so far — he’s still “working” on improving the robot). Watch a video of WALL-E in action after the jump.
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For all the hate, garbage and stupidity the Internet brings us on a daily basis, every once in a while it provides a global platform for something awesome. In this case, Jon Negroni‘s Pixar Theory. Negroni wrote a post that has been circulating since last week which goes through every single Pixar movie since Toy Story and surmises they’re all set in the same universe.
So, for example, the theory states Brave sets a precedent for why animals can interact with humans, which explains a lot of Ratatouille, which maybe inspired the characters in Up to invent tech to communicate with their animals, which possibly inspired the beginnings of Buy-N-Large from Wall-E, and so on and so on. It’s obviously much more detailed than that and I totally don’t believe it’s “real,” from Pixar’s perspective, but it’s a fun read that does make some sense.
Below, we’ll link to the original post and even show you a video that details it. Read More »
Many who watched the trailer for Joseph Kosinski‘s upcoming sci-fi film Oblivion might have had the same lingering question. “Haven’t we seen this movie before?” The aesthetic is certainly similar, but many sci-fi films are. It’s the story that rings a bell. A lone wolf, cleaning up a desolate Earth after the planet was destroyed. Hmm. Wait a minute, it’s the same thing as Wall-E!
Andrew Stanton’s Oscar-winning 2008 Pixar film seems to share a very similar DNA with the upcoming Tom Cruise action film, and YouTube user Giant Mimosas took the visuals from the former and audio of the latter creating an eerily perfect mash-up that’s both funny and clever. Check it out below. Read More »
Going by Pixar’s timeline, we’ve got about 800 years until WALL-E is a reality. Thanks to California resident Mike Senna, we’re a tad ahead of schedule. Senna spent the last two years building a life size, working WALL-E that has to be seen to be believed. Since actual materials, decals and parts from WALL-E don’t exist, he was forced to build the entire thing from scratch and the results would likely make everyone from John Lasseter to Andrew Stanton proud. Check out the video and more after the jump. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The release of Inside Out is an invitation to revisit all the films from Pixar, going back to the studio’s 1995 debut Toy Story. That movie changed the landscape of feature animation with stunning immediacy; after Pixar hit the scene nothing was the same. The twenty years since have given us a total of fifteen animated films from the studio, and we can’t resist the urge to do a little comparison between them. Read our own Pixar ranking, below.
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This weekend saw the release of Pixar’s latest film, Brave, a movie that easily won the weekend, garnering an overall “A” CinemaScore from appreciative audiences. Still, at only 74 percent on RottenTomatoes (Pixar’s second worst), and a 7 out of 10 from Germain Lussier, it is clear there is a bit of room for dissent.
Out there in audience-land, did you notice something a little “off” about Brave? Perhaps there are lessons that can be learned, or conversations to engage in?
To provide some context, and on the off chance we have completely different taste, here are my top five Pixar efforts:
3. Toy Story
4. Finding Nemo
5. Monsters, Inc.
Until now, the only Pixar film I flat out didn’t enjoy was Ratatouille, though I admit to only having seen it once, and folks say I’d like it much more if I were to re-visit. Even Cars 2 had redeeming qualities. I can truly say I’ve never found a Pixar film entirely lacking, and that statement includes Brave. There’s no question the film had amazing visuals, setting a new standard for excellence within the animation genre. Unfortunately, the story lacked a bit of … what’s the word I’m looking for? Ooomph. As such, I’m compelled to break down where I feel the problems were, if only to restore everyone’s favorite animation house to the glory they so richly deserve.
One final note, just to head off the obligatory “comparing Brave to the rest of Pixar’s work isn’t entirely fair” argument, we’re in complete agreement there. It’s not fair, and in many ways Pixar’s own ambition and commitment to excellence have raised the bar for all movies. So no, Brave isn’t a bad movie on merit, it’s merely an average one, which animation houses make all the time without compelling anyone to write a 3,000 word article on the subject. But within the greater context of Pixar’s previous work, Brave does come up short, and I think we’ve got a bead on the reasons why.
Note: Massive SPOILERS follow, naturally.
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