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Getting to the nuts and bolts

preview `Robots' from the makers of the smash hit `Ice Age' promises to be visual treat in the IMAX format.



Let's party Piper Pinwheeler (Amanda Bynes), Fender (Robin Williams) and Rodney Copperbottom shake a leg.

`Ice Age' about a woolly mammoth and a sabre tooth protecting a baby was a delightful tale and a smash hit as well. Now directors Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldhana have created a wonderful, colourful, clunky world of mechanical beings, `Robots.'

With star cast that includes heavies like Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Greg Kinnear, Robin Williams and the amazing Mel Brooks making his animation film debut, the film promises to be a visual treat.

Robin Williams returns to animation films after his rollicking performance in `Aladdin.' The movie also has cameo performances by Jay Leno and James Earl Jones.

The film is about Rodney Copperbottom, a young idealistic, inventor robot who would like to help robots everywhere. Wedge wanted someone appealing and funny and zeroed in on McGregor as "he brings an edge to Rodney that brings another dimension to the character. His melodic expressive voice was perfect for Rodney."

McGregor, who zapped us with his lovely singing voice in Baz Luhrmann's `Moulin Rouge,' and is all set to dazzle us with his light sabre swooshes in the third of Star Wars prequels, "The Revenge of the Sith" says of the role, "Rodney has a lovely kind of country naiveté and passion that was a lot of fun to play. Rodney's trip to Robot City reminded me of my own first visit to London."

Rodney is smitten by Cappy, a suave savvy robot played by Academy Award winner Halle Berry. Berry says, "Cappy has a lot of integrity. She stands up to the powerful evil robots to help the downtrodden."

The evil robots - a corporate tyrant Ratchet is played by Greg Kinnear while Jim Broadbent, easily one of the most underrated actors of our time, plays Ratchet's evil mum, Madame Gasket who runs a Robot Chop shop.

Broadbent used "a heightened voice. I raised it a couple of octaves, added an American accent and Gasket's voice was born."

After the venerable Scorsese and Robert De Niro lent their voice for `Shark's Tale,' you have the spoof king Mel Brooks lending his voice to `Robots.' In the movie, he plays the inventor who has lost his bearings, Bigweld.

"Bigweld is an iconic, yet warm figure, so we needed an iconic entertainment figure to play him," Wedge explains. "Mel Brooks has all the qualities we needed for Bigweld and more."

Brooks was more than happy to take on the role as he found the `Robots' script "heart-warming, positive and unique and I knew I was in good hands with Chris Wedge. Plus I knew my six-year-old granddaughter would love it."

Also in Robot city are a group of misfit robots constantly in need of repairs called the Rusties. Fender and his tomboyish sister Piper Pinwheeler lead the Rusties. There was no doubt in Wedge's mind as to who would play Fender. "Robin (Williams) is nothing less than a comedic genius who does nothing the same way twice. He is always fresh and funny and it comes as no surprise that he gives the predominant comedic."

With the movie coming out in IMAX DMR (digital remastering), the eye-popping visuals will pack a solid punch. So get ready to go to clunky city and meet with some of the coolest mechanic persons in town.

Mini Anthikad-Chhibber

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