Robots in Film
A Complete Illustrated History
of Robots in the Movies

2003 to 2007

Robots in Film
(chronological by film title)
Introduction | Early-1939 | 1940-1955 | 1956-1963 | 1964-1967 | 1968-1973 | 1974-1978
1979-1983 | 1984-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1997 | 1998-2002 | 2003-2007 | 2008-2010 | 2011-now

Robots in the Movies
Title Screen
Film/Year, Name of Robot and Film Description

Inspector Gadget 2 (2003)


Director Alex Zamm's direct-to-video, cartoonish non-animated sequel to the 1999 original Disney theatrical release featured the taglines:

  • "Inspect the Unexpected"
  • "Gadget Meets His Match"

Only D.L. Hughley returned from the original cast to be the voice of Gadget's talking Gadgetmobile (located on the car's dashboard). Matthew Broderick was replaced by French Stewart as the title character, who was again fighting his criminal mastermind nemesis Dr. Claw (Tony Martin) (always shrouded or in shadow, never fully visible) in the quiet city of Riverton: "America's Safest City."

G2 with Inspector Gadget

When the news broke that Dr. Claw had escaped from prison, Gadget assumed he would take the case. But Chief Quimby (Mark Mitchell) surprised Inspector Gadget by unveiling a new crime-fighter: G2 (Elaine Hendrix). G2 was a new, upgraded, all-robotic female officer designed to completely replace Gadget, who was experiencing glitches and malfunctioning issues and was overzealous in fighting crime.

G2 was introduced by Mayor Wilson (Sigrid Thornton) and Chief Quimby as the latest in crime-fighting technology - the next generation of gadget policing. G2 was dressed in a smart and sleek blue uniform and police hat, with a gold-plated G2 belt buckle. At times she required oil on her joints, and her finger sprouted a tube of lipstick for touch-up.

However, when G2 was threatened with deactivation, the two ended up working together to stop Claw's criminals plan (with a new weapon called a time-freeze ray) to steal a valuable Indian ruby, and $5 trillion worth of gold bars from the Riverton Federal Reserve, with the help of Gadget's niece Penny (Caitlin Wachs), her dog Brain, and the Gadgetmobile.

While apprehending Claw, Gadget and G2 switched chips in order to make Gadget work perfectly, leaving G2 to deal with the glitches.


G2 (Elaine Hendrix)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Terminator Series X, or T-X (Terminatrix)
The Terminator T-850

In this third film in the series from director Jonathan Mostow, the revised (but "obsolete design"), mono-syllabic speaking Terminator Model T-850 (Arnold Schwarzenegger), powered by two hydrogen fuel cells, was designed and reprogrammed (by the Resistance) to protect 20-something post-apocalyptic leader John Connor (Nick Stahl) and his future Resistance-second-in-command wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes).

Connor described the Terminator T-850 as "a robot from the future, he's living tissue over a metal skeleton."

It battled against a female, superhuman, sophisticated Terminator Model called T-X (Kristanna Loken), or Terminatrix, sent back to the year 2004 in modern-day Los Angeles.

The female T-X had arms (and fingers) that could morph into dangerous weapons, designed to kill. The android was made of poly-mimetic "morphing" material - the same as T-1000 (Robert Patrick) in the second film ("The T-X is polymimetic, able to take the form of anything it touches").

She could determine the identity of a person immediately with a sample of blood (DNA), and she had other advanced scanning capabilities. She could also remotely control various machines (including auto vehicles).

The T-X was incredibly sophisticated,

designed for extreme combat, driven by a plasma reactor and equipped with onboard weapons. Its arsenal includes nano-technological can control other machines. Its body chassis is heavily armored and hardened to withstand external attack...T-X is faster, more powerful and more intelligent. It's a far more effective killing machine...T-X is designed to terminate other cybernetic organisms.

The film reprised the famous line with a twist, the T-850's statement: "She'll be back," and his own: "I'm back."

In this film, both Terminators were destroyed by a massive hydrogen fuel-cell explosion ("You are terminated").


Terminatrix, or T-X

The Incredibles (2004)


The Omnidroid referred to a series of eleven intelligent and destructive renegade robots that were spherically-shaped with appendages (claws, lasers, etc.).

The battle robots were developed by the evil, disgruntled red-haired antagonist Syndrome (aka fan boy Buddy Pine and self-appointed IncrediBoy, with voice of Jason Lee) to eliminate superheroes. Each subsequent Omnidroid was a significant improvement over the former model.

Syndrome bragged about his newest invention, controlled remotely:

"It's bigger. It's badder. Ladies and gentlemen, it's too much for Mr. Incredible!"

The eighth model was the first to appear in the film, while the 11th remote-controlled version attacked the city of Metroville, as a demonstration of Syndrome's superhuman strength.


I, Robot (2004)

Sonny, an NS-5 (Nestor Class-5) Robot, and other NS-5's

From Australian director Alex Proyas, this futuristic film was inspired by the stories in the 9-part anthology of I, Robot stories from Isaac Asimov, penned in the 1940s.

The premise of the CGI/live-action thriller film was that a U.S. Robotics (USR) Corporation creation in the year 2035 - a humanoid NS-5 robot named Sonny (Alan Tudyk) with free will, was uncharacteristically suspected of the murder of its creator, Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), although it could have been a suicide.

The accusation was made by robot-hating Chicago homicide Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) - a cyborg himself with a robotic arm - and USR robot psychologist Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan), thereby breaking the First Law of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics (that "a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm"). It was revealed that Dr. Lanning had especially designed and ordered Sonny not to obey Asimov's three robotic laws, so that it would kill him (and V.I.K.I. - see next paragraph).

Lanning wanted the clues to lead Spooner (teaming up with Sonny) to discover a global takeover plot by the robots, led by USR computer mainframe mastermind V.I.K.I. (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence) (voice of Fiona Hogan). Indeed, the robots were no longer being programmed properly by V.I.K.I., due to the belief that some of humanity needed to be killed (those who promulgated war, poverty, and pollution, etc.) in order for mankind to survive its own self-destruction. After V.I.K.I. was destroyed (by an injection of virulent nanites), the revolting NS-5 robots were shut down.

As the film ended, the restored or normalized NS-5 robots were taken to a storage facility at Lake Michigan. Sonny approached the facility with a choice - to join them, free them, or lead them.

Sonny (NS-5 Robot)

Rottweiler (2004)

Rottweiler Police Dog

Director Brian Yuzna's sci-fi action/horror film was about a killer cyborg dog (a canine Terminator) - its tagline was composed of four simple words: "EAT. SLEEP. FETCH. KILL."

The action was set in the future, in the year 2018 in the desolate landscape of Spain. During his fugitive flight, prison camp escapee Dante (William Miller), an American refugee who was innocent and wrongly imprisoned for illegally infiltrating Spain's border, was pursued by a giant Rottweiler police dog that was programmed to kill.

In flashbacks, amnesiac Dante recalled events from the past - he had fatally shot the bloodthirsty, beastly dog (before it was made into a nightmarish, ruthless cyborg with jaws of steel) - when the sadistic prison warden Colonel Kufard (Paul Naschy) had ordered the animal to attack his Spanish girlfriend Ula (Irene Montala) and kill her.

Kufard revived and cybernetically enhanced the dog after its death, and had now sent the demonic dog (with evil blue eyes) on a quest to find and kill Dante after his escape. Dante's quest and goal was to reach Puerto Angel, to unite with his girlfriend. He believed Ula had been sent there to work as a prostitute in a brothel, but he had forgotten that she had already been killed.

By the film's conclusion, Dante killed Kufard (who had followed in a helicopter during the pursuit) - and engaged in a fight-to-the-death fiery struggle with the animal (with its flesh burned off, revealed only as a steel endo-skeleton - a concept borrowed from The Terminator (1984)).


Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

Giant robots

Writer/director Kerry Conran's directorial debut film was a significant yet gimmicky milestone, in that it was one of the first major films to blend live actors with digitized backgrounds and surroundings.

In the futuristic fantasy film's plot set in 1939 New York City at the film's start, robots sent by megalomaniacal, terminally-ill German scientist Dr. Totenkopf (deceased actor Laurence Olivier) attacked.

First was a squadron of giant airborne robots (inspired by a 1941 Superman cartoon by Max Fleischer called "The Mechanical Monsters"). They descended and became an army of 90 foot tall stomping Machine Age, radio-controlled robots (like metallic King Kongs). The robots marched down Fifth Avenue and sent out laser blasts (this was part of a world-wide attack on various cities).

Then there were other mechanical monsters with tentacles.

The madman's robotic army, led by a goggled, latex-clad leader or Mysterious Woman (Bai Ling) (revealed later to be a robot too, carrying out the deceased Totenkopf's plans), were plundering the generators and oil refineries of the world, as part of a plan to start life anew with a spaceship Ark after incinerating the Earth.

Giant Robots

Tentacled Mechanical Monsters

The Stepford Wives (2004)
See also earlier The Stepford Wives (1975)

Perfect "Stepford Wives"

The feminist satire was remade as a dark comedy almost 30 years after the original by director Frank Oz, with Nicole Kidman as the Katharine Ross character. She was a TV executive threatened to become an automaton housewife.

It also starred Matthew Broderick (as Nicole's husband), Bette Midler, Christopher Walken, and Glenn Close.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Marvin, a GPP (Genuine People Personalities) Prototype Android created by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

This feature-length film was an adaptation of Douglas Adams' classic wacky sci-fi satire, originally a 1970s BBC-radio series that became an early 1980s TV series hit and a best-selling series of books.

It featured a 6-foot tall, bubble- or moon-headed, all-knowing, permanently dour, pessimistic, and complaining Marvin the Paranoid Robot (Warwick Davis, voice of Alan Rickman) onboard the Heart of Gold starship.

Marvin purportedly had a "brain the size of a planet" in its head, with a face drawn to accentuate its sad features. Its miserable, self-pitying attitude was part of its programming that included GPP "Genuine People Personality."


ROBOTS (2005)

Rodney Copperbottom, and all the other robotic characters

An inventive animated film, it told about an entire mechanical universe of robots - in a post-apocalyptic world? -- including a young, enterprising, idealistic robot named Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) from the small town of Rivet Town. He was called an 'outmode' (he was an older model made from hand-me-down parts).

In a Wizard-of-Oz quest, he set out to find the mechanical wizard of Robot City, a metropolitan utopia, to get a job building robots with his heroic idol, industrialist inventor Bigweld (Mel Brooks).

Once there, he realized that evil industrialists had taken over, including vain, profit-driven Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) and his evil mother, the spider-like Madame Gasket (Jim Broadbent). Both wanted to rid the world of outmodes and replace them with new and perfect upgrades.


Rodney and Fender

Stealth (2005)

EDI (Extreme Deep Invader")

This big-budget, noisy futuristic action thriller from director Rob Cohen, a major box-office bomb, had a cautionary tagline about technological warfare: "Fear the Sky." The only bright spot about the film was that it became the first movie to be combined with a video game when it was released in the Sony PlayStation Portable's UMD format.

This lifeless but glossy film with a preposterous plot (weak sci-fi premise), one-dimensional characters (except for EDI), and inane dialogue, was a combinational retread of various flyer and other similar films, including:

  • the rogue HAL computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Wargames (1983), with its computer simulations
  • the Terminator's (1984) Skynet
  • Short Circuit (1986)
  • Top Gun (1986) (with loud aerial combat fight sequences resembling a video game, although character Ben declared: "I just don't think war should become a videogame")
  • Iron Eagle II (1988)

It told about three elite Navy fighter jet pilots who were testing an experimental, ultra-high-tech prototype, single-seater 'stealth' fighter plane called the F/A-37 Talon on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Philippine Sea:

  • Lt. Ben Gannon (Josh Lucas), a hotshot flyer
  • Lt. Henry Purcell (Jamie Foxx), street-smart
  • Lt. Kara Wade (Jessica Biel), tomboyish

A fourth flier was added to their squad by their commanding officer Captain George Cummings (Sam Shepard), although they were unaware that it was a computer-based, automated flight controller, designed by Dr. Keith Orbit (Richard Roxburgh). It was:

code-named "EDI" for Extreme Deep Invader (voice of Wentworth Miller) - an unmanned, 'perfect' aircraft with AI (artificial intelligence) - it was a UCAV (short for Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle)

The trio of flyers were worried that EDI (or "Eddie", also nicknamed "Tin Man") would replace them. When EDI was struck by lightning during a storm, its software and functioning began to change and it went rogue. It started to act independently (and express sentient feelings with a mind of its own) like HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Trouble loomed in the form of various predictable plot elements, such as a government conspiracy, a risky rescue of one of the flyers in North Korea, and a global crisis that threatened the beginning of WWIII. EDI chose to sacrifice itself when it flew directly into an enemy helicopter - causing a massive explosion. However, post credits, it was evident, after a tracking shot over the wreckage, that EDI's CPU (brain) was still functioning.


EDI Refueling

EDI's Self-Sacrifice

EDI's CPU Still Functioning

Automatons (2006) (aka Death to the Automatons)

Various robot armies

Director and scripter James Felix McKenny's independent, low-budget sci-fi film (shot in Super-8 Black and White) termed the film's look "Robo-Monstervision." The film's tagline was:

"Men started this war. The machines will finish it."

It updated the post-apocalyptic robot-run-amok flick within another dystopic futuristic tale set on an inhospitable, contaminated Earth.

The character of the Girl (Christine Spencer), the one remaining survivor, lived alone in an underground bunker with a mini-army of antiquated robots -- various rattle-trap, broken robot assistants (resembling water-heaters with round heads and drainage pipes). The Girl was able to build her own robot army with help from her mentor, the Scientist (Angus Scrimm). She sent them out each day to battle against an unnamed Enemy Leader (Brenda Cooney).

The enemy leader was capable of also sending out a robot army and radio signals that turned the Girl's robots against herself.

(Daft Punk's) Electroma (2006)

Daft Punk robots

Two robots -- silver and gold helmeted, black leather-clad Hero Robots No. 1 and No. 2 (Daft Punk band members Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich, French dance music superstars) drove through the Southwestern American empty desert landscape in a 1987 Ferrari 412 on a quest to become human.

In the dialogue-less film, they entered a robot-inhabited town in Inyo City, California, where they went to a high-tech lab to unsuccessfully construct prosthetic latex human faces to place onto their motorcycle helmets.

Afterwards, they left town and went on a long, slow trudge across Salt Flats.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) (aka X-Men 3)


Director Brett Ratner's state of the art sci-fi adventure/thriller was the third chapter in the series.

In the film's opening Danger Room sequence, the X-Men (teacher Storm (Halle Berry) and substitute teacher Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) with young mutant students Rogue (Anna Paquin), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), and Kitty (Ellen Page), etc.) participated in a simulation training. The program was devised by the head of the School for Gifted Youngsters, Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart).

A giant metal Sentinel was created for the X-Men to fight against. These mutant-hunting Sentinel robots were designed to hunt down, capture, and/or kill the X-Men.

To end the simulated session, superstrong Colossus threw Wolverine (who had commanded him, "Throw me, now!") at the Sentinel and single-handedly decapitated it with his long metal-claws. Its giant robot head fell back to the ground, as Wolverine emerged from behind it and announced: "Class dismissed."

(l to r, Wolverine, Colossus)

Sentinel head,

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

DOR-15 (or Doris) and Carl

This Walt Disney Studios computer-animated 3D-film, based on the best-selling children's book by William Joyce, and with a Back to the Future storyline, contained two robotic characters:

  • DOR-15 (aka Doris or Helping Hat) (voice of Ethan Sandler) - a robotic retro bowler hat with mechanical, tentacled arms (with rotating claws), a partner-in-crime with the Bowler Hat Guy (Stephen Anderson)
    When reactivated, the villainous DOR-15 became megalomaniacal, intent on conquering and dominating the world, until 12 year-old orphan/inventor Lewis (voices of Jordan Fry and Daniel Hansen) declared that he never invented her - and she disappeared forever
  • worrywort android Carl (voice of Harland Williams), the witty and charming Robinson family robot of the retro-futuristic world of Todayland



Transformers (2007)

Optimus Prime, Autobots, Decepticons and other robots

In this loud Michael Bay sci-fi thriller, two robotic clans, that had fought in an ancient civil war against each other on the planet Cybertron, were now in a quest to take over the universe and Earth. They were both searching for an all-powerful, intergalactic magic cube called the Allspark (revealed to be in the Arctic). The two clans or races were:

  • the heroic and benevolent Autobots, led by good Transformer Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen)
  • the evil Decepticon robot race, led by Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving)

The live-action film featured a headliner battle between the two metallic autobot robot leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron.

In the film, there were also metamorphic, extra-terrestrial robots -- cars and helicopters were transformed or shape-shifted into giant robots in an instant.

Transmorphers (2007)

Transmorphers, or Z-bots

Director Leigh Scott's and Asylum Entertainment's cheap, straight-to-video/DVD sci-fi alien invasion film was intended to be a derivative 'mockbuster' - deliberately piggy-backing on the success of director Michael Bay's big-budget Transformers (2007).

It was followed by a prequel-sequel, another direct-to-DVD release titled Transmorphers: Fall of Man (2009) (aka Transmorphers 2), another rip off of the more popular sequel: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).

The setting was the post-apocalyptic year of 2337, over 300 years after an oppressive race of transmorphing mechanical robots (piloted by aliens) took over the planet Earth in the year 2009 and had destroyed civilization, by darkening the sky and forcing humans to live underground. They had come from a world 20 million light-years away.

A team of human resistance rebels planned to take the planet back. However, they soon realized that their opponent, the deadly robotic force, was not only piloted by aliens. In fact, the aliens had become one with the robots. The alien-robots (or Z-bots) had various capabilities:

  • transmorphing - the ability to change into different shapes, including the landscape, buildings, vehicles, or reveal various weapons
  • brain scanning - to read the minds of humans
  • fuel cells - power units, that also were equipped with tracking devices

The resistance movement decided to cryogenically unfreeze ex-court-martialed soldier Warren Mitchell (Matthew Wolf), an heroic rebel warrior and freedom fighter, to lead the war against the robots. He and his partner Itchy (Griff Furst) and military adviser Flight Commander Xandria Lux (Shaley Scott) teamed up to capture one of the Z-bots, and use it to upload a virus to shut down the other robots from a central control radio tower (ultimately revealed to be another giant robot!).

In one of the film's twists, Mitchell was revealed to be an android-cyborg, built by resident scientist Dr. Voloslov Alextzavich (Michael Tower), with human emotion capabilities ("I made you too human. I gave you the ability to feel, care, love. And most importantly, I gave you the one desire that the machines stripped away from humanity - hope"). In the conclusion, Mitchell sacrificed himself to destroy the tower, shut down all of the other robots, and save his team.

Transmorphers (or Z-Bots)

Warren Mitchell
(Matthew Wolf) - Android

Robots in Film
(chronological by film title)
Introduction | Early-1939 | 1940-1955 | 1956-1963 | 1964-1967 | 1968-1973 | 1974-1978
1979-1983 | 1984-1986 | 1987-1990 | 1991-1994 | 1995-1997 | 1998-2002 | 2003-2007 | 2008-2010 | 2011-now

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