PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2005, 12:00am

After the delightful, visually appealing film, Madagascar, we now have Robots - an ambitious and highly entertaining project from the makers of Ice Age.

Directed by Chris Wedge, the film focuses on Rodney (voice by Ewan McGregor), a young, enthusiastic robot who travels to Robot City to pursue his dream job of becoming an inventor.

There, he meets a group of robotic misfits, including the bouncy Fender (Robin Williams) and his chirpy sister, Piper (Amanda Bynes).

Fender and his mates are under imminent threat of being sent to the scrap-heap by Ratchet (Greg Kinnear), a corporate tyrant who runs the Bigweld Company.

The evil Ratchet has a ruthless plan to stop producing replacement parts for dated robots so that he can sell expensive upgrades.

With the help of Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful and kind-hearted robot who works for Ratchet, Rodney and the Fender gang team up with other underprivileged robots to fight for survival.

Visually, Robots is almost flawless. The film's production designer William Joyce - finding inspiration in junkyards, factories, second-hand stores and even a meat grinder - creates an innovative mechanical world that comprises of a wide variety of fun robotic characters and thrilling transportation systems.

Fender, whose head and limbs routinely fall off, ranks alongside the hilarious donkey in Shrek. The scene in which Fender dances and sings Dancing in the Oil is classic cartoon humour.

Robots will be best remembered as an inspiring tale about a courageous young man who refuses to go along with the demands of advertisers and greedy corporations (the motto of the Bigweld Company is 'Why be you when you can be new?').

The film is a poignant reminder that it is not about what gadgets we own or what clothes we wear when it comes to leading a good life. It is about remaining true to ourselves.

With the film Valient - possibly another fun animation - about to hit the screen later this month, it's not unlikely that the best movies this summer will be animated films.

Robots is now showing