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I wanna be an inventor! I wanna meet Bigweld! I wanna BE somebody!
~ Rodney Copperbottom

Rodney Copperbottom is the main protagonist of Robots.

He was voiced by Ewan McGregor, who also played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Edward Bloom in Big Fish, Mark Renton in Trainspotting and T2: Trainspotting, Lumière in the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and the title character in Christopher Robin.

Role

Rodney is first seen as an infant being put together by Herb and Lydia. As he grows up in Rivet Town, Rodney develops an interest in inventing and to be like his idol Bigweld.

One day, Rodney invents a small robot called Wonderbot to help Herb with his job of dishwashing at a restaurant. However, Wonderbot accidentally wreaks havoc in the restaurant's kitchen, which gets Herb into trouble with his boss and leaves him in debt.

Wanting to help his father pay for the damages. Rodney leaves Rivet Town and goes to Robot City with hopes of presenting Wonderbot to Bigweld Industries. However, Rodney is rejected and ejected from Bigweld Industries by Bigweld's second-in-command Phineas T. Ratchet, who is running the company in Bigweld's absence. Rodney falls in love with one of the company's employees, Cappy.

Rodney later befriends a group of outmoded robots named the Rusties, made up of Fender, his sister Piper, Lug, Crank, and Diesel, and lives with them in a boarding house ran by Aunt Fanny. Rodney uses his inventive skills to help fix other outmoded robots but is eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the shortage of spare parts (which Ratchet has scrapped in favor of upgrades, which are expensive). Rodney later gets a letter from Lydia saying that Herb in need of spare parts.

Rodney along with Fender attends the Bigweld Ball in hopes of meeting Bigweld and getting him to help them. However, Ratchet reveals that Bigweld will not be attending. Rodney then confronts Ratchet, who orders his security to eliminate Rodney. Fortunately, Cappy manages to help Rodney and Fender.

Rodney and Cappy go to Bigweld's mansion and try to convince him to return to Bigweld Industries. However, Bigweld turns them down and says that Ratchet's greed and business sense won over his idealism in the management of Bigweld Industries. Feeling hopeless, Rodney calls his parents with the intent of returning to Rivet Town, but Herb convinces his son to remain in Robot City and fight for his dreams. Fender (who had been captured by a Sweeper and taken to the Chop Shop, where spare parts are made into upgrades) reveals that Ratchet and his mother Madame Gasket plan to use Super Sweepers to destroy all the outmoded robots in Robot City.

Rodney along with Cappy, the Rusties, and Bigweld (who had a change of heart) go to Bigweld Industries and fires Ratchet, who knocks out Bigweld. Rodney and the others are pursued by Ratchet into the Chop Shop. They create improvised weapons before confronting Madame Gasket before she can throw Bigweld into her furnace. Rodney and the others are soon outnumbered by Gasket's workers. Fortunately, Piper and Aunt Fanny along with an army of outmode robots arrive to help. Whilst Wonderbot battles and defeats Gasket, Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super Sweepers and defeat Ratchet. Bigweld then regains ownership of Bigweld Industries.

Sometime later in Rivet Town, Rodney is named by Bigweld as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. As thanks for believing in him, Rodney gives Herb spare parts and a trombone-like instrument in order for Herb to fulfill his music dreams, which he had given up years ago.

Gallery

Trivia

  • After Rodney is dumped outside Bigweld Industries by the giant magnet, all the metal shavings from the slogan sign stick to his head, just like the old-time Magnetic Face toys.
  • Rodney Copperbottom's design is inspired by an old Evinrude outboard engine in Chris Wedge's garage, as well as on a Volkswagen van. An early version of Rodney makes a cameo, as the green robot with the jet pack, waiting in line during Bigweld's television show.
  • The net weight of the box in which the baby is delivered is 3.5 kilograms. This would mean that Rodney would have a birth weight of seven pounds, and eleven ounces.
  • At one point, a voicebox with a recording of Darth Vader's voice is found. Ewan McGregor, the voice of Rodney Copperbottom, played a younger Obi-wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, the third of which is released in 2005, the same year as this film.
  • David Spade was considered the role of Rodney Copperbottom.
  • The first film in which Stanley Tucci and Ewan MacGregor voice animated characters, the second being the live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017).
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was considered the role of Rodney Copperbottom.
  • Michael J. Fox, Sam Huntington, Jim Carrey, Tobey Maguire, James Franco, Matthew Fox, Matthew McConaughey, James Marsden, and Sean Faris were considered for the role of Rodney Copperbottom.
  • Topher Grace was considered for the role of Rodney Copperbottom.
  • Ewan McGregor's first-time voice acting in a theatrical film. Later he'd go onto voice the titular character of Valiant (2005), Obi-Wan Kenobi's spirit in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Lumiere the Candle in Beauty and the Beast (2017), and The Wish Collector in The Land of Sometimes.
  • During the scene where Rodney arrives in Robot City for the first time, a robot that resembles Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) from the Ice Age franchise can be seen briefly in the background.

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