In a world populated by sentient robots, Rodney Copperbottom, son of Herb and Lydia Copperbottom from Rivet Town, is an aspiring inventor. He idolizes Bigweld, a famous entrepreneur whose company, Bigweld Industries, hires other inventors and provides robots with spare parts. Rodney builds a small, flying robot, named Wonderbot, to assist his father, who works as a dishwasher at a restaurant. When Herb’s supervisor Mr. Gunk confronts them, Wonderbot malfunctions and wreaks havoc in the kitchen, resulting in Rodney being fired.
To help Herb pay for the damages, Rodney travels to Robot City, hoping to present Wonderbot to Bigweld Industries. Upon arrival, Rodney is ejected from Bigweld Industries by the company’s current head, Phineas T. Ratchet. In Bigweld’s absence, Ratchet has stopped producing spare parts and inventions in favor of expensive upgrades, thereby “outmoding” robots who cannot pay for them. Ratchet’s mother, Madame Gasket, runs the Chop Shop, a facility that collects spare parts and melts them down to create upgrades.
Rodney befriends a ne’er-do-well named Fender Pinwheeler takes him to a boarding home populated by other outmodes, known collectively as the “Rusties.” Word of Rodney’s mechanical prowess spreads, and he is hailed as a local hero after he and the Rusties fix outmodes throughout the neighborhood, although they are eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the spare part shortage. Hoping to enlist Bigweld’s help, Rodney and Fender infiltrate the Bigweld Ball, only for Ratchet to announce that Bigweld will not attend. Enraged, Rodney publicly berates Ratchet, who orders his security team to eliminate Rodney. Cappy, a Bigweld Industries executive, rescues Rodney. Fender is captured by a vehicle called a Sweeper and taken to the Chop Shop, where he discovers Gasket and Ratchet’s plan to use a fleet of Super-Sweepers to destroy all the outmodes in the city in order to make and sell more upgrades.
Rodney and Cappy travel to Bigweld’s mansion, where they find Bigweld and tell him what has been transpired. Bigweld reveals that Ratchet’s greed and business sense outshone his idealism in the management of Bigweld Industries and tells Rodney and Cappy to give up and leave. Crushed, Rodney plans to return to Rivet Town and calls his parents. Herb encourages Rodney to fight for his dreams, or he will spend the rest of his life regretting it. After Fender returns and tells them of Ratchet and Gasket’s plot, Rodney rallies Cappy and the Rusties to stop them. They are joined by Bigweld, who has regained his resolve after realizing how much he and his ideals meant to Rodney.
The group returns to Bigweld Industries where Bigweld fires Ratchet, but Ratchet ultimately knocks him unconscious, planning on melting him down as well. Rodney, Cappy, and Wonderbot rescue Bigweld from Ratchet and escape with the Rusties in a security vehicle with Ratchet close behind. Rodney unclips Ratchet’s vehicle to break free, but their vehicle loses control in front of the Chop Shop and Bigweld rolls inside. Rodney upgrades the Rusties and they, along with an army of outmodes, battle Ratchet and Gasket. Rodney and Bigweld immobilize the Super-Sweepers and defeat Ratchet, who accidentally kills Gasket by knocking her into the incinerator while trying to escape. Ratchet is accidentally stripped of his upgrades, being left chained to the ceiling with his father.
Taking control of Bigweld Industries once again, Bigweld promises to make spare parts available to everyone. Later, he holds a public ceremony in Rivet Town, where he nominates Rodney as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. Rodney provides Herb with new replacement parts and a flugelhorn-like instrument to fulfill his dream of being a musician. Herb leads the townspeople in a rousing rendition of “Get Up Offa That Thing.”
A fun, action packed and full of laughter film following a family of robots. Absolutely great for a family movie night.