Best Robot Movies for Kids

By Phill Powell

C3PO and R2-D2
Star Wars wouldn’t have been the same without C-3PO and R2-D2. (STAR WARS © 1977 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. TM & © 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd.)

These days robots are everywhere you turn: from the smooth simulated voice of Apple’s Siri to humanoid robots from Honda which replicate human physical activity.

Robots are revolutionizing many different parts of the modern world…helping us work more efficiently and safely and be able to create things that were never possible before.

And here’s another cool thing about robots: They make great movie stars. The following family-friendly flicks are the best robot movies for kids. These films are perfect for introducing kids to the many wonders that robots can achieve.

Robot Movie: WALL-E (2008)
WALL-E and rubics cubeWALL-E’s expressive features warmed the hearts of movie-goers, who saw his 2008 film in droves. (WALL-E: © Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.)

Why It’s Great for Kids: With enough to charm to headline his own picture, robot Wall-E falls in love and undertakes a rollicking adventure everyone in the family will enjoy. A rare success that scored a half-billion at the box office while topping Time Magazine’s “Best Movies of the Decade” list, WALL-E proved that a plucky little robot with a big heart could rule the world of film.

Robot Movie: Robots (2005)
Robots movieThe (mechanical) gang’s all here…in Robots. (ROBOTS © 2005 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. TM & © 2005 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.)

Why It’s Great for Kids: Loaded with outstanding character voices from stars like the late Robin Williams, Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey and Greg Kinnear, Robots introduces kids to a range of nice and talented robots—some that invent things, some that compose music and all of them with personality to spare. Listen for fun cameos from James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), comic Jay Leno, American Idol‘s Paula Abdul and TV weatherman Al Roker.

Robot Movie: The Iron Giant (1999)
the-iron-giantThe Iron Giant showed how robots could be bigger-hearted than humans. (The Iron Giant © 1999 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.)

Why It’s Great for Kids: Writer/director Brad Bird (Tomorrowland, The Incredibles, Ratatouille) spun an animated fable for the ages with this fresh and exciting story of a young boy’s friendship with a huge robot (think Pacific Rim scale). The film, one of the best robot movies ever, has lots to say about man’s warlike nature (as contrasted with the gentle robot giant) but its whiz-bang pace makes sure the mood never gets too heavy.

Robot Movie: Star Wars (1977)
R2-D2
He couldn’t talk but he sure could beep: R2-D2 charmed audiences of the original Star Wars. (STAR WARS © 1977 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. TM & © 1977 Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Why It’s Great for Kids: Kids automatically gravitate to the original Star Wars movie (now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) and two of the characters they first love are R2-D2 and C-3PO. Kids love the comic interplay between small, beeping and flashing R2-D2 and tall, metallic C-3PO, who has the personality and voice of a British butler. These beloved characters show that robots aren’t just the “good guys,” but nice guys, too.

Ambassadors to the Future
It wasn’t long ago when robots were only associated with science fiction. But all that’s changed now. An eye-popping array of robots have grown in sophistication and are now being used in a dizzying number of applications — including everything from streamlining assembly-line production in manufacturing to making medical miracles come true.

Kids naturally love robots and now there are great and fun new ways to introduce them to robotics even at an early age. Robot camps, like those offered by Digital Media Academy, offer kids a chance to actually design and build their own super-cool robots that can perform a variety of awesome tasks (including battling other robots).

At DMA tech camps, kids learn and use the latest robot technology, including LEGO’s EV3 system and Arduino™ robotics. DMA invests in extra robotics equipment each camp season, so the kits issued to students can contain plenty of extra parts (because more parts = more robot-building fun). DMA robotics camps teach kids and teens key concepts about mechanical and electrical engineering, and give them an inside look at an industry that’s exploding with growth as the world becomes increasingly mechanized through robotics.