Humans and pets are not the only ones that are popular in the film industry, as we also have both real-life and animated robots that appeared in some of the best movies in history. When you think about movie robots, there are probably a few “droids” or “mechs” that will immediately come to your mind even if no one mentioned their names, which proves that they are indeed famous and unforgettable. Here is the ultimate guide to famous movie robots.
R2-D2 (Star Wars)
Arguably the most popular movie robot, R2-D2 has appeared in all nine main entries to the Star Wars film franchise. Those who watched Star Wars will recognize R2-D2’s memorable beeps that are supposed to be his voice, as well as his weird three feet that have wheels at the bottom in order for the droid to move around an area. R2-D2 has been a reliable companion to the protagonists of each trilogy in the series, and we will most likely see this droid again in future Star Wars movies or T.V. shows.
While R2-D2 is the most popular robot in live-action movies, Wall-E is probably the best mechanical representative in animated or CGI films. Wall-E appeared in the movie of the same name released by Disney Pixar in 2008, and that film is considered by many to be one of the best animated movies of all time, not only for its story but for its theme and lesson as well. Besides Wall-E, the film also features another popular robot named EVE.
The Iron Giant (The Iron Giant)
The Iron Giant film is a cult classic after receiving wide acclaim from audiences not during its premiere in theaters, but during the release of VCD and DVD copies of the movie. Despite receiving high scores from critics, The Iron Giant was not able to earn well in the box office in 1999, but thanks to the rise of VCD and DVD players in the 2000s, the film experienced a surprising resurgence in popularity. The film stars a gigantic gray-colored called The Iron Giant, which is voiced by Vin Diesel. Like Wall-E, the movie is praised for its story and the lesson that it instills to the kids and also teenagers who watch it.
The T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a menacing robot seen in multiple films in the Terminator franchise, although he is mostly known for his heroic role in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. In the first film, he is a villainous character that hunts down the protagonist Sarah Connor. However, in the second film, he was reprogrammed in the future by an older John Connor, Sarah’s son, to assist and protect Sarah and the younger John against other Terminators that are targeting them. The T-800 will continue to appear in the next four films, namely Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, Terminator: Genisys, and Terminator: Dark Fate, as an antagonist and as a supporting character.
Baymax (Big Hero 6)
Based on a popular comic book by Marvel Comics, Big Hero 6 is a 2014 animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. There are a total of six superheroes that appear in the movie, but the most popular one has to be Baymax, a nurse bot that can turn into a fighter once he is outfitted with the cool-looking red armor designed by Hiro, his owner and companion. Big Hero 6 won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2015.
A well-known robot from the late 1980s until today, RoboCop is a cyborg police officer who is ready to do anything in the name of justice and the law. The original RoboCop is played by Peter Weller, who also played as the police officer who was killed at the beginning of the film by the Boddicker gang. His brain and some parts of his original body were then transferred to a mechanical body to give it life. After being turned into a robot, RoboCop constantly struggles between following orders and having free will. A reboot of the franchise was released in 2014, but it was not as successful as the original 1987 version.
Although Optimus Prime is the protagonist for almost all Transformers movies and T.V. shows, Bumblebee serves as the fan-favorite that is loved both by kids and adults because of his quirky personality and cool design. Originally a Volkswagen Beetle, Bumblebee has transformed into a Chevrolet Camaro in the most recent Transformers shows and films. Bumblebee became so popular for Transformers fans that he got his own movie in 2018 starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena.
Astro Boy (Astro Boy)
Astro Boy is an android that has first appeared in the Japanese manga of the same name that is written and drawn by Osamu Tezuka in 1952. Since the publication of the manga, Astro Boy made an appearance in different movies and animated shows in Japan, and those forms of entertainment were then given an English dub or subtitles so that they can be appreciated by Western audiences. Due to the robot’s popularity in the United States in the early 2000s, an American distribution company called Summit Entertainment held the rights to distribute the Astro Boy CGI film made by Imagi Animation Studios, which allowed them to release it in the U.S. on October 23, 2009. Because it was not the cartoony animation that people know Astro Boy by, the CGI movie failed at the box office, but the character remains as an iconic Japanese creation.
David (A.I.: Artificial Intelligence)
Director by prolific moviemaker Steven Spielberg, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence premiered in theaters on June 29, 2001, and is renowned as one of Spielberg’s most memorable films. The film’s story focuses on David, a robot that has the ability to feel and express love who took on the mission to find the Blue Fairy, a fictional character found in The Adventures of Pinocchio, so that she can change her into a real boy just like Pinocchio.
People today may know Westworld as a T.V. series on HBO, but that is actually based on the film of the same name released in 1973. The original Westworld was directed by Michael Crichton, who you probably know as the author for the Jurassic Park book, and it centers on the events that happened inside a Western-style amusement park that houses androids who seem to think that they are real people. The Gunslinger is one of the main characters of the show, and he is often shown to be programmed to always start gunfights in the amusement park.
Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell)
Motoki Kusanagi is a cybernetic human that has appeared in the Ghost in the Shell manga written by Kazunori Ito before appearing in the 1995 animated film directed by Mamoru Oshii. She is often referred to as “Major,” as that is her rank as the field commander for Public Security Section 9, a group of cybernetic humans who fights crime for the National Public Safety Commission in Japan. The 1995 film is considered by many critics and film enthusiasts as one of the greatest animated films of all time, and it paved the way for other Japanese animated movies to be recognized by Western audiences.
Sonny (I, Robot)
Sonny is a robot that is one of the main characters shown in I, Robot, a film directed by Alex Proyas and released in 2004. The story revolves around the rebellion of NS-5 robots that suddenly had free will and will do anything to gain freedom against humans. The movie stars Will Smith as Detective Del Spooner, who is one of the characters trying to solve the robotics problem that arose in the story. I, Robot’s iconic robot Sonny is played by Alan Tudyk, who also portrayed another popular robot that appeared in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story named K-2SO.
Those are 12 famous movie robots that you can see in different movies, and some of them may still appear in other movies in the future because of their popularity. As we get closer and closer to perfecting artificial intelligence, we might be able to see real robots in films instead of the ones controlled by humans or animated by them.