Ever since the first trailer for Wall-E, I’ve known I had to have my own Wall-E toy. Truth be told, I’d much rather a real Wall-E for my own personal enjoyment. The little fellow is just too cute and charismatic to not have one sitting around.
While he’s adorable, Wall-E is just the latest in a long line of robot buddies that are good to have around. Far too often we focus on the big robot baddies, the monsters and villains that movies center around, but there have been just as many robotic sidekicks or good guys who I’d be just as willing to have around me as I would Wall-E. Sometimes they may get a little annoying or only play a minor part in the film, but without some of these characters, the movies they come from wouldn’t be the same.
With that in mind, I’ve composed a list of my favorite top ten movie robot buddies. Note these are my favorites, not yours, and they are from the movies, so please don’t ask why Rosie from The Jetsons isn’t on here. I have no doubt that Pixar’s latest creation will be on this list very soon, but here’s a look at some more time honored robot friends and why we’d love to hang out with them:
10. T-800 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Sure, he’s originally evil. Sure, he tried to kill John Connor (and eventually succeeded at one point). Still, who wouldn’t want a buddy like the T-800? Once he’s on your side, you can’t get a better friend. He’ll never leave you. He’ll never hurt you or shout at you or get drunk and hit you or say it’s too busy to spend time with you. It will die to protect you. In an insane world, he’s the sanest choice for a friend.
Best Buddy For: A night hanging out in rough bars.
9. Marvin (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Marvin’s the kind of friend you want to have around to make yourself feel better. Maybe he’s got a habit of bringing the room down around him, but if you can withstand that eternal cloud of depression, you’ll know there’s someone out there who always thinks less of himself than you do. Just don’t try to have extended conversations with Marvin and you’ll do fine. After all, he’s been known to talk police computers into committing suicide.
Best Buddy For: Showing all your emo friends they’re just posers.
8. The Iron Giant (The Iron Giant)
When size matters, a friend like The Iron Giant is a good buddy to have. Of course, his physical size is dwarfed by the size of his heart. It’s a shame more people still haven’t experienced the movie that brought one of the best robots to the screen and showed a lot of people what Brad Bird was capable of before The Incredibles. If you can’t figure out why this guy is on this list, go find a copy of The Iron Giant today!
Best Buddy For: Taking on the armed forces.
7. Teddy (A.I. Artificial Intelligence)
Teddy’s an odd kind of a friend. He gets along best in the movie with David, who is, of course, another robot. Still, Teddy’s the one with the sense in the movie – the one looking out for his young master, robot or not. His warning to David that “you’ll break” is still one of the movie’s most chilling lines for me, and I wished for months that the marketing people behind the movie had done a better job with a Teddy tie-in for the movie.
Best Buddy For: People with reckless behavior who need a robotic Jiminy Cricket to help us along.
6. Bumblebee (Transformers)
Fans of Transformers thought that one of the better parts of the movie was the dynamic between a boy and his car. Well, sure, you can have a great relationship with your car when it not only helps you get around but can also transform into a two story robot and protect both you and the planet from evil forces. Looking stylish and saving the world. We should all be so lucky to have such a friend.
Best Buddy For: Cruising around town picking up chicks like Megan Fox... and let's be honest, that's probably the only way most of us would get someone like her to look at us.
5. The *batteries not included ‘Bots (*batteries not included)
The curious thing about these buddies is no explanation is ever really given about them. They show up, help an elderly couple out by maintaining the house and fixing things, and they don’t expect anything in return. Hell, my real buddies don’t have that going for them. They show up, drink my beer, and leave my fridge empty and my toilet clogged. At least these little mysterious guys can pull their weight as well as helping a friend out.
Best Buddy For: Cleaning up around the house after a wicked party.
4. Max (Flight of the Navigator)
One of the best things anyone can do with a friend is head out on a road trip, and with Max along there’s no limiting that trip to just roads. Max may seem a little stuffy at first, but give him a chance to scan your brain and you’ll quickly find the two of you are quite compatible, sharing memories, the same sense of humor and somehow Max will suddenly be laughing infectiously like Pee-Wee Herman.
Best Buddy For: Cruising around the planet… and beyond.
3. Johnny 5 (Short Circuit)
He’s not Wall-E, but he’s practically the next best thing. After all, the two robots have several design features in common, although the Wall-E creators say that’s more of a coincidence than an homage. Johnny-5 is actually kind of a catch-all friend, since his personality is like several of the more playful robots on this list combined with the protective (and destructive) nature of the T-800, making him a pretty good pal to have around in just about any scenario.
Best Buddy For: Helping out in a “friendly” game of paintball.
2. R2-D2 (The Star Wars Saga)
How many heroes of the Star Wars movies has R2-D2 helped out of a jam? This little guy can do everything from open doors to carry your lightsaber to sneaking in undercover to your enemy’s lair and helping you take it out from the inside. He may be a little testy, but personally I think that comes from hanging around with the pompous C-3PO for so many years. Besides, there’s a hell of a lot less gibber-gabbering you have to take when R2-D2’s your buddy.
Best Buddy For: Anything that you’ve got a bad feeling about.
1. Robby the Robot (Forbidden Planet)
Robby may not look like much of a friend to have around at first glance. He moves slowly and he’s a bit awkward. But let’s remember he can carry several tons in weight, speaks numerous languages, is guided by the basic laws of robotics, and can synthesize just about any substance in record time (ranging from alcohol to clothing to building materials). Add in the fact that he’s been so influential in the design of other robots over time, and you’ve got the best friend you could possibly have.
Best Buddy For: Helping keep your ego in check.
Honorable Mentions: VINCENT (The Black Hole), C-3PO (The Star Wars Saga), Data (later Star Trek movies), Jinx (Space Camp), Robot (Lost In Space), Robot Bill & Robot Ted (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
Which is your favorite robot buddy?