have a passing familiarity with the Robosapien toy. It’s some sort of plastic
robot that is preprogrammed to mimic certain human functions and respond to
commands from a remote. And by virtue of it being comparatively cheap against
4-figure toys like Sony’s now-defunct AIBO robot dog, this thing has fulfilled
the dreams of children everywhere who want some robots in their life and has
accordingly sold like hotcakes.

It’s so
popular, in fact, that Avi Arad, formerly of Marvel and its slew of comic book
films, has decided to make Robosapien the first of what appears
to be many toy films under his Arad Productions banner in association with
Wowwee, the makers of Robosapien. The film is due to be a mixture of CGI and
live action and is set for release in 2009. It’s an understandable licensing
move no different really than Hasbro getting G.I. Joe and Transformers
TV shows and movies out there to drive toy sales. But do they really want to
burden Robosapien with enemies and an origin story where as a child he couldn’t
save his best friend, Rusty, from a buggy operating system that petered out in
a tragic Blue Screen of Death and so he devoted his life to entertaining humans
by mocking them at $100 a pop? Seems like a stretch.

even more of a stretch is the emotional justification that
Arad is putting behind this. In the
press release, he says Robo “
has all the right elements to
make a family feature film with the ability to touch people on an emotional
level.” Really, Avi? I’m guessing that the “elements” Avi speaks of are sales
figures and projections for the next couple of fiscal years. In any case,
Arad is already at work
on Bratz:
The Movie

No, seriously. He is.