I vaguely remember this movie about what seemed to be humanoid like robots living as a family in a junkyard. If I remember correctly, the premise of the movie was that robots had specific tasks and they were treated lesser than humans. I believe the "robot son" was the main character of the movie.

The movie had to be from the early 2000s but most likely the 90s. It was a live action movie. I'd say I saw the movie about 16 years ago. It was not an animated movie.

  • 1
    Was this movie live action, CGI, or a mixture of both?
    – Ongo
    Dec 31, 2018 at 4:36
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    How long ago did you see this movie? How old was it? What language was it in? Where did you see it?
    – DavidW
    Dec 31, 2018 at 4:46
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    The movie had to be from the early 2000s but most likely the 90s. It's was a live action movie. I'd say I seen the movie about 16 years ago.
    – Jacob
    Dec 31, 2018 at 11:39
  • Was the Blue Fairy in it? Dec 31, 2018 at 18:00
  • @Jacob - I added the timeframe to the question. If you remember what the robots looked like, that would help as well.
    – Omegacron
    Dec 31, 2018 at 18:24

6 Answers 6


The believe you're remembering the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The main character is an android adopted as a son by a couple. The movie follows his life from the time he is turned on, through abandonment, and into the far future when he is discovered under a glacier.

There is at least one scene with several down-and-out androids meeting and talking in a dump-like area. I don't remember the movie well, but a strong focus is the mistreatment of various androids. They talk about their particular jobs, and I believe about how their different designs force them into certain work.

I can't find any of the scenes where the androids (mechas, in the jargon of the movie) are chatting in a junkyard, but I found a scene where they are scavenging parts together. You see the main characters Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law.

  • I believe this is the correct answer, even if it could do with fleshing out a little. Dec 31, 2018 at 9:10

Is it possible you refer to the CGI movie titled Robots? The main character is a robot named Rodney Copperbottom who leaves his parents and goes to the big city to work as an inventor for his childhood (for lack of a better word) hero Mr. Bigweld- only to find out Bigweld has been deposed as head of Bigweld Industries by the sinister putz Ratchet, an elitist who favors rich robots who can afford expensive upgrades over the poor who need spare parts. In his quest to topple Ratchet Rodney befriends a family of robots voiced by Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey and the late Robin Williams.

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    I don't recall any human characters in Robots?
    – DavidW
    Dec 31, 2018 at 4:43
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    In the question it is stated that," they were treated lesser than humans", in the film "Robots" there are no humans.
    – Crispy
    Dec 31, 2018 at 4:54

The movie that your talking about is called "Astro Boy"

  1. The main character is an inventors son who had been killed then remade as a robot to look exactly like his son.
  2. The people and robots lived together up on a floating "island" were the robots served the people and when the robots broke they would get thrown down to the surface.
  3. AT some point in the movie Astro Boy is sent down to the surface and meets a bunch of orphans(who he lies to by saying he's a kid like them).
  • 1
    Can you explain how Astro Boy matches details listed in the question?
    – DavidW
    Dec 31, 2018 at 4:44
  • It is not Astro boy, the movie I'm referring to was not an animation.
    – Jacob
    Dec 31, 2018 at 11:47

Perhaps you're thinking of the 1981 movie Heartbeeps.

It's a romantic comedy about Val-Com 17485 (Andy Kaufman), a valet robot dressed in a three-piece suit and bowtie, and hostess robot Aqua-Com 89045 (Bernadette Peters). They fall in love while in a repair shop (perhaps like a Junkyard) and have a son, Phil (voiced by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead).

Much of the action appears to center around the son Phil and another robot named Catskill. And, it was a live action movie featuring actors made up as robots, puppets, and what appear to be actual remote controlled robots and robot-styled vehicles.

This movie was not received well by audiences or critics.

Here is the movie trailer.


One memorable movie that has some of these elements, is Automata, with Antonio Banderas (2014). Much of the action takes place in a salvage yard, where a pair of robots have an infant... sort of.

The backdrop to the action is a human race in decline, small settlements separated by vast wastelands after some sort of catastrophe. For those who recall Karel Capek's play, R.U.R., the plot will seem familiar.


As other answers have mentioned, the most likely choices (based on that description) are as follows:

Heartbeeps (1981)

The 1981 film Heartbeeps revolved around three robots that escaped from their warehouse. Along with the "son" that they built, the four became a nuclear family (mom, dad, son, grandpa). A large portion of the film did take place in a junkyard, which later became their permanent home.

The three adult robots are humanoid, although the "son" is not - he more closely resembles a box on treads with a cube-like head.

enter image description here

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

The 2001 film A.I. revolves around a human-appearing robot boy who is on the run, later joined by an adult robot who is also on the run. One scene in the movie takes place at a junkyard-like "Flesh Fair" where people destroy robots for entertainment. The movie doesn't quite match your description about a family living in a junkyard, although it's easy to see where there might be confusion.

enter image description here


There may be other live-action films from that era that match, in which case further details might help narrow it down. A description of the humanoid robots would be especially helpful, although based on the current question, you're probably looking for Heartbeeps - although not considered successful, it does appear on cable from time to time.

Both films included the concept that robots were sub-human and often treated unfairly.

  • Shouldn't it be commenting on the other existing answers that mention these movies? I mean, unless I missed something they both have been already mentioned, so no offense but what's that answer supposed to add? :/ (That couldn't have been left in comments, that is)
    – Jenayah
    Dec 31, 2018 at 21:40
  • @Jenayah - not really, this answer provides reasons why I think it's one of those two, along with pictures of what the robots in each movie looked like. Personally, I think he's describing Heartbeeps although it's impossible to tell without a description of the robots' appearance. If you feel the answer is incorrect or unnecessary, feel free to downvote it, though.
    – Omegacron
    Jan 3, 2019 at 16:46

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