I want to see the movie Robots. The trailer and reviews make it sound like fun. Something about the style and look of the film was familiar though and then I came across this very interesting article in Newsweek.
The wholly original and multi-faceted William Joyce is credited as the "production designer" though it sounds like it he and Chris Wedge were kindred spirits and co-conspirators on the project.
This is a world much like ours but purely mechanical, inspired by its makers' fondness for widgets and gadgets. "We haunted old junk shops and auto-salvage yards, equipment-supply places," Joyce says. "I'm not a junkyard kind of guy, but I now know a number of machinists, junk dealers and junkyard dogs by name." He started building cities out of utensils in his own house. "My wife couldn't find a can opener, a corkscrew, or our coffee, sugar and flour tins. The kids couldn't find their protractors, because they were in my Rivet Town diorama."
Very cool extra bits: The articles mention that Disney is still working on a movie version of A Day with Wilbur Robinson. (This has been a footnote in the book forever.) Also Joyce and Wedge met while trying to bring Santa Calls to the screen. Maybe with the success of The Polar Express they will revisit this one. Santa Calls is one of my favorite holiday stories but find the full size book, not the dinky board book version.
Robots website (takes forever to load)
"The man behind the machines: William Joyce designs "Robots" from the Shreveport Times
(Joyce lives in Shreveport)
William Joyce website