While it may have gained some popularity after Battle Bots and even an animated feature in Big Hero 6, Robot fighting seems like an outsider sport. And really, it still may be. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot more to the sport, the science behind it, and even the teams that build and fight robots in a ring.
More Than Robots is a new documentary being released on Disney+ and was featured at SXSW this year. Following four international teams of students as they come together and build their robots before the 2020 competition. It may not be a compelling topic for some, but it is very eye-opening for people who haven’t been exposed to this type of competition.
The main focus of the documentary of course – it’s not just about the robots. It’s about the outsiders finding their place, their friendships, the science, the acceptance into a community that you may not have known existed, and the heartbreak when the competition was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The film gives viewers a look at the dedication these students have to their sport, to their team, and just what impact it can have on their lives.
It’s a heartwarming film, with possibly a narrow topic. But hopefully one that will spark interest and inspire more kids to get into this competitive and interesting sport.
About More Than Robots:
“More Than Robots” follows four teams of teenagers from around the world as they prepare for the 2020 FIRST® Robotics Competition. Get to know teams from Los Angeles, Mexico City and Chiba, Japan as they work towards the goal of taking their unique designs all the way to the highly competitive global championships. Although they are faced with overcoming challenges along the way, such as having limited resources within their community or putting everything on hold because of a world-wide pandemic, the kids persevere and learn that there is a lot more to the competition than just robots.
For more than 20 years, Disney has supported FIRST® with financial, in-kind and mentorship resources, and together with Lucasfilm’s philanthropic initiative Star Wars: Force for Change, FIRST® continues to bring hands-on learning opportunities and mentorship to more young people around the world, empowering them to not only think big, but to develop the skills needed to be the next generation of innovators.
“More Than Robots” is directed by Gillian Jacobs in her feature-length documentary directorial debut. Award-winning Supper Club founders Jason Sterman, Brian McGinn, and David Gelb are the producers. Lucasfilm’s Michael Garcia and Christine Beebe serve as executive producers, with Jacqui Lopez as co-executive producer.SHOW LESS