The movie begins sometime in the future. Because of the many years of global warming the ice caps have melted and much more of the earth is now underwater. Robots known as mechas (short for mechanicals) are very commonplace.
We first see William Hurt as Professor Hobby, explaining to his staff that he wants to build a new advanced mecha. One that will love. Not just act like he loves but rather, have real emotions.
20 months later, he and his staff pick Henry and Monica Swinton to be the recipients of his new creation. Their own son Martin was earlier in an accident of some kind and is now frozen, awaiting a miracle.
They can "try-out" their new mecha and if they like it, all the mother needs to do is say 7 special words that will imprint it to them for good. Once he is imprinted, they must keep him. If he is returned, he will be destroyed.
They have a hard time adjusting to David. In fact, the first night when its time for bed, he tells them that he doesn't sleep, but can lie down and be quiet for the night. He also doesn't eat but likes to sit at the table with them and pretend to eat.
Finally, Monica has grown to love David, says the 7 words and David is theirs now forever. David even calls her mommy now instead of Monica. She even gives David and old toy of Martin's, a mechanical bear named Teddy.
One day a miracle happens and their real son Martin is healthy again and has come home. His return home displaces David. He thinks of David as his new toy now. Martin and David fight for Monica's affection and Martin sets David up a few times to look bad. One night, Martin convinces David that if he cuts off a lock of Monica's hair, she will love him even more. David sneaks into her room in the middle of the night but she wakes up just as he cuts it. Teddy catches the hair (VERY important later) and Monica screams, thinking David was trying to hurt her. David doesn't understand, he just wants her to love him.
Another cruel joke Martin plays on David is picking out a book to read. He picks Pinocchio because it will show David that he is just a toy and could never be human. David has the opposite reaction. He learns of the Blue Fairy and that she can turn mechanical creatures into real humans.
At dinner one night, Martin is eating spinach and taunts David who can't eat anything. Suddenly, David grabs a plate of spinach and tries to match Martin by eating as much as he can. Well, mechas aren't supposed to eat anything and David has an immediate stroke like reaction as half of his face droops down, becoming grotesquely disfigured. He is brought back to the shop where they have his circuitry cleaned out and he is back to normal.
Later, at Martin's backyard poolside birthday party, a few of his friends are checking out David. They can't believe he looks so real. One of the friends pricks him with a knife to see if he feels any pain. David does and runs behind Martin, hugging him, pleading with him to make his friends stop. Martin screams, his parents look up and all they can see is David holding onto Martin. In the struggle, they fall into the pool and it looks as though David forced Martin in. Martin can't yet walk without braces and can't swim either.
Everyone dives in to rescue Martin and leaving David at the bottom of the pool. They take their time in getting him out, after all, he's just a robot.
The next day, Monica has decided to return David to Cybertronix. She loads him and Teddy into the car and drive out to their New Jersey offices. She can't go through with it. She has grown quite fond of David and doesn't want to see him destroyed. Instead, she drops him off in the woods, tells him he can never come home and she will never be returning. David cries for her to come back but she just drives away, leaving him alone in the woods. He decides to track down the Blue Fairy because he is convinced that if he were real, Monica would love him.
We next are in a seedy part of a downtown city. Jude Law plays Gigolo Joe and he is a mecha with one mission - to please women. He's pretty funny as he cocks his head, turning on romantic music to play as he moves in on the women.
On this night, when he enters the room of his next "date" he finds her dead on the bed. He has been set up and leaves the room in a hurry. The police are now after him. He runs to the woods.
David is still wandering the woods with Teddy and sees a dump truck backing up and dumping many mechanical parts into a big pile. When it leaves, dozens of other mechas come out from the darkness and scavenge the pile for parts that they can use on themselves. Gigolo Joe is standing on a hill when all the mechas look up to him as they see a giant full moon rising up behind them. It's not a real moon but actually a hot air balloon and is being driven by a man whose job is to catch mechas and bring them to the "Flesh Games"
David, Teddy, Joe and a bunch of the other mechas are scooped up and brought to the games.
The Flesh Games take place in an outside arena and consist of mechas being destroyed in various ways, much to the delight of the WWF type crowd, cheering on the destruction.
The first mecha is one that looks like Chris Rock (It's his voice too) and he is shot through a ring of fire, then through a whirling propeller, sending his flaming head into the bars of the awaiting mecha's cell..
Eventually it is David's turn but he won't let go of Gigolo Joe who has come to be his protector. The two of them are about to have hot oil dropped on them when David starts pleading for his life. The audience thinks it's a real boy, especially since mecha's never beg for their life. The master of ceremonies assures them that David is a mecha and just another way that the big cyber companies are trying to work our emotions, by building lifelike kids now.
The audience rebels and starts throwing objects at the ringleader and David, Teddy and Joe escape.
They head to Rouge city where Joe says they can ask Dr Know about the Blue Fairy.
Dr Know is an amazing video machine where you put in money and an Einstein looking cartoon answers your question.
After a few questions they finally realize the right way to ask where the Blue Fairy is and he tells them to go to the city at the edge of the world where the lions cry, (or something like that).
Gigolo knows exactly where that is. A place they call Man-hattan. When they get outside, the police are there waiting for Joe. As they are about to cart him away, David jumps into an aqua-copter (a helicopter that can go underwater) and eventually frees Joe. They tell the copter's computer to take them to Manhattan and off they go.
All that is left of Manhattan are the tops of the tallest skyscrapers. Everything else is underwater. The hand holding the torch is the only thing you can see of the Statue of Liberty. They see old lion statues with water flowing from them and realize that this is the right place.
Joe drops David off and waits in the copter outside for him.
When David enters he finds an exact duplicate of himself inside. They both claim to be David. Our David cracks him over the head with a lamp, knocking his head off.
Professor Hobby comes in and they have a long talk. Hobby tells David that he is the greatest work he has ever done. He is so proud that David had a dream, and set out to accomplish it. No robot had ever done that before. He tells David to wait while he brings the rest of his staff in to see him.
When he leaves the room David looks around. He discovers that Professor Hobby once had a son that looked just like David. When he created the perfect child mecha, he patterned it after his own son. David then entered a room filled with "David" robots, ready to be sold to the public. He now realizes who he is, and the Blue Fairy doesn't exist.
While sitting outside, pondering what he'll do now, he jumps off the skyscraper, falling deep down underwater.
Gigolo Joe sees him and chases after him in the aqua-copter. While underwater, David sees something but not before Joe grabs him and brings him up.
Once out of the water, David tells Joe that he saw her and they have to go back down. Just then, another police helicopter arrives and using some sort of magnet, pulls Joe up to them.
David, now in the copter with just Teddy, goes back down underwater. Here we see New York of the past, now completely underwater. He flies around, trying to get back where he was earlier. He flies around Coney Island and finds the "Pinocchio" ride. There, right in front of him is a statue of the Blue Fairy. He stops the copter and just sits there staring at the fairy. In all the movement earlier, he tripped a cable holding up the Ferris wheel and it comes tumbling down on them.
They are okay but now the copter is trapped underwater, looking straight at the Blue Fairy. David starts pleading with the Fairy to turn him into a boy. He just keeps saying this over and over as the camera slowly pans further and further back.
Seems like a good time to end the film if you ask me but nooooo....
It is now 2000 years later after another ice age. There are no more humans alive. The earth is now populated by highly evolved mechas. At first I thought they were aliens, as they look much like the creatures at the end of Close Encounters.
They are doing archeological type digging and they dig up David's helicopter and the statue of the Blue Fairy.
David, now thawed out opens his eyes and still sees the Fairy looking at him, now 2000 years later.
The mechas tap into David's memory and learn about human existence through him. He is their only link to the humans of the past life.
Using David's memory, they create a duplicate house of the one he once lived in with Monica. They would like to create a clone of her for him but can't since they have no DNA sample. Teddy asks David if he remembers when he cut off some of her hair. Teddy pulls from his pocket, a lock of Monica's hair and hands it to David.
The mechas take it and leave.
That night, the main mecha goes to David's room and explains to him that they have been unsuccessful with the clones and once they create one, they can only last for 1 day. When they go to sleep that night, they never awaken. David doesn't care; he wants to see Monica again.
The next morning David is awoken by a mecha who tells him to go to his mother's room. There sleeping is his mommy, Monica.
He wakes her up and for the entire day; just spend some good quality time together, playing games, reading books, just like old times. She tells him that she loves him. That's what he's been waiting 2000 years for.
At night, Monica falls asleep, and David lays beside her as a tear runs down his cheek. He falls asleep too.
The narrator tells us for the first time in his life, David has gone to the place where dreams are born...
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