A.I.: Artificial Intelligence


2h 25m 2001
A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Brief Synopsis

A robot child dreams of becoming a real boy.

Film Details

Also Known As
A.I., A.I. (Intelligence artificielle), A.I. Artificial Intelligence, A.I. intelligence artificielle, AI, AI - Artificiell intelligens
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Thriller
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
2001
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Spruce Goose Dome, Long Beach, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m

Synopsis

Sometime in the distant future, after the polar icecaps have melted, major flooding has devastated most major cities. Technology has advanced to the point where people depend for many tasks on robots with highly sophisticated artificial intelligence; including companion robots which replace friends, lovers or children. David is a companion robot programmed to be the loving son of Henry and Monica Swinton, whose own son, Martin, lies comatose and apparently brain dead in a nearby hospital. Just as the Swintons learn to adjust to David and his capacity to love eternally and unconditionally, Martin makes a miraculous recovery and returns home. Soon sibling rivalry makes David a hindrance to the family's unity and he is cast out of the family. Alone with his robotic teddy bear and unable to adjust to a world that has no use for his ability to love, David journeys out into the forests to find a way to become a real boy.

Crew

Brian Aldiss

Source Material

Richard Alonzo

Art Department

Richard Alonzo

Makeup

Gregory Alpert

Location Manager

Fred Arbegast

Art Department

Greg Aronowitz

Visual Effects

Karen Asano-myers

Hair Stylist

Fred Astaire

Song Performer

Chris Baer

Other

Christopher Baker

Art Department

Terry Baliel

Hair Stylist

Christian Beckman

Animatronics

John Bell

Visual Effects

David Beneke

Other

R Christopher Bergschneide

Other

George Bernota

Animatronics

Barbara Bonney

Music

Ronald Bouma

Visual Effects

Darin Bouyssou

Other

Marc Brickman

Consultant

Lisa Brookes

Assistant Director

Emery Brown

Other

Linda Kay Brown

Foley Editor

Tom Brown

Other

Greg Bryant

Other

Jeff Buccacio

Art Department

Greg Burgan

Other

Theresa Burkett

Hair

Connie Cadwell

Hair

Sebastien Caillabet

Animatronics

Bob Capwell

Animatronics

James Carson

Visual Effects

Rick Carter

Production Designer

Martin Charles

Graphic Designer

John Cherevka

Other

Dale Chihuly

Art Department

Patricia Churchill

Unit Production Manager

Lee Clay

Assistant

James Clyne

Other

Doug Coleman

Stunt Coordinator

Kyrsten Mate Comoglio

Sound Effects Editor

Gil Correa

Animatronics

Bill Corso

Makeup

Richard Cory

Other

Brian Cox

Other

Mark Creery

Art Department

Travis Crenshaw

Other

Ken Culver

Other

Bonnie Curtis

Producer

Glenn Derry

Other

Kim Derry

Other

Rob Derry

Animatronics

Mariano Agostino Diaz

Production

Dawn Dininger

Other

Dean Drabin

Adr Mixer

David Drzewiecki

Photography

John Michael Eaves

Art Department

Tony Eckert

Foley Mixer

Terry Eckton

Sound Effects Editor

Jeff Edwards

Animatronics

Mike Elizalde

Animatronics

Christian F Eubank

Other

Sven E M Fahlgren

Post-Production Coordinator

Scott Farrar

Visual Effects Supervisor

Corwyn Faucher

Other

Pete Fenlon

Puppeteer

Eric Fiedler

Animatronics

Jene Fielder

Makeup

Scott R. Fisher

Other

Tim Flattery

Other

John Fleming

Other

Erica Frauman

Post-Production Supervisor

Rick Galinson

Animatronics

Mark Garbarino

Makeup

Mark Goldberg

Animatronics

David Grasso

Art Department

Josh Gray

Animatronics

Laurah Grijalva

Visual Effects

Chris Grossnickle

Other

Chris Haarhoff

Steadicam Operator

Nancy Haigh

Set Decorator

John Hamilton

Animatronics

Keith Hanes

Other

Kevin Haney

Makeup

Jan Harlan

Executive Producer

Joel Harlow

Makeup Artist

Rich Haugen

Animatronics

Eric Hayden

Models

Matt Heimlich

Animatronics

Kurt Herbel

Other

Hal Hickel

Animation Supervisor

James Hirahara

Animatronics

Grady Holder

Other

Will Huff

Makeup

Peter Hutchisoon

Camera Operator

Richard Hymns

Sound Editor

Horishi Ikeuchi

Animatronics

Craig A Israel

Special Effects

Clark James

Visual Effects

Francesca Jaynes

Choreographer

Mark Johnson

Camera Operator

Richard L Johnson

Art Director

Robert Johnston

Other

Ronald Judkins

Sound Mixer

Michael Kahn

Editor

Janusz Kaminski

Director Of Photography

Janusz Kaminski

Dp/Cinematographer

Hiroshi Katagiri

Art Department

Avy Kaufman

Casting

Stubby Kaye

Song

Philip Keller

Storyboard Artist

Kathleen Kennedy

Producer

Rodrick Khachatoorian

Other

Dave Kindlon

Animatronics

Jay B King

Other

Pamela Klamer

Set Designer

Jeffrey D. Knott

Other

Stanley Kubrick

Story By

Richard Joseph Landon

Animatronics

Michael Lantieri

Special Effects Supervisor

Elan Lee

Puppeteer

Kim Lincoln

Graphic Designer

Martin Lopez

Sound Effects

Russell Lukich

Other

Lindsay Macgowan

Digital Effects Supervisor

Kristie Macosko

Associate To Director

Brian Magerkurth

Other

Shane Mahan

Other

Mark Maitre

Art Department

Bob Mano

Animatronics

Dawn Brown Manser

Set Designer

Warren Manser

Visual Effects

Keith Marbory

Other

James Martin

Visual Effects

Gary Martinez

Other

Masako Masuda

Set Designer

Jjason Matthews

Other

Robert Maverick

Hair

Richard F Mays

Set Designer

Bud Mcgrew

Animatronics

Paul Mejias

Art Department

Jimmy Mena

Other

Frank 'pepe' Merel

Foley Recordist

John Merton

Adr

Andrew Meyers

Visual Effects

Kenny Meyers

Makeup

Michelle Millay

Art Department

Michael C Miller

Camera Operator

Patty Miller

Hair Stylist

Sergio Mimica-gezzan

Assistant Director

Thomas Minton

Set Designer

Joel Mitchell

Other

Tony Moffett

Visual Effects

Kevin Mohlman

Other

David Monzingo

Other

Mo Morrison

Stage Manager

Dennis Muren

Visual Effects Supervisor

Shawn Murphy

Music

Brian K Namanny

Animatronics

Peggy Names

Sound

Sylvia Nava

Hair

Candace Neal

Hair Stylist

Ve Neill

Makeup Artist

Al Nelson

Sound Effects

Andy Nelson

Rerecording

Greg Nelson

Makeup

John Neufeld

Original Music

Steve Newburn

Other

Jonathan Null

Foley Editor

Joey Orosco

Other

Latifa Ouaou

Art Department Coordinator

Thomas Ovenshire

Other

Walter F. Parkes

Executive Producer

Ralph Peterson

Other

Brian Poor

Animatronics

Dick Powell

Song

Joni Powell

Makeup

Paul Prenderville

Assistant Director

Margaret Prentice

Makeup

Jeff Pyle

Visual Effects

Richard Quinn

Dialogue Editor

Ana Maria Quintana

Script Supervisor

Justin Raleigh

Other

Peter Ramsey

Storyboard Artist

David Rawley

Costume Supervisor

Bob Ringwood

Costume Designer

Christian Ristow

Animatronics

Brian Roe

Animatronics

James S Rollins

Other

Pete Romano

Camera Operator

Chris Ross

Illustrator

Hary Rotz

Wardrobe

Amanda Rounsaville

Visual Effects

Sandra Rowden

Makeup

Thomas Rush

Other

Mark A. Russell

Production Associate

Gary Rydstrom

Sound Designer

Gary Rydstrom

Sound Editor

Gary Rydstrom

Rerecording

Paul Salamunovich

Other

Film Details

Also Known As
A.I., A.I. (Intelligence artificielle), A.I. Artificial Intelligence, A.I. intelligence artificielle, AI, AI - Artificiell intelligens
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Thriller
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
2001
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Los Angeles, California, USA; Spruce Goose Dome, Long Beach, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m

Award Nominations

Best Score

2001

Best Visual Effects

2001

Articles

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence


Come away O human child / To the waters and the wild / With a fairy hand in hand / For the world's more full of weeping / Than you can understand.

Those words, from The Stolen Child, by William Butler Yeats, get to the heart of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the 2001 film written and directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a story treatment by Ian Watson, itself based on a short story, Super Toys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss, later developed by Stanley Kubrick. The odyssey of A.I. from Kubrick's development in the seventies through Spielberg's completed film in 2001 was a long one, but one that ended in the fusing of two filmmaker's styles, sometimes at odds, many times not, with each one complementing the other.

The verse from Yeats is first seen when David (Haley Joel Osment) asks an animated professor about the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. David is a mechanical boy and wants to find the Blue Fairy so that he may become real. But David already is real, just not human.

A.I. tells the story of a couple, whose son is in a coma, that take on David, a "mecha" (mechanical robot), as a surrogate child while their own child exists in the in-between world of hibernation, lost in a void from which neither parent nor doctor is sure he can recover. David, too, exists in an in-between world, seemingly alive and human but really just a collection of very cleverly contrived wires and circuits and microchips. Nonetheless, Monica Swinton (Frances O'Connor), the mother of the comatose boy, develops a relationship with her mecha "son" and eventually hard-wires him to love her. Almost as soon as she does, her own son, Martin (Jake Thomas), miraculously recovers and returns home.

Once home, Martin gets the attention that David once got and David is quickly relegated to the edges. David sits on the floor, across the room, while Monica reads bedtime stories to Martin in his bed, a bed that just weeks earlier David laid in while Monica read to him. He longs to connect to her again and performs risky missions, like cutting off a lock of her hair while she sleeps, because Martin told him that will make her love him again. But did she ever love him to begin with or was there simply a need, a desperate need, to keep the illusion of a son going when all seemed lost?

Later, as an abandoned David wanders an unfamiliar landscape, searching for a non-existent blue fairy that will make him human, he finds a world that is, indeed, full of weeping that he cannot understand. He finds a guide in Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a mecha designed for pleasure fulfillment that tries to get David to the blue fairy that will make him real. But the world Gigolo Joe inhabits is fraught with peril and as he and David make their way, death and suffering surround them. Mechas and orgas (humans) share a world in which orgas resent mechas, the very things they created. As Joe says, "They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us." Perhaps he's right but not how he intends. If the mechas are all that's left, will humanity be lost or simply live on in the mechanical form of their creation?

A.I. is as ambitious a project as Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg ever worked on in either of their careers. Kubrick kept pushing it back, year after year, feeling technology hadn't caught up with the way he wanted to make the film. Originally, he even thought a robot could be constructed to play the boy and when that proved unfeasible, he held out hope that one day computer animation could conquer the task. By the mid-nineties, he asked Steven Spielberg to take over as director but Spielberg insisted Kubrick direct it and Spielberg produce. After Kubrick's death in 1999, there was no choice left: Spielberg would direct and write the screenplay from the treatment by Ian Watson.

Spielberg decided on Haley Joel Osment to play David after seeing his excellent performance in The Sixth Sense (1999). Osment did a superb job, making David both alien and deeply relatable all at once. Jude Law gives his best performance as Gigolo Joe, mixing dance steps with a very focused, direct way of walking and talking that signals the artificiality of his character but somehow possessing of a childlike naiveté underneath. When he's framed for murder early on in the film, his fear and panic seem real but in the sense of a robot mimicking those emotions without truly feeling them. It's a fine line to walk as an actor but Law pulls it off.

As for the styles of Spielberg and Kubrick, both are evident in the film even if Spielberg's style is obviously predominant as the writer and director. It's thematically that Kubrick makes himself known by choosing this story in the first place. The short story, which deals only with the married couple, childless and raising David as their own son, centers around the nature of artificial children. In many ways, it covers the same territory as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which the HAL9000 computer seems real, seems human and when he "dies," as his brain circuits are removed, seems truly afraid. As his "life" winds down, there is genuine sympathy for this computer, as the audience watches him beg for his life, knowing his sentience is coming to an end. David, too, is helpless against the whims of the human world. He knows he is lost and unloved unless he can become human, something simply impossible for him to achieve.

Science fiction often deals with questions of the humanity of machines. How real are they? What emotions do they have? Can they ever truly feel the same way we do? A.I. does a better job than most at answering those questions by having David view the horrors of the world while the viewer views David. His confusion and fear trigger in us the same emotions and compel us towards sympathy. What Kubrick began, Spielberg finished. By the end of the film, questions of humanity still linger and the emotions still tremble below the surface. Steven Spielberg can be proud of what he achieved with this decades long project. And Kubrick would have been pleased.

Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Bonnie Curtis
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Ian Watson (story)
Music: John Williams
Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski
Editor: Michael Kahn
Art Direction: Richard Johnson, William James Teegarden
Cast: Haley Joel Osment (David), Frances O'Connor (Monica Swinton), Sam Robards (Henry Swinton), Jake Thomas (Martin Swinton), Jude Law (Gigolo Joe), William Hurt (Prof. Hobby), Ken Leung (Syatyoo-Sama), Jack Angel (Teddy voice), Robin Williams (Dr. Know voice), Ben Kingsley (Specialist voice), Meryl Streep (Blue Mecha voice), Chris Rock (Comedian voice).
C-146m.

By Greg Ferrara
A.i.: Artificial Intelligence

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Come away O human child / To the waters and the wild / With a fairy hand in hand / For the world's more full of weeping / Than you can understand. Those words, from The Stolen Child, by William Butler Yeats, get to the heart of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the 2001 film written and directed by Steven Spielberg, based on a story treatment by Ian Watson, itself based on a short story, Super Toys Last All Summer Long by Brian Aldiss, later developed by Stanley Kubrick. The odyssey of A.I. from Kubrick's development in the seventies through Spielberg's completed film in 2001 was a long one, but one that ended in the fusing of two filmmaker's styles, sometimes at odds, many times not, with each one complementing the other. The verse from Yeats is first seen when David (Haley Joel Osment) asks an animated professor about the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio. David is a mechanical boy and wants to find the Blue Fairy so that he may become real. But David already is real, just not human. A.I. tells the story of a couple, whose son is in a coma, that take on David, a "mecha" (mechanical robot), as a surrogate child while their own child exists in the in-between world of hibernation, lost in a void from which neither parent nor doctor is sure he can recover. David, too, exists in an in-between world, seemingly alive and human but really just a collection of very cleverly contrived wires and circuits and microchips. Nonetheless, Monica Swinton (Frances O'Connor), the mother of the comatose boy, develops a relationship with her mecha "son" and eventually hard-wires him to love her. Almost as soon as she does, her own son, Martin (Jake Thomas), miraculously recovers and returns home. Once home, Martin gets the attention that David once got and David is quickly relegated to the edges. David sits on the floor, across the room, while Monica reads bedtime stories to Martin in his bed, a bed that just weeks earlier David laid in while Monica read to him. He longs to connect to her again and performs risky missions, like cutting off a lock of her hair while she sleeps, because Martin told him that will make her love him again. But did she ever love him to begin with or was there simply a need, a desperate need, to keep the illusion of a son going when all seemed lost? Later, as an abandoned David wanders an unfamiliar landscape, searching for a non-existent blue fairy that will make him human, he finds a world that is, indeed, full of weeping that he cannot understand. He finds a guide in Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a mecha designed for pleasure fulfillment that tries to get David to the blue fairy that will make him real. But the world Gigolo Joe inhabits is fraught with peril and as he and David make their way, death and suffering surround them. Mechas and orgas (humans) share a world in which orgas resent mechas, the very things they created. As Joe says, "They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us." Perhaps he's right but not how he intends. If the mechas are all that's left, will humanity be lost or simply live on in the mechanical form of their creation? A.I. is as ambitious a project as Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg ever worked on in either of their careers. Kubrick kept pushing it back, year after year, feeling technology hadn't caught up with the way he wanted to make the film. Originally, he even thought a robot could be constructed to play the boy and when that proved unfeasible, he held out hope that one day computer animation could conquer the task. By the mid-nineties, he asked Steven Spielberg to take over as director but Spielberg insisted Kubrick direct it and Spielberg produce. After Kubrick's death in 1999, there was no choice left: Spielberg would direct and write the screenplay from the treatment by Ian Watson. Spielberg decided on Haley Joel Osment to play David after seeing his excellent performance in The Sixth Sense (1999). Osment did a superb job, making David both alien and deeply relatable all at once. Jude Law gives his best performance as Gigolo Joe, mixing dance steps with a very focused, direct way of walking and talking that signals the artificiality of his character but somehow possessing of a childlike naiveté underneath. When he's framed for murder early on in the film, his fear and panic seem real but in the sense of a robot mimicking those emotions without truly feeling them. It's a fine line to walk as an actor but Law pulls it off. As for the styles of Spielberg and Kubrick, both are evident in the film even if Spielberg's style is obviously predominant as the writer and director. It's thematically that Kubrick makes himself known by choosing this story in the first place. The short story, which deals only with the married couple, childless and raising David as their own son, centers around the nature of artificial children. In many ways, it covers the same territory as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which the HAL9000 computer seems real, seems human and when he "dies," as his brain circuits are removed, seems truly afraid. As his "life" winds down, there is genuine sympathy for this computer, as the audience watches him beg for his life, knowing his sentience is coming to an end. David, too, is helpless against the whims of the human world. He knows he is lost and unloved unless he can become human, something simply impossible for him to achieve. Science fiction often deals with questions of the humanity of machines. How real are they? What emotions do they have? Can they ever truly feel the same way we do? A.I. does a better job than most at answering those questions by having David view the horrors of the world while the viewer views David. His confusion and fear trigger in us the same emotions and compel us towards sympathy. What Kubrick began, Spielberg finished. By the end of the film, questions of humanity still linger and the emotions still tremble below the surface. Steven Spielberg can be proud of what he achieved with this decades long project. And Kubrick would have been pleased. Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Bonnie Curtis Director: Steven Spielberg Screenplay: Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Ian Watson (story) Music: John Williams Cinematography: Janusz Kaminski Editor: Michael Kahn Art Direction: Richard Johnson, William James Teegarden Cast: Haley Joel Osment (David), Frances O'Connor (Monica Swinton), Sam Robards (Henry Swinton), Jake Thomas (Martin Swinton), Jude Law (Gigolo Joe), William Hurt (Prof. Hobby), Ken Leung (Syatyoo-Sama), Jack Angel (Teddy voice), Robin Williams (Dr. Know voice), Ben Kingsley (Specialist voice), Meryl Streep (Blue Mecha voice), Chris Rock (Comedian voice). C-146m. By Greg Ferrara

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for the 2001 Award for Best Production Design in a Feature Film - Period/Fantasy from the Society of Motion Picture & Television Art Directors/ Art Directors Guild (ADG).

Released in United States Summer June 29, 2001

Released in United States on Video March 5, 2002

Released in United States 2001

Shown at Deauville Festival of American Film (Avant Premieres/Previews) August 31 - September 9, 2001.

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Venice 58 - out of competition) August 29 - September 8, 2001.

Stanley Kubrick was previously attached to write, direct, and produce. Kubrick died on March 7, 1999 at the age of 70.

Completed shooting November 17, 2000.

Began shooting August 17, 2000.

Brian Aldiss' short story "Super-Toys Last All Summer Long" first appeared in a 1969 issue of Harper's Bazaar.

Released in United States Summer June 29, 2001

Released in United States on Video March 5, 2002

Released in United States 2001 (Shown at Deauville Festival of American Film (Avant Premieres/Previews) August 31 - September 9, 2001.)

Released in United States 2001 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Venice 58 - out of competition) August 29 - September 8, 2001.)

Nominated for four awards, including Featured Actor of the Year - Female (Frances O'Connor), Cinematographer of the Year, Production Designer of the Year and Digital Artist of the Year (Scott Farrar and Dennis Muren), at the 2001 American Film Institute (AFI) Awards.