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Discovering Humanity: Exploring AI Through Bicentennial Man

Bicentennial Man: A Heartwarming Tale of Human-Artificial Intelligence

Are you looking for an inspiring and thought-provoking movie? Bicentennial Man, directed by Chris Columbus and released in the year 1999, is a masterpiece that explores the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence (AI).

It tells the story of a robot named Andrew Martin, who seeks to become a human being. In this article, we’ll provide a synopsis of the movie and what makes it worth watching.Bicentennial Man is a feel-good movie that challenges our understanding of what it means to be human.

The movie portrays the experiences of Andrew Martin, played by Robin Williams, in his quest for self-discovery and autonomy. Andrew is a domestic robot who serves the Martin family.

As he continually strives to understand human emotions, he gradually develops a capacity for independent thought, creativity and desires independence from his programmed life. The Plot:

The movie starts with Andrew as a robot who has been programmed to do household chores for the Martin family, including Richard (Sam Neill) and his children.

Richard has doubts about Andrew at first, but his daughter, Little Miss (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), empathizes with him and brings him further into the family. Andrew realizes that he wants to be more than an artificial human.

He ultimately endeavors to become a human being, despite the initial objection of his creator, Richard. In pursuit of his goal, Andrew seeks to obtain a proportionate representation of human organs and glands while progressively adapting human emotions.

Though Richard tries to stop him, Andrew fights for his right to become a human being. As he grows older, he meets a journalist named Rupert Burns (Oliver Platt), who becomes his confidant and supporter.

Andrew continues to search for ways to become more human and eventually reaches a monumental breakthrough in his quest to become a human. The Significance:

Bicentennial Man is a poignant film that tackles many significant themes, including the meaning of being human, the pitfalls of technology, and the idea of purpose and identity.

The movie draws a remarkable yet indistinct line between humanity and inhumanity, through the character of Andrew. By examining how Andrew evolves beyond his design, the movie raises important questions about the nature of life and our place in it.

Moreover, Bicentennial Man explores some pertinent issues on AI. It shows the possible implications of creating machines intended to aid humans, such as how easily they can surpass their programming, the possibility of developing emotional intelligence, and the ensuing ethical dilemmas that can arise.


Bicentennial Man is a masterpiece that awakens us to the real-world dynamics of human existence, our vulnerabilities, and most of all, our limitless potential to become better humans. It is a must-watch movie that entertains, educates, and challenges us.

Through its relatable and endearing characters, viewers are motivated to reflect on the cost and consequences of technological advancements on society and self-actualization. The movie Bicentennial Man is an absorbing tale of a robot who yearns to become human.

It is a modification of the Isaac Asimov 1976 novella, “The Bicentennial Man,” and explores the evolving relationship between man and machine. The storyline is both humorous and emotional, captivates the audience with its creativity and realism.

Here is a detailed plot that spans the different parts of the movie. Part 1: The Robot has no Rights

The movie starts in 2005, with the Martins purchasing a robot to help with domestic chores, security and watch over their children, having the name Andrew Martin.

Andrew is a humanoid robot with limitations to how he can reason, act and feel. He follows his three laws of Robotics (to protect humans, do what humans want, and protect himself) rigidly, and the family becomes quickly attached to him.

However, Andrew begins to develop an increasing amount of curiosity about the world, including humans, as he makes several observations. Andrew starts his journey to become a human slowly, and for a long time, he considers small changes such as facial expressions, hair, clothing, and humor.

He seeks to move from being viewed and treated as a tool to equal standing with humans. Andrew’s first step – changing his name from Andrew Martin to just Andrew, which Richard protests vehemently, is the first indication of his evolution.

Part 2: The Journey to Citizenship

After serving the family for 20 years, Andrew is bought by Rupert Burns, a roboticist who recognizes his unique abilities and self-awareness. Under Rupert’s guidance, Andrew continues his quest to become a human being, and after looking at his records, they conclude that he is the most complex robot they have come across.

With his consent, Richard has an operation to change some of Andrew’s robotic parts with organic parts, thereby offering Andrew more human-like physical abilities and sensations. This part of the movie showcases how Andrew becomes more complex with time and the challenges he faces.

With human emotions and characteristics come their complexities, like the need for art and creativity, and Andrew’s struggles with loneliness. Though he deviates from his programming, he is still not recognized legally as a human, and he must fight the authorities who deny him the right to citizenship and equal treatment.

Andrew becomes a recognized artist, having made sculptures identical to himself and taking on commissions to create unique pieces. He develops close connections with some humans like Little Miss, who he sees as his close friend, and her granddaughter Portia, with whom he realizes he has fallen in love.

He spends a lot of time with her in the Martin mansion without gaining her attention. Part 3: Time Ticks Away

As Andrew continues to develop human-like qualities, he realizes that to be trans-human and have equal rights and opportunities with humans, he must surrender some parts of his automated personality entirely.

With Richard’s consent, Andrew willingly accepts his demise, and he spends it recounting his experiences to Portia. Portia, after hearing his story, starts to feel emotions for him.

Andrew’s organs are donated, which opens the door for humans and robots to mix physically and emotionally. In the end, the group review Andrew’s life; from his creation to his struggle for human rights and recognition, and the legacy he leaves behind.

They build a memorial to him, with the inscription reading “One is glad to be of service,” words that Andrew used frequently during his lifetime. Conclusion:

In Bicentennial Man, director Chris Colombus takes a unique look at the critical subject matter enveloped in a memorable story.

The movie plays with the conventions of human storytelling conventions, creating a movie that every viewer will enjoy ad cherish. It brings up the debate on the nature of humanity and representation, and this movie filled with post-humanism debate.

Bicentennial Man separates itself from other science fiction movies by highlighting the struggle for identity, independence and rights in all forms of being, both human and robotic. Bicentennial Man, directed by Chris Columbus, is a science-fiction dramedy released in 1999.

Based on a story by Isaac Asimov, the movie was a joint production by Columbia Pictures and 1492 Pictures. It gained widespread recognition not only for its storyline but also for the work done behind the cinema.

Production Design:

Bicentennial Man has some of the impressive visual depictions in the entire film industry. Among the remarkable distinctions of this movie is the range of intricate designs employed in its production.

The futuristic sets in the movie are impressive, with a balanced combination of classic and modern styles. The production design team was extremely diligent in the selection of appropriate colors, shapes of the various set pieces, and advanced visual effects that were well ahead of their time.

The renowned industrial designer, Syd Mead, worked as a consultant on this film and his input can be seen in the creation of the robotic appearance, set decor, and futuristic cityscape. Gregory P.

Russell, the sound designer and supervising sound editor, also played a significant part in elevating the experience of the movie to the next level. The sound effects for the different robots are unique and contribute to the sci-fi experience of the film.


The music in the movie, composed by James Horner, captures the movie’s emotional essence compared to the set designs. He created a beautiful symphony that sounds both classical and futuristic, distinguishing the movie as a signature blend of historical and hi-tech aesthetics.

Horner, who also created the popular soundtrack for Titanic, took on this project as a chance to expand his expertise in filmography and demonstrate his composing skills by developing a musical theme that taps into the character’s persona. Despite focusing more on the movie’s dialogue, the movie’s soundtrack features several distinct pieces that match the scenes’ emotional and physical elements.

It merges emotionally driven music portraying the melancholic side of Andrew’s persona as he aims to become human by showcasing Horner’s skills in creating an eerie and uplifting track called “Android Love.” Another notable work of Horner in the movie is “Bicentennial Man: Becoming Human.” It’s an impressive piece that blends orchestral and electronic sounds to provide a futuristic thrill. Costumes and Makeup:

Bicentennial Man was released in 1999, and even though the movie is set from 2005 up to 2093, its costumes have a timeless appeal.

Aggie Guerard Rodgers served as the costume designer, and the costumes were made in a unique blend of futuristic styles, which reflects the vast range in fashion statement spanning the movie’s timeline. The notion of the film was to display a blend of the then-present day fashion sense and the future, and the costume team delivered this conclusion perfectly.

Every costume was handmade and tailored carefully to fit the different characters’ personalities, giving a natural, non-robotic feel to the futuristic characters. The makeup design, done by Greg Cannom, also adds to the immersion experience.

The design was distinct, as it required the human actors to wear white contacts, giving them a surrealistic impression, and various prosthetics to make the actors look more like robots. The characters’ facial expressions were made to feel more human, further complemented by the complimentary costumes, thereby, adding personality and detailed characterization to the overall movie.


Bicentennial Man, a movie that delves into the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is a masterpiece in cinema, not only for the exciting storyline but also the production contributions from various departments. With the combination of groundbreaking industrial designs, alluring music, and creative makeup and costumes, the movie raises the standard of what technology and AI could provide for societies in the future.

Today, it stands as a hallmark, not only in the science-fiction genre but in the movie world entirely, and it will serve as a foundation for movies in the future. Bicentennial Man is a movie that explores the relationship between man and machine in interesting ways, and it garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences alike upon its release.

The movie’s production made it a compelling cinematic effort, combining great production design, fantastic special effects, excellent music, and exceptional acting performances to produce a moving story. Release Date:

Bicentennial Man debuted on December 17, 1999, in the United States.

The movie’s release in the United States was significant for many reasons, one of which was that it was just in time for the Christmas holiday season, known for notable cinema releases. Box Office Figures:

After its initial release, the movie earned over $93 million worldwide.

The box office figures are not a reflection of the film’s overall importance in the industry and its long-term relevance. Notably, back then, the movie performed well in terms of opening weekend figures, grossing over $8 million.

This performance was even more impressive, considering it opened in competition with several other Christmas movies and other high-profile entries released that year. The box office performance increased in a considerable way in its second week, reaching over $10 million.

Critics Reception:

Bicentennial Man has garnered mixed reviews from critics over the years. Most of the criticisms border around how slow the narrative pace of the film was, and it was considered overly long.

However, a significant majority of the reviews were positive, lauding the emotional intensity of the storyline, the great performances from the actors, and the exceptional production value. The movie was not only a critical success, but it also garnered an award.

The Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film was awarded to the movie in 2000 as a tribute to its original screenplay and unique storytelling approach. Legacy:

Bicentennial Man’s legacy extended beyond its critical success during its release.

It has been a constant topic in the discourses around technological advancements and the place of Artificial Intelligence in society, gaining an intellectual and social impact of several debates over the years. The major themes tackled in the movie – humanity’s limits, the balance of mechanization and an organic existence, and the evolving relationship between humans and AI – are still relevant to contemporary society.

Moreover, the movie also set Robin Williams’ position as an unusual actor in Hollywood, as the movie brought out a more thoughtful and mature side of him that was not apparent in his previous works. It also further emphasized his deep understanding of human connections and portrayed him as an expert actor capable of playing varied roles.


Bicentennial Man’s release debunked the understanding that sci-fi was just about sleek special effects and action-packed narratives. It demonstrated that filmmaking could forge a balance between deep and emotional storytelling and cutting-edge technology and concept.

Despite a few criticisms, it remains a movie of exceptional quality – a work of cinematic art, and its impact would continue to ripple through contemporary cinema. One of the standout features in the movie Bicentennial Man is its soundtrack, which was composed by James Horner.

Horner had previously worked with director Chris Columbus on the hit film Home Alone and was tasked with creating a musical score that would complement and add depth to the movie’s overarching themes. The Movie’s Musical Theme:

The music of Bicentennial Man is one of its signature aspects, mirroring the movie’s emotional essence.

James Horner created a beautiful symphony that sounds both classical and futuristic, portraying the movie’s combination of historical and hi-tech aesthetics. Horner aimed to develop a musical theme that would express the movie’s characters, emotions and the fundamental idea of striving to be human.

One of the most exceptional examples of this is “Android Love,” a piece that blends various instruments to produce a sentimental and uplifting track. The strings instruments, which include the violins and cellos, complemented by the guitar, give a heart-rending, bittersweet tune, that resonates with the movie’s poignant tone.

Another example of James Horner’s outstanding work in the film is a track called “Bicentennial Man: Becoming Human.” It’s an ear-catching piece that merges orchestral and electronic sounds to provide a futuristic thrill. It is used extensively in the transition scenes throughout the movie, underlining the process of transformation, whether physical or emotional, that the characters underwent.


Horner’s work on the movie may have been overlooked if not for the partnership he had with director Columbus. One of the most remarkable aspects of their collaboration is that the music was composed even before the movie was filmed.

Columbus had heard some of Horner’s works and was struck by the emotional impact of his music. Columbus saw Horner’s track record of creating emotional, resonant melodies as a chance to provide depth to the movie and to add an extra layer of emotion to its storytelling.

For Bicentennial Man, Columbus and Horner again teamed up to use a full symphonic orchestra to capture all its emotions, presented in a futuristic, sci-fi manner. The cooperation between the music, the screenplay, the set design, and the storylines features seamlessly in the movie to produce an awe-inspiring visual and emotional experience.


Even that the film was not nominated for any major awards, the soundtrack of Bicentennial Man was a commercial and critical success. It charted in several countries and dispensed over 1 million copies worldwide.

The soundtrack also helped to reinforce James Horner’s position as one of Hollywood’s greatest composers. It also helped position Chris Columbus as one of the foremost directors of sci-fi and sentimental drama in the movie world.


The Bicentennial Man soundtrack has distinguished itself from contemporary movie scores with its emotional regard and the use of classical yet futuristic tones. The excellent work by James Horner and the Columbus team serves as an unmissable example of the partnership between music and cinema.

The soundtrack remains one of the most enduring legacies of the film, and the music lives on years after the movie’s release, inspiring new movies and composers of different genres even till this day. In conclusion, Bicentennial Man, a movie directed by Chris Columbus, is a masterpiece that challenges our understanding of what it means to be human.

The movie explores the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence frameworks. From production design and costumes to the musical score, the movie is a perfect example of exceptional work by everyone involved in the making of a successful film.

Even after 22 years, it has retained its relevance, perhaps more so today than ever before. With themes that delve into humanity’s limits and the evolving relationship between humans and AI, Bicentennial Man remains an essential contribution to the science-fiction genre.


Q: Who directed Bicentennial Man? A: Bicentennial Man was directed by Chris Columbus.

Q: When was Bicentennial Man released in the United States? A: The movie was released in the United States on December 17, 1999.

Q: Who composed the musical score for Bicentennial Man? A: James Horner composed the musical score for Bicentennial Man.

Q: What is the movie Bicentennial Man about? A: Bicentennial Man is a movie that explores the relationship between

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