Animation Adventures

Not Quite Human: A Heartwarming Sci-Fi Film with a Twist

Not Quite Human: A Synopsis

Picture this: A family decides to take in a robot as their son. Sounds like a wild concept, right?

Well, this is exactly what happens in the 1987 film “Not Quite Human.” Let’s take a closer look at the plot, characters, and themes of this unique movie.and Plot

“Not Quite Human” follows the story of the Peterson family who, upon discovering their teenage son is struggling in school, decide to buy a robot to help him with his studies. They name him Chip and, much to their surprise, he begins to bond with the family and show signs of emotion.

Chip becomes a valuable member of the family, but things get complicated when a group of criminals learn of his existence and attempt to steal him for their own gain. The Petersons must work together to protect Chip and keep their unique family intact.


The Peterson family is made up of father Jonas, mother Sandy, and children Rob and Katie. Chip, the robot, is also a main character throughout the film.

The actors who played these roles, Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Jay Underwood, and Kristy Swanson, respectively, all gave solid performances and helped to bring these characters to life on screen.


One central theme of “Not Quite Human” is the idea of what it means to be human. Chip may be a robot, but he begins to show signs of emotions such as love and empathy.

The Petersons also begin to see Chip as more than just a machine and truly come to care for him as a member of their family. Another theme is the importance of family.

The Petersons may have their differences, but when it comes down to it, they band together to protect Chip and keep their unique family dynamic intact. Through their struggles, they learn to appreciate and rely on one another more.

Engaging Rhetorical Devices

The idea of a robot becoming a member of a human family is certainly an intriguing concept, and the film’s title “Not Quite Human” immediately draws the viewer’s attention. Additionally, the themes explored in the movie, such as the nature of humanity and the importance of family, are universal and relatable.

By using subheadings such as “

Characters” and “

Themes,” the article is easy to navigate and the use of bullet points helps to make the information more digestible.


In conclusion, “Not Quite Human” may not be the most well-known film, but it offers a unique and thought-provoking story. The movie explores themes of family and humanity, and the characters are relatable and well-acted.

Overall, “Not Quite Human” is definitely worth checking out for anyone interested in science fiction or family dramas with a twist. “Not Quite Human” is a science fiction film that combines humor and heart, telling a story that is both unique and relatable.

Let’s dive deeper into the plot of the film to better understand what makes this story so special. The film begins with the Peterson family struggling to help their son Rob, played by Jay Underwood, get better grades in school.

When Jonas Peterson, played by Alan Thicke, comes across a special robot named U-Can-Do, he buys it to help Rob with his studies. However, things don’t go exactly as planned when the robot starts to show signs of human-like emotions and slowly becomes a part of the family.

The central conflict of the film arises when a group of criminals learns of U-Can-Do’s existence and attempts to steal it for their own gain, forcing the Petersons to work together to protect their robot son. One of the most compelling aspects of the film is the character of Chip, the robot who eventually becomes U-Can-Do. Initially portrayed as a cold, emotionless machine, it’s not long before Chip begins to show signs of humanity.

He laughs at jokes, dances, and even falls in love with a girl from Rob’s school. His character development throughout the narrative is delightful and heartwarming, making him one of the standout characters of the movie.

In addition to Chip, the other characters in the movie are also well-crafted and impactful. The Peterson family, while at times dysfunctional, is ultimately a loving and supportive unit that audiences can root for.

Rob and Katie’s sibling relationship is particularly well-developed, with the two young actors showing a natural chemistry on screen. The villains, while a bit cartoonish, serve their purpose as a threat to the safety and happiness of the Petersons and Chip.

As the movie progresses, the story becomes more complex and intense. The plot twists and turns as the criminals close in on the family, leading to a high-stakes finale that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Throughout the film, the themes of family, love, and humanity are woven into the narrative, giving the story a depth and emotional resonance that is often lacking in science fiction films. Overall, “Not Quite Human” is a delightful film that offers a unique and memorable story.

It’s a movie that will make viewers laugh, cry, and think, all while being entertained by a talented cast and creative filmmaking. The way the movie tackles the question of what it means to be human is thought-provoking and emotional, making it a movie that will stay with audiences long after the credits roll.

In conclusion, “Not Quite Human” is a film that is well worth watching. Whether you’re a fan of science fiction, family dramas, or just good storytelling, this movie has something for everyone.

Its well-crafted plot, relatable characters, and universal themes make it a standout in the genre and a true gem of 80s cinema. Behind every great movie is a dedicated production team, and “Not Quite Human” is no exception.

Let’s take a closer look at the behind-the-scenes details of this beloved film. The movie was based on a book by author Seth McEvoy, and screenwriter Jim Kouf adapted the story for the screen.

Kouf had previously written for films like “Stakeout” and “National Treasure,” and his experience in crafting compelling stories shines through in his work on “Not Quite Human.”

The film was directed by Steven Hilliard Stern, who had a long career in television before transitioning to feature films. In addition to his work behind the camera, Stern was also responsible for casting the young actors who played Rob and Katie Peterson, ensuring that the family dynamic felt genuine and believable.

The production design of “Not Quite Human” was also instrumental in bringing the story to life. The team made sure to create a futuristic world that was both imaginative and realistic.

The Peterson house was designed to look like a typical American home with added futuristic technology, while the U-Can-Do robot was made to look sleek and modern. The special effects used to create the robot were impressive for their time and still hold up well today.

The music for the film was composed by Richard Marvin, whose work has been featured in numerous films and television shows. His score for “Not Quite Human” captures the film’s emotional tone and serves as a great accompaniment to the story.

The cast of “Not Quite Human” had a great chemistry on set, and much of this can be attributed to the work of the film’s casting director. The young actors who played Rob and Katie, Jay Underwood and Kristy Swanson, respectively, both went on to have successful careers in Hollywood.

Alan Thicke, best known for his role on the TV show “Growing Pains,” brought a warmth and humor to the role of Jonas Peterson. One unique aspect of the film’s production was the use of animatronics to bring the U-Can-Do robot to life.

The animatronics team used technology and techniques pioneered by Disney’s theme parks to create a robot that could move and emote realistically. The result was a character that was both endearing and believable, adding a layer of authenticity to the film.

In conclusion, “Not Quite Human” was a well-crafted film that was a result of the hard work and dedication of a talented production team. From the writing to the directing, the production design to the special effects, every aspect of the film was carefully crafted to tell a story that was both entertaining and emotionally resonant.

The cast brought their A-game to the project, and the animatronics team created a memorable character in U-Can-Do. The result was a film that has stood the test of time and remains a beloved classic to this day. “Not Quite Human” was released in 1987 and quickly became a hit with audiences of all ages.

Let’s take a closer look at the film’s release, including its reception, box office performance, and legacy. The movie was released in theaters on June 19th, 1987 and was marketed as a family-friendly science fiction film.

Ads for the movie featured the U-Can-Do robot prominently, highlighting the film’s main selling point. The reception of “Not Quite Human” was generally positive.

Critics praised the movie’s heartwarming story and inventive premise. Although some reviewers felt that the film was predictable and didn’t offer anything new to the genre, most agreed that it was a well-crafted and entertaining movie.

Audiences, on the other hand, were less concerned with the film’s originality and more interested in its performances, humor, and emotional resonance. The movie proved to be a hit with families and became a staple of children’s programming in the late 80s and early 90s.

At the box office, “Not Quite Human” was a moderate success. The film grossed just over $8 million during its theatrical run, which was enough to recoup its production budget and turn a profit.

Although it didn’t break any records, the movie’s success was enough to spawn two sequels, “Not Quite Human II” and “Still Not Quite Human.”

Over the years, the legacy of “Not Quite Human” has only grown stronger. The film has been released on VHS and DVD and is available for streaming on various platforms, allowing new generations of viewers to experience its unique story.

The U-Can-Do robot has become a cultural icon, with merchandise and memorabilia available for purchase online. Fan websites and forums dedicated to the film continue to thrive, showcasing the enduring love and appreciation for this classic movie.

In conclusion, “Not Quite Human” was a well-received and successful film that continues to entertain viewers to this day. Its inventive premise, heartwarming story, and lovable characters have made it a staple of children’s programming and science fiction cinema.

The movie’s financial success was enough to spawn two sequels, and its U-Can-Do robot has become an enduring cultural icon. All in all, “Not Quite Human” remains a beloved classic that will continue to entertain and inspire audiences for years to come.

The soundtrack of “Not Quite Human” was an important part of the film’s emotional resonance and added to its overall charm. Let’s take a closer look at the music of the movie and its impact on the story.

The score for “Not Quite Human” was composed by Richard Marvin, who has worked on numerous films and television shows over the course of his career. Marvin’s work in the film effectively captures the mood of the story and adds to its emotional impact.

He was able to create a score that is both playful and heartfelt, capturing the themes of the movie in a way that complements the action on screen. One of the standout tracks on the soundtrack is “The Best Things in Life,” sung by adult contemporary singer David Pomeranz.

This song plays during a pivotal scene in the film, and its lyrics perfectly capture the themes of love, family, and happiness that the movie seeks to explore. The song’s upbeat melody and positive message help to create a lasting impression on viewers, adding to the emotional depth of the story.

In addition to Pomeranz’s song, the soundtrack also features other tracks that add to the film’s charm. One such song is “Rob’s Theme,” a playful and upbeat track that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that Rob feels as he navigates his relationship with Chip.

“Chip Dances” is another standout track, capturing the humor and lightheartedness of Chip’s character. The music of “Not Quite Human” is a perfect example of how a good score can enhance the emotional impact of a story.

Marvin’s work on the score helps to create a sense of wonder and joy that perfectly complements the film’s themes. The use of popular music, such as Pomeranz’s song, also helps to add to the movie’s relatability, making it a film that audiences of all ages can enjoy.

Over the years, the soundtrack of “Not Quite Human” has become a beloved part of the film’s legacy. Fans of the movie have praised the score for its memorable melodies, and many have sought out the soundtrack on vinyl and CD.

The music has become a cultural touchstone and a key component of the film’s nostalgia factor. In conclusion, the music of “Not Quite Human” is an important part of what makes the film so special.

The score by Richard Marvin perfectly captures the themes of the movie, adding to its emotional impact and standing the test of time. The inclusion of popular songs like David Pomeranz’s “The Best Things in Life” adds to the film’s relatability and helps to create a lasting impression on viewers.

Almost 35 years after its initial release, the soundtrack of “Not Quite Human” remains a beloved part of the movie’s legacy and a testament to how music can enhance the magic of cinema. In conclusion, “Not Quite Human” is a classic science fiction film that continues to be enjoyed by viewers of all ages, thanks to its unique premise, engaging characters, and heartwarming story.

The movie’s production was well-crafted, from the writing and directing to the production design, special effects, and music. Its reception was positive, and the legacy of the film has only grown stronger over the years.

The U-Can-Do robot has become a cultural icon, and the soundtrack has become a beloved part of the movie’s legacy. Overall, “Not Quite Human” is a testament to the power of storytelling and a must-watch for anyone interested in science fiction or family movies.


Q: What is the plot of “Not Quite Human”?

A: “Not Quite Human” follows the story of a family who takes in a robot named Chip to help their son with his studies, but they end up bonding with the robot and must protect him from criminals who want to steal him.

Q: Who stars in “Not Quite Human”?

A: The film stars Alan Thicke as Jonas Peterson, Joanna Kerns as Sandy Peterson, Jay Underwood as Rob Peterson, and Kristy Swanson as Katie Peterson.

Q: When was “Not Quite Human” released?

A: The movie was released in 1987.

Q: Is “Not Quite Human” suitable for all ages?

A: Yes, “Not Quite Human” is a family-friendly movie that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages.

Q: Are there any sequels to “Not Quite Human”?

A: Yes, there are two sequels – “Not Quite Human II” and “Still Not Quite Human.”

Q: Who composed the soundtrack for “Not Quite Human”?

A: The music for the film was composed by Richard Marvin, and the soundtrack features tracks like “The Best Things in Life” and “Rob’s Theme.”

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