- Introduction to The
History and Credits
- The Characters
Visionary, Professor Allen Hobby
Friends at Birthday Party
- To aid you in your quest to understanding
A.I. (or going insane, whichever comes first), The Mysteries of
A.I. has sought to provide a detailed description of each and
every character (of importance) in the film. In the time to come,
you may be able to come here and instantly find out what scenes
each character was in; how much screentime they have; and even
various lines of dialogue that they spoke. However, as of this
moment we only offer descriptions and such, albeit informative
ones at that!
- In addition, we would like to
note that these temporary character descriptions were written
by the fabulous Bryan Harrison and originally appeared at the
1.2 Version History
- Uploaded March 4th, 2002 - 8:25PM
- Written and copyright by Jedi
Kindergartner and Bryan Harrison; Individual Material is copyright
it's respective owner.
2.1 The Swintons
- The Swinton family is what one
might consider the suburban equivalent of the future. While the
Swintons are undoubtedly far better off financially than most,
their lives resemble somewhat that of a typical American family.
The Swinton family is comprised of Henry and Monica (the mother
and father), Martin (the son), David (the mecha son), and Teddy
2.1.1 The Swintons
- He looks so real! But inside
hes just like all the rest... Or is he? The result
of an unprecedented vision, David, A.I.s protagonist,
is the unique prototype of a newly developed series of robots,
or Mecha, designed as substitute children in a world
where childbirth is legally controlled. David is designed simulate
a human child in every respect from the state of the art physical
simulation, to his childish mannerisms. And there is another
human condition that David can reproduce; that one truly human
aspect that no Mecha before him has ever been able to duplicate:
Love. But is his love real? This seems to one of the underlying
questions posed by the resolution of this characters tragic
- In a performance that can easily
be claimed as unequaled by an actor in his age range, Haley
Joel Osment stunned the A.I. audience with such adult
emoting and control that it is hard to believe that he was just
12 years old at the time of filming. This performance above
all others in the film deserves recognition. David becomes a
member of the Swinton household when he is taken in to replace
their comatose son. But things dont work out as planned.
From the scene where he is first imprinted by Monica,
the woman who he comes to know as Mommy, to the
melancholy and thought provoking conclusion of the film, Davids
desperate search for love is a moving, philosophical
quest, full of plot twist and Kubrickian allegory. Accompanied
by Teddy, the furry little Supertoy inherited from his Orga
sibling, David is set unwillingly into an unsympathetic society
to survive on his own. Desperate and dealing with feelings that
no robot before him has ever had to contend with, he grasps
hold of a dream extracted from a fairy tale and sets out to
make that dream come true. This quest drives him into the realm
of a troubled and dangerous world that has drowned in its
own excesses. On the way he encounters Gigolo Joe, an unlicensed
lover-Mecha on the run, and together they face the obstacles
to Davids quest. The conclusion of his plight is one of
the most moving moments ever filmed.
2.1.2 The Swintons
- Did you see his face? Hes
but he isnt is he? This anguished question,
spoken to her husband upon her first meeting with the small Mecha,
defines much of Monica Swintons plight. Monica, the woman
whom David would come to know as Mommy has a human
child who is locked away from her, frozen in a cryogenic stasis.
She is the character in the film whose love is sought by David.
She is also a complex and troubled character and there is much
controversy among fans of the film about many aspects of her relationship
with the little robot protagonist. But it is in seeking her love
that David undergoes his mission to become real.
- Wonderfully portrayed by Frances
OConnor, Monica Swinton seems to be a woman trapped within
a web of conflicting emotions and desires. She desires to be a
mother in a world where limits are placed on the number of children
one is allowed. When her son is taken from her by disease, she
is presented a gift by her husband, Henry. The gift is David,
the special Mecha-boy, a prototype of a series that has been programmed
to express love. Desperate for the feelings and responsibilities
of motherhood she imprints David, awakening his emotional
aspect and the bond between them grows. Then, soon later, she
gets a fateful phone call from Henry regarding their Orga
son, Martin, and everything changes. It is in this difficult period
after their son revival that Monica will be forced to make the
hard and heartbreaking decision that sets David on his quest.
2.1.3 The Swintons
- A contentious figure in the film,
Henry Swinton, husband to the woman that David would come to know
as Mommy, is the one who actually initiates the fated
love between the two. He is the one who, out of love for his wife,
brings David home to bring her out of the deepening depression
caused by their sons comatose state. But then Henry develops
an antagonistic attitude towards the prototype Mecha when things
get complicated by their sons revival. The contention about
him arises from who Henry really is and what his motives really
are. That is for the viewer to decide. At one point Henry seems
to represent that uncompromising beckoning of the real world and
its depth of responsibility when, after an unfortunate and misunderstood
conflict between David and the real son, Martin, he
pressures Monica to make a fateful decision. At another point
he seems to simply represent all the antagonistic fear and prejudice
around Monica and Davids relationship when he seems to be
insistent on misinterpreting something David does in order to
gain Monicas love.
- Another complex character wonderfully
played by Sam Robards, Henry on the surface seems to be a mono-dimensional
vehicle for delivering David into his plight. But he is also a
necessary element in understanding the myriad of pressures on
Monica and the family triad, created by Davids presence.
2.1.4 The Swintons
- Martin Swinton, Henry and Monicas
real son, is one of the little boys you love to hate.
Mischievous, destructive and downright conniving at times, he
is not easy to sympathize with, even considering his difficult
situation. Struck down by a debilitating disease, Martin is taken
away from his family for five long years until he inexplicably
recovers. He then comes home to find he has a new competition
for his mothers love. At first he thinks David is just another
toy, another plaything to amuse him, but things quickly happen
that cause him to rethink this assumption. In his antagonistic
relationship to David, not only is he responsible for tricking
the robot-boy into a course of action that damages his household
standing, but Martin is actually responsible for exposing David
to the Pinocchio story which eventually drives his
quest to be real. Martin tries to slight the Mecha
by having Monica read the tale to them, but it backfires on him
when David takes the story to heart, believing that someday he
could be real too.
- Jake Thomas does an effective
job of portraying the typically boyish character, from his sarcastic
sneer when he introduces David to Pinocchio, to the sharp manipulative
eyes when he says to David, If you do something really,
really special for me
a special mission
initiating Davids fall from grace. Then a tragic and misunderstood
event between the two boys seals Davids fate.
2.1.5 The Swintons
- Every generation seems to get
better and better toys. And this process has apparently not changed
in the fictional future forecast in Artificial Intelligence. A
bright spot amid Davids hardships is his furry little friend
and the Jiminy Cricket of the tale: Teddy. Hes
a Supertoy, although he does not being called a toy.
Hes a walking talking Teddy-bear that would provide wonderful
companionship for any small child. Originally owned by Monicas
first son, Teddy gets passed down to David who is in need of a
companion when Mommy is not around. The little bear immediately
steals the audiences heart with his human-like expressions
and clever antics (like sewing up his own worn hide). More importantly
he becomes a self appointed watchdog for David who is struggling
with his new human emotions and becomes pivotal in the development
of the plot. Teddy provides moments of comic relief to the film
as well as acting as a guiding conscience for David.
2.2 The Gigolos
- Charismatic mechas, Gigolo Joe
and Jane are designed with one sole purpose: to serve as lover-bots.
2.2.1 The Gigolos
- Gigolo Joe
- Perhaps the character that underwent
the most revising when the film project was handed over to Steven
Speilberg, Gigolo Joe, the handsome, charismatic lover-robot
who befriends David, pronounces his programming clearly when he
tells a hesitant customer, You deserve much, much better
in your life; you deserve me! Written by the late, great
Stanley Kubrick, as a darker, earthier character, Spielbergs
Joe seems more to represent Mecha as an abuse underclass
than the self-serving mechanized sex-toy that was outlined originally.
It was suggested that Joe might have been the one element that
would limit A.I.s audience by giving it a higher
rating, so the changes may have a practical as well as thematic
- With his usual on screen charismatic
subtlety, Jude Law shows us a multi-dimensional, evolving character
whom, after being suddenly thrust into a situation in which he
is forced to break his programming, assists David
in his search for the elusive Blue Fairy. The circumstances that
lead Joe to cross paths with the little protagonist are a result
of manipulations reminiscent of the kind that have always been
placed on the underclass. A creature designed and built
specific to his task, Joe is much more restricted by his
programming than David. But is it possible that being exposed
to Davids very un-Mecha-like behavior might be having an
effect on him? This is a performance that definitely deserves
2.2.1 The Gigolos
- Jane - though only briefly shown
onscreen - is the female equivalent of Gigolo Joe, a sextoy robot
designed for that sole purpose. Jane is played by female model
- Cybertronicsis a powerful leader
in the field of Mecha manufacturing, creating artificial life.
Cybertronics is helmed by it's C.E.O., the Visionary - Professor
Employees - The Visionary, Professor Allen Hobby
- I propose we can build a
robot who can love, says the Visionary, and
he is not talking about the kind of love that is sought
from the variety of sensuality simulators in the dark anonymous
streets of the city. In the opening of the film the C.E.O
of Cybertronics, a leader in the highly competitive field of Mecha
manufacturing, inspires his crew of technicians and engineers
with what would seem an impossible task; to create a robot that
can feel actual love. His vision sparks the dream
that brought a new form of sentient life into the world. But is
his creation alive? Does it really love?
These questions are a philosophical subtext to this film, the
answer to which must lie in the result of their arduous undertaking;
the special and tragic mechanical figure which becomes the protagonist
of the film.
- In a powerful if somewhat brief
performance by William Hurt, the Visionary, driven
by his own inner conflicts, at once encompasses the striving of
humanity to attain an ideal; and our arrogance.
Employees - Sheila
- Sheila is but one of Cybertronic's
creations.... While at first glance, she may appear to be a rule
human, she is actually one of the less-advanced mechas.
Employees - Syatsoo-Samma
- Syatsoo-Samma is but one of Cybertronic's
employees, obviously the "quality tester" of the sex-toy
mecha line. ;)
2.4 The Flesh Fair
- The Flesh Fair, a horrible spectacle
akin to modern day's WWF wrestling "competitions." Run
by Lord Johnson-Johnson, the Flesh Fair destroys weary and damaged
robots as a means of "entertainment" of the angry crowd.
2.4.1 The Flesh
Fair - Lord Johnson-Johnson
- Any old iron?!
Mecha! With this disturbing chant, a charismatic and direct
antagonist to not only Davids plight, but to all of Mecha-kind,
enters the scene in a dazzling and violent round-up reminiscent
of the clearing of the ghettoes in Schindlers List;
and that is no coincidence. Taken to the terrible spectacle, The
Flesh Fair in Lord Johnson-Johnsons Moon Balloon
the weary and damaged robots are destroyed for the entertainment
of the angry crowd.
- In a captivating performance by
Brendan Gleeson, Lord Johnson-Johnson portrays at once the rightful
indignation of a people forced to live in a world ruined by greed,
and the willingness of the opportunistic and ambitious to take
advantage of that indignation. But who are these people that have
taken Lord Johnson-Johnsons message of hate and scape-goating
to heart? Does even he know? In a scene sure to raise the ire
of the films audience, Lord Johnson-Johnson drags a struggling
David to his doom at the hands of the crazed mob. But is there
a point that even his devout followers will not go beyond?
2.4.2 The Flesh
Fair - Ministry
- In a raucous cameo appearance,
the group Ministry provides a violent soundtrack of Industrial
grind-core metal for the Flesh Fair, entirely befitting of the
2.4.3 The Flesh
Fair - Little Girl
- David is brought to the attention
of Lord Johnson-Johnson due to a little girl, who notices Teddy
- who leads her to the cell where he is being held. The little
girl immediately mistakes David for a real boy, and runs off with
Teddy to tell her Father, one of Flesh Fair's production managers,
2.4.4 The Flesh
Fair - Little Girl's Father
- The little girl's father is, it
seems, one of the Flesh Fair's production managers. His daughter
brings to his attention David, and after careful inspection, he
is puzzled at how David isn't real. He then shows Lord
2.5 Rouge City
- Rouge City - a dazzling wonder
city, filled with all different sorts of orga and mecha on all
different sorts of business. What (and who) will the city hold
for David and his quest?
2.5.1 Rouge City
Inhabitants - Dr. Know
- Dr. Know, the Albert Einstein
of knowledge. There is nothing he doesn't know! However, information
comes at a price, and to obtain knowledge from this computer (represented
in holographic display), you must pay the fee.
- Dr. Know has long-since been a
Stanley Kubrick creation, and early storyboards show that the
Dr. Know sequence of the film is practically a carbon copy of
2.6 Other People
- Other People - hey, there's lots
2.6.1 Other People
- Dr. Frazier
- Dr. Frazier is a head doctor at
the Cryogenics Hospital, one who is in charge of Martin's case.
He offers little hope to Henry and Monica, however, as he knows
all too well about Martin's condition.
2.6.2 Other People
- A.R.T. Repairmen
- The A.R.T. Repairmen come into
the Swinton home to repair David after his Spinach mishap.
2.6.3 Other People
- Martin's Friends at Birthday Party
- Martin's friends appear briefly
at Martin's birthday party. They are immediately intrigued by
David, though they refuse to treat him as anything but a machine...
- Most of Martin's friends are among
14 years of age - there is quite an age gap between Martin and
his friends, it seems... a curiousity that has puzzled many people.
One must remember, though, that Martin was cryogenically frozen
for several years, and during those years he obviously did not
age himself. So the friends at the party were obviously the same
size as Martin before his freezing, but now are older and bigger.
2.7 The "Specialists"
- Coming Shortly!
2.7.1 The "Specialists"
- The Narrator/Head Supermecha
- Coming Shortly!
2.7.2 The "Specialists"
- The Blue Fairy
- Coming Shortly!
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence,
a film by Steven Spielberg.
- Hehe, as of yet we haven't used
a book for this section!