In a top-secret laboratory, located in Bentonville, Ark., Dr. Palmer, the renowned AI scientist is evacuating her invention, F.R.E.D.I, from the premises. The highly intelligent robot is Dr. Palmer’s pride and joy: a unique, multi-use robot created to help people and better human life. When her boss, (a greedy, war-mongering CEO) decides the technology would be of better use to hurt people, Dr. Palmer knows she must get F.R.E.D.I. to safety as quickly as possible.
Enter James Nash and his best friend Danny. While n avigating the troubled waters of high school, facing bullies on a daily basis and pining away for Natalie, the girl of his dreams, James locates F.R.E.D.I. in the woods and brings her home. Voiced by Candace Cameron Bure, F.R.E.D.I. provides James with more than just wonder and entertainment─she becomes his pal and companion. James has not had an easy go with his mother and sister now living elsewhere and him at home with his ever-distant father. F.R.E.D.I. provides the attention and concern James needs and a much-desired distraction from everyday life. However, Arachnocorp’s evil CEO and henchmen will stop at nothing to get their prized tech back. It falls to James and those close to him to protect F.R.E.D.I. and get her into the right hands before it’s too late.
F.R.E.D.I. is a fun sci-fi family adventure that has everything─drama, intrigue, giggles, personal struggles, developing character relationships, hi-jinks, and some heart, too. James is fairly unsatisfied with his current state of affairs until F.R.E.D.I. shows up and provides a much-needed break from the burgeoning issues he faces. About to leave his childhood home on the heels of his parents’ separation, in addition to the ups and downs of high school, James is understandably unhappy. The mystery surrounding F.R.E.D.I., the adrenaline rush, the wonder and awe of it all, gives James something to be excited─and frightened─about. Similar to the classic “E.T.,” the bond that James and F.R.E.D.I. have is just too darned sweet. But it’s not so sweet that it takes away from the drama and pace of the film. The tone is just right, balanced between all of its elements.
It’s a quality film with a good story that parents and kids of all ages can appreciate. The content is nearly squeaky clean, and there’s enough meat to keep it interesting and juicy, without being too predictable. The pace is exciting when it needs to be—and thoughtful when it needs to be. Beyond his relationship with F.R.E.D.I., we see progress in James’s other relationships. In a way, it seems F.R.E.D.I. is able to help James heal so that he can move forward with the people he cares most about. Perhaps that was her purpose all along.
F.R.E.D.I. has been awarded the Dove-Approved All Ages Seal.