A recluse who spends his days inventing anything and everything, typically from found scraps, is Brian (Earl). His workshop and home are crammed with what some might consider rubbish, but he sees immense worth in it for his next invention. One day, while digging through the trash, Brian discovers a mannequin and decides to build Charles, a sentient robot. The beginning of Brian's friendship with Charles is great, and he is happy to have someone to spend every day of his life with. However, things become a little more challenging as Charles begins to develop his own needs and interests apart from his relationship with Brian. With Eddie, the bully of the little town, involved, things get even worse.
While keeping the film's positive attitude, Brian and Charles successfully explore the desire for interpersonal connection. It deals with issues of letting go, attachment, and the notion that one may mature if they have someone or something to fight for, whether it be a significant other, a family member, or a robot like Charles. It is not just about the value of friendship. Although the story doesn't take any significant turns beyond the lovely friendship at its centre, it always stays interesting and meaningful. It also never gets too dark or depressing. It's okay if viewers don't anticipate the movie going any further than its surface. Through the course of the movie, the emphasis on the title characters changes, which heightens the heart.