Meet the Robinsons (2007)
If you think your family's different, wait 'til you meet the family of the future
The Basic Plot
Meet the Robinsons is a computer-animated feature from Walt Disney Pictures based on the book A Day with Wilbur Robinson, by William Joyce.
Lewis (Daniel Hansen), an orphaned 12 year old boy, spends his days developing inventions of the future, from flying cars to automatic PB&J dispensers. Discouraged by unsuccesful attempts to be adopted, Lewis hits upon a plan to reunite with his birth mother. In attempt to find her, Lewis begins to develop a memory machine to uncover his only memory of his mother. His quest is interupted when a boy named Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman), who claims he is from the future tries to warn him of the mysterious Bowler Hat Guy. Wilbur whisks Lewis away in a time machine to the future where he meets The Robinsons and continues his quest to find a family.
Fast paced and fun, Meet the Robinsons combines a touching story about wanting to belong while being an outcast. Embracing William Joyce's Art-Deco inspired artwork, which looks futuristic and retro at the same time, the story's visual appeal is as much a part of its charm as its characters.
Bowler Hat Guy, while seemingly cast in the mustache twirling villianous mould of cartoon icon Snidely Whiplash and every silent movie era villain before him, actually comes off as an endearing buffoon once you get to know him.
The time travel elements of the story are rather well done and even includes one of my favourite executions of Bill & Ted time travel logic where Lewis changes the timeline and his reality without even travelling in time, but simply telling himself that he will do it when he goes back in time. While some of the finer twists and turns might be lost on the under 12 set, the movie has enough to keep kid and adult entertained with lots of well placed visual gags (Example: the school is called William Joyce Elementary).
There is one brief dystopian scene of the future that has MATRIX-esque elements to it that might unsettle a few wee ones, but my own three year old seemed unfazed by it so your mileage may vary. Personally, my only complaint of the film is regarding The Robinson family as characters. While wackier than any Addams family and Von Trapp family combined, the plot and movie was too busy to explore them with any real timem. Then again I suppose that's the hook Disney and by extension William Joyce want to pull you in with, the tantalizing prospect that there is so much more to explore in the World of Tomorrow.
©2007 Andy Taylor
Review Posted: 2007-04-13
William Joyce - Official Website
With links to many of William Joyce's works/projects including George Shrinks, Robots, Rolie Polie Olie, Meet the Robinsons and more.
Meet the Robinsons - Official Disney Website
Includes synopsis, character bios, games, wallpaper, buddy icons,
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