In this animated adventure, brilliant preteen inventor Lewis creates a memory scanner to retrieve his earliest recollections and find out why his mother gave him up for adoption. But when the villainous Bowler Hat Guy steals the machine, Lewis is ready to give up on his quest until the mysterious Wilbur Robinson shows up on the scene, whisking Lewis to the future to find the scanner and his mom.
|Release Date||:||March 23, 2007|
|Genres||:||Animation, Comedy, Family|
|Production Company||:||Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||Stephen J. Anderson, Thomas Baker, Rick Moore, Merrick Rustia|
|Casts||:||Tom Selleck, Laurie Metcalf, Angela Bassett, Nicole Sullivan, Harland Williams, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Matthew Josten, John H. H. Ford, Dara McGarry, Tom Kenny, Don Hall, Paul Butcher, Tracey Miller-Zarneke, Wesley Singerman, Jessie Flower, Stephen J. Anderson, Ethan Sandler, Nathan Greno, Kelly Hoover, Adam West, Aurian Redson, Joseph Mateo, Joe Whyte|
|Plot Keywords||:||saving the world, tyrannosaurus rex, adoption, future, time travel, time machine, mythical creature, friendship, best friend, rescue team, family|
I'm writing reviews for a German movie website and thus got into a press screening of the new CG animated Disney movie "Meet the Robinsons" in Munich a little while ago. I'm a big animation fan myself and love many of the old Disney movies, although lately I've been more impressed with Pixar's films than anything Disney had to offer in the last few years. However, the story of this one is actually quite interesting and not as uninspired and generic as Disney's last traditionally animated feature Home on the Range or as messy as their first CG outing Chicken Little. It offers a number of nice surprises and even a good plot twist or two without causing too much of the old time-traveling headache. The humor also works quite well, although many of the jokes seem to be aimed at adults and little kids might not get all of them. (Didn't bother me, though ) Most importantly, this film does not contain a single fart joke nor any talking animals or even animal sidekicks (except for those singing frogs you might have seen in the trailers, but they're really not the same thing). I don't know how close this adaptation is to William Joyce's novel "A Day With Wilbur Robinson", as I've never read anything Joyce has written, but it all works pretty well and manages to be an exiting and entertaining family adventure movie.
One aspect of the movie that works particularly well is the design. The buildings, machines and landscapes of the future really look totally cool and have a very own look that is inspired by Joyce's illustrations and various visions of the future from the 50ies and 60ies. They're beautifully rendered, too. Furthermore, the animation is pretty awesome. The movements of the quirky characters are very fast but funny and cleverly stylized. The best example for this is the Bowler Hat Guy who moves in a unique style that makes him look like a giant Spider. This really is a welcome change from the hyper-realistic motion capturing stuff we've been seeing in a lot of movies lately. The character design isn't so bad either. However, the humans don't look quite as good as the ones in The Incredibles, the stylization of some characters makes them look a little too artificial for my taste. The voice-acting, which relies on solid voice actors and luckily doesn't involve any fancy stunt casting, leaves nothing to be desired. Danny Elfman's score is pretty fine, too. I could have done without the cheesy pop songs that were played at some parts of the film, though.
Altogether, I highly recommend seeing this warmhearted family film to any animation fan. It might not be as good as my Pixar favorites The Incredibles and Finding Nemo, but it sure is a lot better than most of the other studios' wisecracking-and-farting-animal flicks. With Pixar's John Lasseter pulling the strings at Disney's animation unit now, they finally seem to be getting back on the right track and I'm looking forward to their next projects, especially the traditionally animated The Frog Princess.
One last thing: as some of you might have heard, Disney wants to start putting original animated shorts in front of their feature films again. Meet the Robinsons kind of makes a start by showing the old Mickey, Donald & Goofy short Boat Builders in the beginning. It's a great experience to see one of those on the big screen again and the kids in the audience apparently loved it.