Meet the Robinsons offers an optimistic look at the future. You don’t see that often. Meet the Robinsons was the forty-seventh Walt Disney Animation Studios film and the first one under that banner. Since Pixar was purchased by Disney at the time, John Lasseter was named the head of both studios. Meaning Disney could receive the computer animation help they didn’t get for Chicken Little. The 3D animation for Meet the Robinsons isn’t overly polished, but it is a step in the right direction. With more charming colorful visuals than before. Along with good futuristic pop songs. Meet the Robinsons is based on a 1990 children’s book titled A Day with Wilbur Robinson. A picture book about a kid meeting his friend’s wacky family one by one in an effort to find lost teeth. I neither read nor heard of the book, but it’s more the spirit of the book that was adapted.
Meet the Robinsons is actually the first movie my brother and I saw by ourselves. We were 14 and 11 respectively and our parents trusted us to go to the theater without supervision. Not that we needed it since it was G. So I have a strong attachment to the underrated Post-Renaissance film despite not watching it too often. In the movie, the role of the kids are expanded and given a lot more unexpected depth. Lewis is a computer animated boy genius with weird hair most people forget about. He’s a gifted young inventor who just wants to be adopted. When that doesn’t work out, he works tirelessly to build a device that scans memories in hopes of finding his mom. Even at the expense of his drowsy roommate Goob. His machine is sabotaged by an evil mustachioed Bowler Hat Guy. A seriously underappreciated Disney villain. Wilbur Robinson travels to the past in order to ensure Lewis’ future. The future is bright and whimsical with instant buildings, bubble travel, and time machines all invented by Wilbur’s dad Cornelius.
A man who lives by the important motto to “Keep Moving Forward.” Which is also the motto Walt Disney lived by. The movie briefly follows the book when Lewis meets Wilbur’s oddball Robinson family. Consisting of a golden robot, a goofy grandfather & grandmother, a couch potato uncle, a train loving aunt, an uncle married to a puppet, a cannon firing uncle, a planateering pizza delivery uncle, a painter cousin, a strangely dressed cousin, two cousins living in flower pots, an octopus butler, and Wilbur’s mom Franny. She teaches frogs to sing like crooners. Most of the humor is reliant on their wacky antics which vary in effectiveness. The Bowler Hat Guy shakes things up by controlling a T-Rex and things go awry when the truth is revealed. There are several unexpected twists I wasn’t expecting, but I won’t give them away. I’ll just say that the solutions to problems are extremely simple. Leading to a heartwarming ending that makes Meet the Robinsons a real understated gem.