Plot: Lewis is an orphan who has big ideas, but no one seems to want him. A young stranger tracks him down, to help him from the evil, mysterious Bowler Hat Guy. Together, they take off in a time machine and race to the future to try and fix the past.
Who’s it for: Everyone. Kids will love this movie and parents should find enough humor and excitement. There are only a couple scary moments for the little ones, but it seems on-par with other Disney features.
Expectations: The previews for this movie are awful. Not one thing made me laugh, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. The previews should focus on the digital 3-D, and how this has the potential to change the movie theater experience … that, and Bowler Hat Guy, a truly great Disney villain.
The names attached to this won’t blow you away. Laurie Metcalf and Angela Bassett are the only recognizable people besides small parts from Adam West and Tom Selleck. This isn’t a fault of “Meet The Robinsons,” instead it feels like every voice fits perfectly with every character. Grade: 8
Bowler Hat Guy: He is easily the best villain Disney has offered in the last decade. He’s got the look of a nimble Grinch with longer legs, and has the perfect evil moustache. Most of the humor in the film comes from him being dimwitted and his relationship with his trusty sidekick Doris (his bowler hat).
Talking: It’s difficult to admit, but the lessons learned in kids’ movies HAVE to influence your children. Maybe it’s just a little, but they are still there. Considering that, I think the script does a good job with adoption. Lewis becomes obsessed with the idea that his birth mother still wants him, but a motto of “Always Move Forward” and the portrayal of what a family can consist of, play important roles.
Sights and sounds: Hands down, this is the most enjoyable 3-D experience I have ever had. But when the competition consists of “Jaws 3-D” and “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over,” that’s not saying much. The key to this new 3-D isn’t the food flying at you (though that does happen), it’s the background. Every scene has depth and makes you feel like you can see into the world instead of just looking at it. On top of that, Rufus Wainwright has a few songs, taking over Randy Newman’s usual spot.
Best Scene: Tough to say. When Lewis first sees the future, little things such as the bubble transportation and Todayland are fun to see. But the the revelation of who Boiler Hat Guy is, and what he has been doing all these years put the biggest smile on my face.
Ending: There are some nice twists that adults will keep up with. Kids will probably be blown away by some of the revelations.
Unanswered Questions: Time trailer is always difficult to handle in films, and after a while things just seem to happen with no logic behind it. But that really just takes us back to time trailer being difficult. Also, I would love for someone to admit that the grandmother “baking cookies” makes no sense at all, and isn’t a good joke, but the nice part about “Meet the Robinsons” is, when one joke fails, there is another right around the corner.
Rewatchability: I’m not sure what Disney will do once “Meet the Robinsons” hits DVD. If they do carry over the 3-D technology, then I will be visiting my niece and nephew so I can watch it with them, probably on their 25th viewing. Also, this is based on a novel by William Joyce called, “A Day With Wilbur Robinson.”
Overall: A baby being left on the doorstep of an orphanage has been done many times, yet “Meet the Robinsons” makes it feel new again, and not just because of the fantastic 3-D technology. The story of Lewis trying to find a family of his own, mixed with time travel and the brilliant Bowler Hat Guy all add up to a family movie you will want to see, meet, and maybe hang out with a couple of times.
Overall Grade: 8