Meet the Robinsons
© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The other great character is Bowler Hat Guy, one of the more inventive villains in any recent animated film. Bowler Hat Guy is that type of inept person who somehow manages to get things done; he's fidgety, anxious and really not all that good at being evil (he carries around a unicorn notebook, after all). In lesser hands the character would have been a sap or weak, but with stellar voice work by director Stephen J. Anderson and animation by Dick Zondag, he elicits a response of sympathy and menace, a fine line but one walked perfectly here. He's a singular character in the Disney canon and his scenes crackled.

Earlier I mentioned the details. Every scene seemed to be brimming with perfectly thought-out set dressings. Everything had a purpose and that detail helped to create a completely realized world and envelope the viewer in it. In every scene you can feel the past life of that scene or character, which allows you to only have to dwell on exposition/explanation briefly and instead continue following the story forward. Meet the Robinsons is based on the book A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce and if ever a book has felt like it's come to life, this is it.

The film is being released in 3D and the standard two dimensions. If at all possible see the 3D version. Not because the film is filled with gimmicky 3D effects, but because the technique helps round out the characters' world and, because of the great attention to design detail, places you in the environment.

A great touch is that Meet the Robinsons was book-ended by some history. The film is preceded by the 1953 Donald Duck and Chip and Dale short Working for Peanuts. The short was originally shown in stereoscopic 3D and has been retrofitted for the new Disney 3D process. It was a nice surprise and brought a great round of applause from the audience. The film itself was a delight to watch, like watching a ViewMaster come to life. On the other side, the movie closed with a great quote from Walt Disney on the possibilities of the future. There is a lot one could read into the addition of these pieces to the film, but from a strictly entertainment perspective, the Donald Duck short set the tone perfectly and the closing quote left you believing in the power of the future and the magic of Disney. And shouldn't a movie give you a little wonderment and magic?
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