Noell Wolfgram Evans · March 30, 2007
| Meet the Robinsons
is an inventive, engaging and fun film. It's enjoyable from start to finish and with luck could herald a new age in American animation. (That's not to say it's perfect or an instant classic, but it's got enough going right that the film gives us something different and special. In this day of copycat cookie-cutter films, that can't be overlooked.) This just-released Disney movie is a rare breed of Hollywood-produced animated films. It's not ironic, not moralistic, not a fairy tale on a grand scale; instead it's a pure story, well thought out and executed. It's the kind of movie that I left the theater liking and on the drive home found myself thinking back on and enjoying even more.
The Robinsons, it turns out, are an eccentric family from the future who get involved with a boy from the past to save the present—well, their present, but our future. While it sounds simple (read it again, it does) it's filled with enough twists, turns and surprises to keep from falling into some standard sub-par sci-fi potboiler. The film is not all surprises, or futuristic action or comedy. It's a perfect mix of all of this with some deftly handled poignant moments. Most memorable is the scene where Lewis intends to confront his long-lost mother. This wordless scene contains the right mix of natural sounds, subtle music and interchanging camera angles to evoke a heartbreaking moment for a young boy.
Meet the Robinsons
Directed by Stephen J. Anderson
Animation production by Walt Disney Feature Animation
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, 2007
Shop for Meet the Robinsons items and more:
Lewis is a new breed of Disney hero—an orphan, but one who makes his own future. While all of the characters are unique, two deserve specific attention. As throw-away sidekick animals go, Frankie the Frog and his Rat Pack sidekicks do a lot in their limited amount of screen time. Their solution to a problem with a hat was a great joke for the older members of the audience and brought about an enthusiastic response. However, it wasn't just about the joke, which could have been a throw away gag. What really pushed it over the top were the details—the contents of the trunk, expertly placed and conceived, the character positioning and their attitude. Again, another scene where so much is said with so little being spoken. That short little scene I would venture to say was better than 80% of the animated fare produced last year by Hollywood.