MEET THE ROBINSONS
***1/2 (out of 5)
March 30, 2007
Angela Bassett as MILDRED
Daniel Hansen as LEWIS
Matthew Josten as GOOB
Laurie Metcalf as LUCILLE KRUNKLEHORN
Stephen J. Anderson as BOWLER HAT GUY
Harland Williams as CARL
Adam West as UNCLE ART
Nicole Sullivan as FRANNY
Directed by: Stephen J. Anderson
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
A couple years ago, Pixar and Disney were just two companies with a distribution deal. When the word came out that Pixar was looking to unload the Disney yoke, the Mouse House developed an internal division to do their own CGI features.
The debut film from Disney was “Chicken Little,” a fun and entertaining film. Probably what was best about “Chicken Little” was that it was cut from a completely different cloth than the Pixar movies. Sure, it had cute and cuddly anthropomorphic animals, but it had an entirely different flavor. This helped differentiate it’s style.
The next non-Pixar CGI release from Disney was “The Wild,” a completely unoriginal and thoroughly annoying fare. Now, after Disney ended up buying Pixar for good, their internal group gives us “Meet the Robinsons.” Like “Chicken Little,” this was high fantasy for kids, with a healthy dose of science fiction.
The story follows a young orphan inventor named Lewis who is on the verge of creating a real mind projector. However, the evil Bowler Hat Guy travels back in time to steal the invention and pass it off on his own. Lewis joins forces with Wilbur Robinson, a kid from the future who is trying to set things right.
When Lewis travels back to the future with Wilbur, he discovers an amazing and eccentric family that he wishes could become his own. As more is revealed about Lewis’s future history and the mystery behind the Bowler Hat Guy, it becomes clear that this young inventor must fight to save his future.
So, was “Meet the Robinsons” as good as the films by Pixar? Not by a long shot, but it’s still pretty decent. It’s about as entertaining as the lower end Pixar films like “Cars,” but it’s a long way from “The Incredibles.” Still, it’s a good movie, and definitely one to take the family to.
“Meet the Robinson” tasted like chicken – “Chicken Little,” that is. It had the same visionary style and frenetic storytelling. The animation is crisp and fresh, blending 2D concepts with modern computer character design. Like “The Incredibles,” it offered a cool vision of the future, not so much what it would be like but what people thought it would be like in the 1950s.
The story works for the family film market. It’s not terribly unique or unpredictable. In fact, it’s pretty easy to see where all the plot twists are going to be in the first half hour or so. Plus, in the middle, as they introduce the members of the Robinson family, it drags a big and stoops to cheap jokes. But still, I had fun, as did my five-year-old son whom I took along for the ride.
“Meet the Robinsons” is being released in Disney Digital 3D, which was debuted with “Chicken Little” not too long ago. Like the IMAX 3D experience, this uses state-of-the-art processing to give one of the clearest and crispest 3D images I’ve seen on a movie screen ever.
Unless I’m watching an old print of “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” I doubt I’m ever going to be able to tolerate the old-fashioned red-blue anaglyph glasses after watching films in this new style. Trust me, if you’re going to check this movie out in the theaters, it’s definitely worth finding a cinema that can do the 3D process.