Movie Reviews

Meet the Robinsons

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 6 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

Cast:
Angela Bassett as Mildred (voice)
Daniel Hansen as Lewis (voice)
Jordan Fry as Lewis (voice)
Matthew Josten as Michael "Goob" Yagoobian (voice)
John H. H. Ford as Mr. Harrington (voice)
Dara McGarry as Mrs. Harrington/Receptionist (voice)
Tom Kenny as Mr. Willerstein (voice)
Laurie Metcalf as Lucille Krunklehorn (voice)
Don Hall as Coach/Uncle Gaston (voice)
Paul Butcher as Stanley (voice)
Tracey Miller-Zarneke as Lizzy (voice)
Wesley Singerman as Wilbur (voice)
Jessie Flower as Young Franny (voice)
Stephen J. Anderson as Bowler Hat Guy/Tallulah/Grandpa Bud
Ethan Sandler as Doris/CEO/Spike/Dmitri/Laszlo/Fritz/Petunia (voice)
Harland Williams as Carl (voice)
Kelly Hoover as Aunt Billie (voice)
Adam West as Uncle Art (voice)
Nicole Sullivan as Franny (voice)
Aurian Redson as Frankie (voice)
Joseph Mateo as T-Rex (voice)
Tom Selleck as Cornelius (voice)

Summary:
Disney Digital 3-D transforms "Meet the Robinsons" from a mediocre CGI film to a stunning 3-D spectacle. If you get a chance, see it in 3-D.

Story:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Lewis is an orphan who dreams of finding a family. His journey takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks him away to a world where anything is possible... THE FUTURE.

There, he meets an incredible assortment of characters and a family beyond his wildest imagination, The Robinsons, who help lead him on an amazing and hilarious adventure with heartfelt results.

Based upon the book "A Day with Wilbur Robinson" by William Joyce."

"Meet the Robinsons" is rated G.

What Worked:
I should make it clear that my review is based on the Disney Digital 3-D version of this film. And believe me, the 3-D effect made all the difference in the world. It made a merely mediocre film into something that was quite a spectacle and dramatically increased the entertainment value of "Meet the Robinsons." The 3-D effect made every scene absolutely stunning. Even when a character is simply sitting in a waiting room, the 3-D effect is so enthralling that you are pulled into the film no matter what's happening in the story. You end up being fully engaged all the way through the credits. The 3-D effect really brings out the artistry of the animation, too. You really start to notice little details like reflections in chrome and glass, the texture of the creatures, the detail in hair, and more. It brings a whole new level of appreciation to the CGI. It also starts you thinking, "Why can't all films look this good?" George Lucas and James Cameron have been preaching this for years and they're right. Imagine what films like "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," or even "Finding Nemo" would look like in 3-D. If even little films like "Meet the Robinsons" can look fantastic, what can other films look like?

The 3-D effect set aside, "Meet the Robinsons" does have a few good chuckles in it. There's a running gag about Tom Selleck that actually ends with a cameo role by him in the film. The villain, Bolwer Hat Guy, also has a bizarre unicorn and rainbow fetish. It's an amusing contrast. If you've seen the commercials then you've seen the T-Rex making the comment about his "little arms". It's actually a gag that runs through the whole film, but it loses some of its impact by the time you see it on the big screen.

I didn't realize it until I saw the credits, but Danny Elfman did the music for this film. His score doesn't stand out, but fans of his may want to check it out anyway. I was also surprised to find out that "Meet the Robinsons" was based on a book by William Joyce. Parents will know him as the guy that did "Rolie Polie Olie" and "Robots." The basic story is good and Lewis' quest to find his mother takes some interesting twists and turns. It gives the plot a deeper twist than you might expect.

What Didn't Work:
Without the 3-D effect, "Meet the Robinsons" is just mediocre. There aren't all that many jokes in the film that are funny and I only found myself laughing once or twice. And oddly enough, the movie is least interesting when Lewis finally gets to the future. The imagery is engaging at first, but when we meet the Robinson family, they come across as more of a bizarre cast of freaks and misfits than an endearing family. Their antics seem like a random jumble of ideas by the creator more than anything else. For example, why are there singing frogs in the future? Out of all the possible things you could have in the future, why singing frogs? It just seems like a whimsical idea from the creator like many of the visual gags in the film.

I'll also add that the film becomes quite intense towards the end. My child was terrified by a scene where hundreds of spider-like robots and some zombified Robinsons attack Lewis. It looked really cool, especially in 3-D, but my 5-year-old freaked out.

The Bottom Line:
If at all possible, check out "Meet the Robinsons" in 3-D. If nothing else it will convince more studios and theater owners to get more films in 3-D.

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