“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.
“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, Bowler 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 in the movie.
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.
On the down side, 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.
You’ll find a modest selection of bonus features on the DVD. Kicking things off are three Deleted Scenes. One scene shows an extended version of Lewis arriving in the future. Another shows Harland Williams improvising a little as the robot Carl. The final deleted scene shows Bowler Hat Guy going back in time and changing his past for the better. The featurette “Keep Moving Forward: Inventions That Shaped the World” is a little documentary on real world famous inventors. “Inventing The Robinson” is your usual ‘making of’ offering and it features interviews with the cast as well as William Joyce talking about his real world inspirations for the film. You’ll also find an Audio Commentary with Director Stephen Anderson as well as the “Family Function 5000” Family Tree Game. Among the two music videos is most notably “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas. I had completely forgotten this song came from this movie. It certainly deserves an Oscar nod.