Meet the Robinsons (Buena Vista Pictures, G)

robinsons2In the same way Finding Nemo connected with a whole new group of children, Meet the Robinsons seeks to address issues many kids face.





The Walt Disney Company has long been a pioneer of animation technology, and with their latest feature-length animated film, Meet the Robinsons, they have changed the moviegoing experience once again. For most audiences, it will be the first movie they see that is completely digital; no more reels for the theater to splice, which means no more grainy pictures or crackling soundtracks. The luckiest audiences will be able to experience Meet the Robinsons in Digital 3-D, which puts old-fashioned 3-D, with its blue and red frames, to shame. This is the future of animation and movies, and it is fitting Disney is launching it with Meet the Robinsons.

The movie focuses on Lewis (Daniel Hansen) who was abandoned by his mother as a baby, and has been raised in an orphanage under the supervision of the kind-hearted Mildred (Angela Bassett). As it turns out, Lewis is a boy genius, his inventions not always working, but showing plenty of promise. Just before turning 13, Lewis decides he is tired of being passed over for adoption and sets out to invent a machine that will let him see his memories, much to the chagrin of his sleep-deprived roommate, Michael "Goob" Yagoobian (Matthew Josten). When his invention is complete, he hopes to find his real mom and reunite with her, giving him the family he has always wanted.

Soon after the machine is complete, strange things start happening. Lewis runs into Wilbur (Wesley Singerman), who claims to be from the future. Then, a weird-looking guy in a bowler hat, appropriately named Bowler Hat Guy (Stephen J. Anderson, who also directed the movie), comes to a science fair to steal Lewis' Memory Scanner with the help of his self-propelled bowler hat, Doris (Ethan Sandler). Wilbur offers to help Lewis track down Bowler Hat Guy, never telling him why it is so important to get the machine back.

This feature film directorial debut by Anderson is a thrilling ride, if only a bit frenetic and disorienting. The audience only gets to see a very brief glimpse of Todayland because most of Lewis' trip is spent at the home of the Robinsons and not exploring the world of the future.

Filled with great characters, like the insecure robot Carl (Harland Williams), Meet the Robinsons is guaranteed to delight children of all ages. What will really amaze them, however, is seeing 3-D like never before. Every piece of background and scenery jumps off the screen, making this future world more vibrant than any we've ever seen.

In the same way Finding Nemo connected with a whole new group of children, Meet the Robinsons seeks to address issues many kids face. Disney has begun using their movies to teach kids life lessons, sometimes repeating the theme too often, but still being effective. Meet the Robinsons is a fantasy adventure that presents itself as a children's movie but connects with anyone who has ever felt less than perfect. | Matthew F. Newlin 

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