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Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Pretty much from the first day I saw a poster or the trailer for this Disney animated work, I've been dreading it. Whoever cut the trailer for MEET THE ROBINSONS should be banned from the hallowed halls of Trailer University for compiling one of the weakest advertisements for a film ever. With the exception of the sequence involving the T-Rex complaining about its big head and little arms, the trailer doesn't contain a single funny moment or in any way convey just how clever and hilarious this movie actually is. I walked in to my screening of the film dreading, DREADING what I was about to see. By the way, if you get the chance to see the film in Digital 3-D, do so, even if you have to travel hundreds of miles. The 3-D in this film is as good as what we saw in MONSTER HOUSE last year. Once the film gets moving, you are in for one fantastic adventure, sci-fi, family film filled with irreverent characters, creative visuals and a host of great voice actors, most of whom are actually voice actors (and not just celebrities adding their name to an animated movie to boost the marquee value). Young Lewis (voiced by Daniel Hansen) is an orphan and budding young inventor, whose latest contraption is sure to win the top prize at the science fair: his Memory Scanner, a machine he hopes will help him remember who his mother is (she left him in a basket at the front door of an orphanage just after he was born). During the fair, another young man named Arthur (Wesley Singerman) shows up looking for an evil villain known only as Bowler Hat Guy (director Stephen Anderson). The hat's name is Doris, in case you were wondering. Anyway, BHG steals the Memory Scanner, hoping to pass the invention off as his own to a big corporation. And Arthur and Lewis fly off in a time machine in the hopes of setting the world and time-space continuum right. MEET THE ROBINSONS really takes off when we get to the near future and meet Arthur's insane family and a supporting cast of bizarre and more bizarre creatures. My personal favorite is the Sinatra-like band leader/mob boss Frankie the Frog, who leads a Rat Pack collection of frogs that are sharp dressers and talking like they just stepped out of "The Sopranos." The family (which includes grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles of Arthur's) are all creative types, whose minds are warped and sense of reality skewed. There are almost too many family members to keep track of, and that's kind of the point. Around every corner is some new visual stunner that amazes us as much as it does Lewis. The family patriarch is the unseen Mr. Robinson (whom we're told looks like Tom Selleck), whose company invented and built many devices that have become commonplace in the world of the future. He also invented two time machines, one of which was stolen by BHG and one taken by Arthur and subsequently crash landed on the family estate. The family scrambles to head off any damage to the past and future BHG might cause, while BHG (whose motives are unclear for most of the film, but once made clear are quite interesting) wants nothing more than to destroy the family by changing the one thing in their past that brought them together. There's something kind of special about MEET THE ROBINSONS, a kind of magical twisted energy that goes beyond simply inserting modern references that will be out of date by the time this film comes out on DVD. But more importantly, this is a film that encourages people to use their brains. First-time feature director Anderson (who was an animator and artistic supervisor on other films) should be very proud of himself for not pandering to the kids but also not forgetting that they will be his primary audience. I guess what I'm saying is that parents should expect to be as entertained as the kiddies are — perhaps even more so. And considering how miserable HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER was, I'll take that with a smile on my face. The first great animated feature of the year is right here, folks.


Readers Talkback
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  • March 30, 2007, 8:31 a.m. CST


    by number5withabullet

    Hoorah for talkbacks

  • March 30, 2007, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Capone's right...

    by Abin Sur

    The commercials for this movie looked AWFUL, and this appeared like another sub-par Pixar lite flick. Glad to see it's got some substance - maybe the kids will be interested after all.

  • March 30, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Eh. The 3-D is cool.

    by woemcats

    This is an OK movie, but I wouldn't say it's great. I enjoyed it, and it's a little better than most kiddie movies with some nice odd humor bits (wait until you see BHG's evil lair), but it's also really shrill, mile-a-minute stuff, with hardly a moment for depth or character amidst all the action and wacky family members. It isn't nearly as funny as it should be for all the energy its exerting. But it was a lot better than I was expecting and the 3-D is great if you can see it.

  • March 30, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    I completely agree

    by JoeyRusso1290

    This film was incredibly suprising and one of the few computer animated flicks that seems to actually be designed to use Digital 3D. Check out our review @

  • March 30, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    I for one am excited to see this

    by purplemonkeydw

    the 3-D trailer before 'Nightmare' looked pretty damn cool, and I too laugh at the T-Rex portion of the current trailer. This weeks Little Miss Sunshine?

  • March 30, 2007, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Well the postivity and semi endorsements (woemcats)

    by Lando Griffin

    are good to hear. I was really in the dark on this one. The trailers made it look bland and forgettable, almost crappy even. I've been burned by Disney before, looking at you Chicken Little, which I actually fell asleep in. My son wants to see this, wife sounded semi interested and its actually playin in 3D near us (Chicken Little did not) but the endorsements in this thread have sold me on seeing in the theater rather than wait for dvd. Nice to know Disney can actually do something decent without Pixar.

  • March 30, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Kurt Russell approves of Meet the Robinsons

    by Lamerz

    I looked over and Kurt Russell was laughing, so I guess it was okay.

  • March 30, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST


    by council estate scumbag

    I aint no david Attenborough but i can tell a plant when i see one. This film is gonna be bad. i've seen the trailers and i know the synopsis, people. its another chicken little. but on a grander scale. i'm so disapointed in disney. where are the lion kings? where are the beauty & the beasts? where are the aladdins? its like disney are attempting to relive the glory days of 'oliver & company' and 'robin hood'. remember the classics diney not the crap-cics!

  • March 30, 2007, 12:55 p.m. CST

    More excited about this than any Disney movie ever?

    by jimbojones123

    First -- a BOY movie. YES! Next one that looks to be funny,not an overdramatic action flick a la Tarzan/Atlantis. Keep um coming Disney. Anybody catch the Classic Disney throwback from BHG?

  • March 30, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    My kids love the book..

    by theBigE

    'A Day in the life of Wilbur Robinson,' or whatever it's called. Has the same characters in it. I agree, the trailer didn't get my hopes up, but the reviews are turning out good. And I looked over and Kurt Russell was... oh, never mind.

  • March 30, 2007, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Thank God

    by Larry of Arabia

    The book is utterly chamring and the kids where I teach love it. Between this, Bridge, and Narnia Disney is on a kidlit roll. I'm going to have to catch this one.

  • March 30, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST

    What good reviews?

    by Mister Man


  • March 30, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by themikejonas

    That part of the commercial cracks me up.

  • March 30, 2007, 6:39 p.m. CST

    i thought it was awesome

    by robamenta

    i just got back from seeing it. maybe the best cgi animated movie. visuals were great, characters fantastic and a great message there as well.

  • March 30, 2007, 6:41 p.m. CST

    If Capone is a plant...

    by Alonzo Mosely

    That is a hell of a backstory they have built for the guy...

  • March 30, 2007, 11:23 p.m. CST


    by FrogStar

    His name is Wilbur. If you're going to praise a terrible movie, please do it with all the facts in check.

  • March 31, 2007, 1:14 a.m. CST


    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Much better than Chicken Little. The movie starts out like "huh?" but then really really takes off, and I love the ending. Great job.

  • March 31, 2007, 3:59 a.m. CST

    To quote the title of the review over at Pajiba...

    by DarthCorleone

    "Mommy? What the fuck just happened?"

  • April 1, 2007, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Don't forget...

    by superzario

    about the 3d Donald Duck toon at the beginning. Donald, chip and dale in 3D?!? Awesome!