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Meet the Robinsons
DVD disk
Nov 2, 2007 By: Quigles
Meet the Robinsons order
Director:
Stephen J. Anderson

Actors:
Angela Bassett
Jordan Fry
Tom Kenny

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Desperate to find a family, a young but brilliant orphan boy is launched into the future and realizes what he's looking for might be right in front of him.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Excluding their Pixar collaborations, how long has it been since Disney's made an animated film that you could imagine becoming a classic ten years down the line? A long friggin time, I'd venture. MEET THE ROBINSONS feels like an attempt to remedy that, but the storytelling too often veers away from its more interesting elements to make way for an overload of weird characters, bright colors, bubbly effects, and energetic action sequences.

The movie just doesn't flow naturally, and for the most part, stuff feels thrown into the film for the hell of it, as if the filmmakers had a checklist of things kids might enjoy watching. This includes, among other things, a giant octopus, a random kung-fu battle parody, singing frogs, and a tyrannosaurs rex. Admittedly though, the film still makes for an entertaining ride, and despite some of the additions feeling completely forced in, they still deliver some of the its best scenes (the dinosaur in particular).

Outside of the basic plot outline, there isn't much structure to the story, and a lot of the dialogue is lousy (usually involving some form of yelling). Meanwhile, other parts of the films are funny to the point of being jarring, making you question how many writers they had on this thing, and which were the good ones. I'd assume it was also these select writers that worked out the movie's message, which is probably one of the best I've seen for a kid's movie (promoting failure, provided you don't give up). Unfortunately, like every other crappy kid's film being released, it eventually spends so much time hammering in its message that it becomes borderline obnoxious. At one point they even have signs, banners, fortune cookies, and fireworks aggressively tossed onto the screen promoting it. They might as well have had a voiceover shouting at the audience, "Listen up, kids! Don't forget the f*cking message! YOU GOT IT!?"

Minor annoyances aside, this is still a fun time traveling CGI adventure, and I can guarantee most children will love it. And if nothing else, adults should at least enjoy the hilarious villain (referred to as simply "Bowler Hat Guy") and his nefarious but incompetent schemes. He's one of the few components of MEET THE ROBINSONS that feels developed well enough to be usable in a Pixar production. Maybe if Disney focused as much on the story's pacing and other characters as they did on him, we'd have a real hit on our hands. As is, the film makes for some good-hearted entertainment, but nothing more.
THE EXTRAS
A standard collection of Disney features.

Audio Commentary (with director Stephen Anderson): An enjoyable fact-filled track that provides exactly what you'd expect it to.

Inventing the Robinsons (17:55): A basic "making-of" featurette, loaded with interviews, and also focusing briefly on things like the music and adaptation of the story.

Keep Moving Forward: Inventions That Shaped the World (6:20): A family-friendly featurette that looks at history and the inventors/inventions that changed the world.

Deleted Scenes (7:10): There are three uninteresting scenes to be found here, each of which is introduced by the director.

Also included are two Music Videos ("Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20, and "Kids of the Future" by the Jonas Brothers), and a matching game for kids called Family Function 5000: Family Tree Game.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Great for kids, decent for adults. If you enjoyed ROBOTS, odds are you'll like this just the same.
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