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Meet The Robinsons

From Walt Disney Home Entertainment:
Based on the book “A Day with Wilbur Robinson” by acclaimed author and illustrator William Joyce, Meet the Robinsons follows the adventures of a brilliant young inventor named Lewis as he sets off on a time-traveling journey to find the family he never knew. In the fantastical world of 2037, hip-hoppin frogs and dogs that wear glasses are as common as talking dinosaurs. In an amazing twist, Lewis discovers that the fate of the future rests in his hands, but he can't save it alone, he'll need every bit of help he can get from the wonderfully wacky Robinson family, who help him learn to keep moving forward and never stop believing in himself.

Disney fans will not only marvel at Meet the Robinsons’ richly detailed, animated futuristic setting, but also get a hoot out of the many quirky characters. Wilbur’s bubbly mother Franny has developed a method for teaching frogs, such as ‘goodfella’ amphibian Frankie the Frog, to sing. When Frankie’s not belting out hits he’s a mafia don. And then there’s Tiny the Dinosaur. The T-Rex’s huge head and big heart more than make up for his cartoonishly small arms.

TPR Comments on
Meet the Robinsons DVD:
Meet the Robinsons is an offering from Disney alone, which means no collaboration with Pixar on this film. This probably explains why the film is largely missing the sub-textual material that Pixar collaborations include to keep parents engaged. The film is a straightforward kids' film which meanders for over an hour before spending the last part of the film hammering (and we do mean hammering) home its message to "Keep Moving Forward." That said, we screened the DVD with our children and all were entertained.

Though we kept waiting (and waiting) for the plot to move forward, we found ourselves entertained by the wacky Robinson family. Kids will certainly entertained since the family acted like a bunch of cartoon characters (yes, we know this is an animated film) with over-the-top antics that would make Donald Duck proud. They were all brilliant, but seemed to use that brilliance in frivolous pursuits. Nonetheless, their antics and the futuristic setting kept the eye candy coming. The film was originally released in 3-D, which explains the vibrant feel of the film that remains.

When the plot did finally crank back up again, it came to a conclusion that probably is more complex than much of its young target audience can truly grasp. There were also several speeches made about "Keep Moving Forward," an outlook that the filmmakers also attributed to Walt Disney himself. This connection to Walt Disney and thus early Disney animation films might be the strongest message to resonate with parents.

Though not up to the standards of the Pixar collaborations, Meet the Robinsons exceeds other recent animated film offerings with the help of a bit of that Disney magic. The writing is weak, but serviceable, though the film's visuals are vibrant and often brimming with activity to keep one engaged where the plot does not. It has a 3-D style while being populated by characters that have only 2-D depth. The whole family will be entertained by the visuals and the adults will chuckle more than once over the Robinson family's antics. A positive by-product of the simplistic writing is the film's G rating and the lack of any subtext that can lead to curious children making their parents squirm with unwanted questions.

The DVD offers a handful of extras. The deleted scenes are fairly interesting while the featurettes add a few insights. There's nothing groundbreaking about the extras, although it's always nice to see at least a little effort to add some special content to a DVD.

Meet the Robinsons Voice Cast List
Angela Bassett
Daniel Hansen
Matthew Josten
John H. H. Ford
Tom Kenny
Laurie Metcalf
Don Hall
Paul Butcher
Wesley Singerman
Jessie Flower
Stephen J. Anderson
Harland Williams
Adam West
Nicole Sullivan
Tom Selleck
... Mildred
... Lewis
... Michael "Goob" Yagoobian
... Mr. Harrington
... Mr. Willerstein
... Lucille Krunklehorn
... Coach/Uncle Gaston
... Stanley
... Wilbur
... Young Franny
... Bowler Hat Guy
... Carl
... Uncle Art
... Franny
... Cornelius
Meet the Robinsons IMDB Listing

Meet the Robinsons DVD Extras:
— Audio Commentary by Director Stephen J. Anderson
— Deleted Scene: Arriving in the Future
— Deleted Scene: Meeting Carl
— Bowler Hat Guy's Redemption
— Inventing the Robinsons: Featurette on the film's develoment
— Keep Moving Forward: Inventions That Shaped the World
— "Little Wonders": Rob Thomas Music Video
— "Kids of the Future": Jonas Brothers Music Video
— Family Function 5000: Family Tree Game
Buy the Meet The Robinsons DVD Now!

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Meet The Robinsons

A Day with Wilbur Robinson