I took my children to see this as a reward for straight As on their report cards (!!!), and they liked it so much they wanted us to take their mother. We had so much fun. Frederica does such a fantastic job with her reviews that I wanted to share it with you…
National Review Online, March 30, 2007
If you see only one movie about Doris the Evil Hat this year, make it “Meet the Robinsons.” Disney’s 46th animation feature recaptures the old Walt magic; it’s got spark, originality, and pure delight, qualities missing from the usual shallow, preachy kid fare recycling on DVD players today. (Some credit no doubt goes to Executive Producer John Lasseter, a founder of Pixar and now Chief Creative Officer of both Pixar and Disney, whose mark is seen on such solid-gold films as “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles.”) If Disney can keep this kind of energy going, there could be a new golden age ahead.
“Meet the Robinsons” is a time-travel story, which means there are some tasty plot surprises—though perhaps too twisty for younger kids to follow. The story opens on a rainy night as a woman leaves a baby on the doorstep of an orphanage. We then meet him twelve years later as Lewis (voice by Daniel Hansen), a kid with a wheatfield of upright yellow hair, who keeps so busy inventing gadgets that his low-key roommate, “Goob” (Matthew Josten) can’t get any sleep.
Lewis is determined to find his mother. The housemother, Mildred (sweetly voiced by Angela Bassett) cautions him that this is impossible: “But nobody ever saw her.” Lewis replies, “Wrong. I did.” He decides to invent a memory scanner, which can locate images stored in the mind and display them on a screen. He intends to recover his own memory of his mother’s face.
But one day while Lewis is working on the machine’s design, a boy appears and introduces himself as Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman). Wilbur insists that he has come from the future, and asks anxiously if Lewis has seen “a tall man in a bowler hat.” Lewis scoffs at this, and points out that the document Wilbur claims is his license as a “time cop” is actually a discount coupon for a tanning salon. But when Lewis takes his memory scanner to the Science Fair…
And that’s about where you have to stop trying to recount the plot of this movie, because it is going to go in some nutty directions. So I’ll just give a short list of the things I liked about the film, followed by a couple of cautions.