Hey guys. Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the 2007 Walt Disney film Meet the Robinsons. This is one of the few underappreciated films from Walt Disney. It didn’t gain enough success at the box office, but it did get some good reviews from critics. Before we get into the review, let’s get into the history of the film.

This film is loosely based off the 1990 children’s book A day with Wilbur Robinson, created by William Joyce. The book is about Wilbur Robinson and his friend visiting the Robinson Family, while also looking for Grandpa’s missing teeth. The production started in June 2004 and was originally going to be released in 2006. The film was originally going to be called the same title of the book, while it was in production, as well. What was going on with Disney at the time when this film was in production? During the same decade the film came out, it was released during the post-renaissance era of Walt Disney. In that era alone, Disney was going through another dark age. Most of their films i.e Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, and The Wild were either box office bombs, or critical failures. The reasons for this is because at the time, the Walt Disney company was in big competition with Pixar, and DreamWorks, and they were beating the company with their films left and right. However, during the production of the film, John Lasseter joined as the head chief of both Pixar, and Walt Disney animation company. He changed about 60% of the production of the film. He changed a lot of stuff that was going on with the film at the time, such as making the villain more sympathetic, and adding a Dinosaur fight scene.  Now that were done with the history of the film lets get on to the review.

Story

So the story is about a 12 year old orphan named Lewis who gives up on his failed invention that will be able to help his track his missing mother, which a guy in a Bowler hat stole. There’s a time-traveler named Wilbur takes him to the future to fix his memory scanner invention. With the time machine crashed, they try to fix it, and spend the day in the future with the crazy, zany Robinson family, while also keeping a secret that Lewis is from the past. Now let’s just say that the story of this film is pretty… weak. The main problem that the plot of the movie is all over the place, along with a few time travel errors. There’s scenes with Lewis trying to get his memory Scanner invention working, Wilbur taking Lewis to the future while also unexpecting running in to meet the Robinson family, the villain trying to ruin the boy’s future with the invention he stole, Lewis meeting the grown-up version of him, and getting back to the science fair. The time travel aspect is also pretty dull .In the future sequence, Lewis makes a helping hat named Doris, and the hat turns evil, and supports the Bowler hat guy, by ruining his future. However, she is just using him so that she could take over the world. How does she get defeated in the film? The Lewis in the past says that he is never going to invent her, and then she dies. Yeah, that’s why the time travel sequence is confusing. Despite my issues with the film, there are some redeemable qualities of the story itself. I loved how the film focuses on Lewis gaining confidence when he does something wrong, just like the inventions that he failed to make for example. I also liked how supportive the Robinson family were to him, when he fails at something. I loved the message here, too. There’s a quote that is used heavily in this film. The quote is “Keep Moving Forward.” The way that they used the quote makes the message of the film feel very emotional, and inspirational, without it being forced at all. There is also this Dinosaur action scene that is cool, and a funny scene of the Dinosaur saying “I have a big head, and little arms.” Lastly, the ending of this film is very emotional and inspiring. The plot is messy, but there is some heart, and good messages that this movie gives out. I give the story six stars.

Animation

After the box office bomb of Home on the Range, Walt Disney company decided to use Computer 3D animation. The animation here is decent. Its Not the best, but it is a step up from the horrible films such as Chicken Little, and The Wild. What makes the animation here stand out are the way the environments look, and the characters being very expressive.  I loved the pizza effects in the dinosaur action scene. The effects in the scene when Doris the hat takes over the world, makes the atmosphere feel dark and gloomy. My only issue with the animation is mainly the designs of the humans. They don’t look that good unfortunately. The animation may not be the best, but its the effects, and the environments are what makes this animation an improvement from the last two drek of the CGI disney films. I give the animation nine stars.

Characters

The characters in this film are really solid.  Lewis is a likeable protagonist. You can sympathize him with all of the horrible things that happened to him. Wilbur is a funny character, who gets into mischief, but also tries to help Lewis along the way. But the character I enjoyed the most is The bowler Hat guy. Fun fact: when John Lasseter rewrote 60% of the film during production, one of the things he did was that he made the villain more likeable, and sympathetic. His character wants to destroy Lewis’s life, just because he ruined his winning shot at a baseball game, causing him to not get adopted, and he use Doris for support to destroy Lewis’s future.  In fact, this really does make the villain more sympathetic. He also brings in some good humor too. I like Doris as the sidekick/brains of the bowler hat guy that does most of the work since he isn’t too bright to do it himself. Franny is a likeable and kind mother figure to past Lewis.  Unfortunately, there are some characters that have problems. The Robinsons, aside from Wilbur, Bud, and Franny, are the most disappointing aspects of the film. They really serve no purpose in the film at all. They just feel… there. There’s some wasted potential that this movie had with them.  They actually really don’t do anything in the film, considering the title of the movie is called “Meet the Robinsons.” Also. most of the family members in the movie are one-noted. The characters are good. I give the characters seven stars.

Verdict:

Overall, Meet the Robison’s is a decent film that put Disney back on track with making really good films, again. Yes, the plot, and most of the characters are weak, but the heart, and messages makes the film feel like a MAJOR improvement from Chicken Little and The Wild.  It may be an obscure Disney movie, but like the quote “Keep moving Forward”(no pun intended), the movie itself is a sign of Walt Disney animation company going into a new renaissance, soon with The Princess and the Frog. I give this movie seven stars out of ten.

7/10

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