'Robinsons' provides wholesome entertainment
April 6, 2007
So you’ve got your orphan child. You’ve got time travel, fully equipped with the machine. You’ve got the super family and a town that emits its bubbly personality through its architecture. What you’ve got is a Disney movie for the modern child of the ADD world.
The newest of the CG animations for the kids is “Meet the Robinsons.” As a typical Disney main character, Lewis is a motherless orphan boy who goes on a journey to find a necessary asset to his life — in this case, his family. Lewis is intellectually advanced for his age and continuously invents contraptions that are failures. The invention that makes the news is his memory enhancer, which he invents to remember what his mother looks like. A devilish man wearing an evil bowler hat sneaks in with a plan to destroy Lewis’ dreams by stealing the machine and pulling it off as his own.
Lewis meets Wilbur, who is from the future, and takes Lewis back with him, only to meet Wilbur’s entire family which consists of quirky members ranging from a man married to a hand puppet to twin brothers who dwell in shrubbery, taunting you to ring their doorbells. The movie is predictable, but it was comforting to see the little ones entertained when the obvious was happening.
The visuals were lively with its people floating in bubbles and buildings that were far past anything Frank Gehry could design. The colors were bright and the characters were outlandish. Unfortunately for us, the 3-D version is only playing in 600 theaters around the nation, which doesn’t include our western Wisconsin area. Though the visuals were still fun to watch, a third dimension would have made it amazing. That or being six years old would have made it exhilarating.
The visuals moved incredibly fast. The pace was rapid enough for me to do the animated head shake, squint my eyes and say, “Whaaat?” “Meet the Robinsons” is a children’s version of the stop motion animation of “Robot Chicken.” One minute Lewis is being praised over a failing peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making gun and the next there is the acclaimed tyrannosaurus rex creating a mess of laughter amongst an easily-amused audience.
The dinosaur, which looked an awful lot like a scene from Jurassic Park, was among many references to other films that were most likely unnoticeable by the target audience. The dancing/singing frogs made quite a hit, as did their predecessor, “The Goodfellas” with their gangster-like style.
A recurring theme strummed in my head throughout the film, but then, nearing the end, they spell it out for you. “Keep moving forward” is the motto for those who need to be reminded that life goes on whether you’re there or not. Even a quote by Walt Disney appeared at the end with those words illuminated. This immediately made me believe that this had been a tribute to Disney the whole time.
Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.