REVIEW: Meet the Robinsons

This latest animation from the Disney studio is a curiously eclectic mix of references to other sources. The film’s antagonist, the spidery-framed “Bowler Hat Guy”, has all the hallmarks of Lemony Snickett’s Count Olaf and bears a startling resemblance to one of Tim Burton’s early animations, Vincent. That the film’s score was composed by that director’s long time sidekick, Danny Elfman, perhaps adds to that Burtonesque feel. However, unlike most of Burton’s work, Meet The Robinsons is much lighter in tone and style, a trait more contingent with past Disney works.

The film’s would-be hero, adolescent orphan, and mechanical wiz-kid (well almost), Lewis is the typical Disney dreamer. He spends his days jotting away plans for inventions in his notepad and his nights keeping his hapless roommate Goober, awake while building the various contraptions. However, when one of Lewis’ inventions goes awry at a science fair, he suddenly finds himself in the back of time machine zooming headlong into the future. It’s here the film’s other references start to emerge, from the 50s futurism of The Jetsons, through the narrative allusions to Back To The Future and the lesser accomplished animation, Jimmy Neutron.

Yet, Meet The Robinsons still manages to carve out a reputation for itself and there is much to like about this film. The animation is on par with the best of recent times (The Incredibles) and is aided nicely by the use of 3D digital animation – one sequence in particular is compelling alone for its use of rain. There are other stunning set pieces too – including a post-apocalyptic future ruled by a scheming Bowler hat – while the introduction of the ‘future’ family allows for a very comic interlude about each member’s relationship to the other. It may not have the depth of humour of Toy Story or Antz but Meet The Robinsons is unlikely to leave older audiences displeased. With its venture into the nostalgic cinematic past of 3D, and the computer animation of present day, Meet The Robinsons looks backwards and forwards at the same time, and the effect is genuinely enjoyable.

Filed under : Review

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a reply