A robot lurching forward reminds me to “Please put on your glasses,” but they are already on. The 3-D glasses have been a fixture on my face since I received the lime green eyewear at the door. To say I am a bit overzealous about the viewing of my first 3-D film might be an understatement. The sight of the robot bounding towards my face causes a gurgle in my throat bursting into a long giggle. Generally I leave the animation films strictly to babysitting nights or to lie dusty along with my other childhood videos. However, when I had the opportunity to see this 3-D film I jumped at the chance, and “Meet the Robinsons” jumped right back at me.
Disney’s new film, “Meet the Robinsons,” allows the audience to take a ride to the future in all its dimensions. The movie is based on the book, A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce. We first come across the protagonist Lewis (Daniel Hansen), a headstrong kid light years ahead of his time. Lewis is an orphan whose love of creating gadgets and gizmos creates problems for his hope of finding a family of his own. However, fate invents a way to save Lewis. When Lewis goes to the science fair to reveal his new project, he is whisked away by the mysterious Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman), who jets him up and into the future labeled as Todayland; there Lewis meets Wilbur’s large extended family – the Robinsons. The Robinsons are a zany, loveable family that immediately feel a connection with Lewis and remind him of his limitless potential. However, Wilbur and Lewis discover that the evil “Bowler Hat Guy” (Stephen Anderson, also the director) has been following them and is out to destroy the future, along with Bowler Hat Guy’s sidekick the a robotic hat, the malicious Doris. Only Lewis and Wilbur can save Bower Hat Guy’s domination of the future.
Liberated by the limitations of 2-D, the film utilizes 3-D to create not only a futuristic world, but also sublimely entertaining characters always on the move. The Robinsons’ family household is equipped with a life-size toy train, a meatball launcher, a room of musically inclined frogs and a bouncing front lawnm, just to name a few of the surprising additions to the house. However, at times the colorful cast members of the Robinsons is overwhelming. All members are delightfully unique, but there is such a large number of uncles in the family it is difficult to keep track of them all. One character that does stand out is the dim-witted, Bowler Hat Guy. He differs from other Disney villains in that he is not thoroughly rotten in his evil ways and has room for transformation, although his stupidity at times does get obnoxious.
“Meet the Robinsons” is simply fun. With carefully styled graphics, a funny cast and intriguing storyline, it can entertain kids as well as a college-age and adult audience. However, the movie is not without its familiar Disney moments of cheese and almost in-your-face morality. The guiding theme for inventor genius Lewis is “keep moving forward,” which is continuously repeated throughout the movie. The film does just that in the storyline; it keeps moving forward with humor and does not make the plot overly complex, with just enough adventure to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
“Meet The Robinsons,” in 3-D is playing at the luxurious Arlington Theatre downtown; don’t wait for your little brother to drag you to see it. I recommend sitting up close. To avoid the kiddies, check out a later showing. Tickets are slightly pricier than a regular showing at $11 per person.