Lewis is an orphan (and inventor, by the way)
Who desires to be adopted, but his efforts do not pay.
His inventions scare his prospects, who don’t seem to comprehend,
And his labors keep his roommate Goob awake for nights on end.
He invents a masterpiece then for a science fair and show,
Which will let him see his mother who had left him years ago.
But his gadget goes haywire, bringing chaos from unease,
And one Wilbur Robinson still follows him as Lewis flees.
He insists that Lewis fix it, and to strengthen his contentions,
He takes Lewis to the future in a time machine he mentions.
These two minors promptly crash it, so they go to Wilbur’s home,
Where young Lewis tries to fix it, but he cannot help but roam.
Lewis then meets Grandpa Bud and lots of quirky relatives,
Who give him a special tour of where this wacky family lives.
In the meantime, there’s a man who wears a robot bowler hat
Who’s intent on ruining Lewis and destroying him at that.
He attempts to make the memory thing his own, but fails the con,
Since he’s really much too stupid to know how to turn it on.
With another time machine he stole, the villain then implores
Various beasts to capture Lewis, using frogs to dinosaurs.
Wilbur’s lies of Lewis’ origins catch up to him at last
When his family soon discovers that the boy is from the past.
Though he wishes he could stay, they say he simply must go back
So he runs and then is captured by the bowler-hatted quack.
Then the spiteful wretch reveals himself to be a grown-up Goob
Who blames Lewis for his growing up to be a washed-out rube.
For while Goob grew ever bitter, Lewis garnered celebrations;
He’s the father of both Wilbur and the future’s innovations!
Goob and Doris, who’s the bowler hat, a vengeful past invention,
Then go back in time to put a stop to Lewis’ grand ascension.
When this changes up the future to a bowler hat nightmare,
Lewis fixes his first time machine and mends the whole affair.
After that, he meets his future self, and then goes to the past,
Where he has the chance to meet his mom who gave him up, at last.
And yet, he does not take it, for it might take things off track,
And he knows he can’t move forward if he keeps on looking back.
Lewis fixes his invention; he’s adopted too, all right;
With success and love within his sight, he knows his future’s bright.
Meet the Robinsons may not have had an overwhelmingly positive response when it was first released in 2007, but it’s an excellent family film. With imagination running amok and frenetic, fast-talking humor galore, it’s a remarkably well-constructed film that offers some mature themes alongside nearly SpongeBob-ian silliness. (I also thought the bowler-hat-controlled future looked very similar to Plankton’s bucket-helmet takeover in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie three years earlier.)
The animation is good but obviously not the best CGI out there and seems to me to serve as the transition between the unimpressive Chicken Little animation to that of the almost Pixar-quality Tangled and Frozen. Though the time travel continuity falls apart during the bowler hat dystopia scenes, the writers were pretty careful in making most of the time travel elements work well together. The best part is the message of ”Keep Moving Forward,” a line straight from Walt Disney himself. The end definitely pulls on the heartstrings and made my VC cry the first time she saw it. Also, add “The Future Has Arrived” to the End Credits Song Hall of Fame.
Best line: (after insane craziness at the dinner table) (Lewis) “Is dinner like this every night?” (Uncle Art) “No, yesterday we had meatloaf.”
VC’s best line: “It’s shiny!” (a recurring gag)
Visual Effects: 5
TOTAL: 27 out of 60
Tomorrow: #351: Witness
© 2014 S. G. Liput