It’s hard to tell what lesson(s) the makers of Meet the Robinsons are trying to bestow on their audiences, but I imagine each of the seven screenwriters had their own intentions. This Disney release lacks all the humor and originality of more successful recent animated installments like the Toy Story or Shrek series. I went anticipating such humor and perhaps a message for the kids but found neither. In fact, they could have kept showing the old Disney shorts like Boat Builders that preceded the film, and my money would have been better spent.
This story of an abandoned boy genius, Lewis, who invents a machine to tap into his memories to find an image of the mother who abandoned him gets tangled up in a time travel “adventure” in which he encounters his future family but has to make the right decisions in order to ensure that this future comes to fruition. The film, like Lewis, follows the motto to “Keep moving forward,” but unfortunately it does so at the expense of any coherent or pointed plot development. Lewis’ future self will tell him, in light of having seen his future, “Nothing is set in stone…you’ve got to make the right choices.” Unfortunately, the plot did not face any difficult decisions as most viewers will see the ending long before they finish their popcorn. The film makes several offhand comments on issues like why parents abandon their children, forgiveness, anger, and our ability to control our destinies. It pounds home perhaps its main point in one scene: failure is a part of life. Through failure we learn for furture endeavors and become better people. I wonder what the filmmakers learned from making Meet the Robinsons.
Save the time and money and re-watch Toy Story or Shrek.