I took the wife & kids last night, but no 3-D.
My son age 7 loved it. He said it is his second favorite movie after PotC II.
My daughter, nearly 10 liked it, but far from her favorite.
My wife and I enjoyed it, but it had some slow moments. It had very little geared for multi-generational humor. A Hallmark of a great animated flick. Like the Incredibles, Wallace And Grommit or Roger Rabbit as examples.
The cartoon was good, there were several Disney inside jokes, like the Today Land instead of Tomorrow Land.
It was done at a children’s level and reminded me of George Shrinks* with the Techno-wow of the movie and characters. A Geek-feast of a movie, not that there is anything wrong with that.
The writer of the book wrote for George Shrinks I believe.
George Shrinks was adapted from a book by William Joyce, who did indeed write A Day With Wilbur Robinson, from which Meet the Robinsons is adapted. He also designed the characters for the Disney/Nelvana TV series Rolie Polie Olie and the Fox/Blue Sky film Robots.
I’m going to see the film next week, so I’m going to hold my thoughts until then (although Tiny the Dinosaur*, Frankie and his frog band- who I’ve seen in Clearview promos singing “Heard Ya From The Snack Line”- and Bowler Hat Guy seem very interesting), but animation historian Jerry Beck had an interesting comment. According to Beck, the film ends with a quotation from Walt Disney himself: “Around here…we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward.” Beck thought that this quote not only summed up the premise of the film, but also hopes it’s a sign that Disney- now teamed with Pixar- will keep moving forward as well. Only time will tell.
[sub]He has a big head and little arms. I don’t think this plan was thought out well enough.[/sub]
John Lasseter mentioned at a recent Disney shareholder meeting that one of the folks who worked on the movie actually was orphaned as a child. He didn’t know this at first, and learning this allowed him to give his insight into the film.
There was a strong undertone of sarcasm, of dark smart adult humor that had us laughing when all the kids in the theater were dead silent, but still plenty of intelligence in the jokes for the kids that we weren’t bored during the times they were laughing.
I really liked it (not to the level of most of the Pixar movies, but definitely above the Shrek movies, and rivaling the late-80s to early 90s Disney movies), but I’m realizing something a day or two later. Whereas a lot of these types of movies have quotable lines, and some sort of feel-good moral, this one was two solid hours of eye candy that left no lasting impression. I understand, and could readily explain, the story, and the moral that it tried to present, but it’s all so secondary to the look and to the “now” of the movie.
One thing that had us busting out laughing during the credits:
The “he looks like Tom Selleck” joke during the movie (which was very South Park or Family Guy in its “resurrect an old celebrity for a joke” punchline) was made that much better realizing that the adult Cornelius was voiced by Tom Selleck, once we saw his name at the end.
I just got back from seeing this, and I must say: very well done! Extremely funny and a very clever storyline. This is the film to beat so far for Oscar consideration in 2007.
The Robinson family is so bizarre that it’s funny. And Bowler Hat Guy…he’s the best thing in the movie (although his dinosaur slave is a close second). I love the fact that he’s a stereotypical over-the-top villain, yet he’s so stupid he can’t think of an evil plan to save his life. And the story of Bowler Hat Guy is a real shocker- as is Lewis’s story!
The standard theatrical release (which I saw) opens with a vintage Mickey Mouse cartoon, Boat Builders. It’s weak compared to some other cartoons of similar vintage, but it was nice to see Mickey on the big screen. (The 3D version opens with a Donald Duck cartoon which was originally filmed in 3D.) With that, and the new Disney Animation logo which opens the film (a scene from Steamboat Willie comes to life as Walt’s signature is written out), seems to be showing that Disney is respecting its heritage of cutting-edge quality animation, by both looking back wistfully to see what was done right, forgetting what mistakes have been made, and moving forward. It’s just what Mr. Robinson would have done. (I also like the fact that the film has a positive message- don’t look back on your mistakes, look at what you did wrong and use it as a blueprint to make it right. It reminds me of something I was reading recently about a real inventor, Thomas Edison. When he was asked how he felt about all of the hundreds of times he failed to make a lightbulb, he replied that he didn’t fail. He just proved hundreds of ways of how not to do it. If Thomas Edison held a grudge about his failures, would he have ended up like Bowler Hat Guy?)
It’s also nice to see a film without pop culture references other than an extended samurai spoof and quick references to Mafia stereotypes and Tom Selleck. And thank God that the dinosaur does not breakdance as he does in the ads.
One more thought: although promotional materials for the film claim the future depicted is specifically in the year 2037, this fact is never mentioned in the film. This is a good thing, as it would date the film, and it’s nice to just depict “the future” as a Buck Rogers-style future that never was and never will be (just as Disneyland and Walt Disney World have in Tomorrowland for the past decade or so).
Saw it last night with my family inclusive of wife and 5 yo daughter adopted from China. I wasn’t quite prepared for the strong adoptive issues focus and actually thought it was well handled for the context. My wife cried.
The family was a bit over the top for no reason other than being over the top and they bonded to an unknown Lewis a bit too quickly and easily for my tastes.
The villian was a bit too much of a prancing Snidely Whiplash andthe hat not ominous enough until the end. Apparently in the book the hat was the villian alone. I also just could not buy Boogs growing up into that stupid pathetic villian.The 3D effects are just distracting but the technology otherwise just breathtaking. The way reflective surfaces and lighting issues are handled was jaw-dropping.
I saw it on Friday with my 3 oldest kids, and I thought it was a hoot. Pretty predictable where it was going, but a fun ride overall. (Though way too much paradox to make any sense, if you try thinking about it…so it’s best not to, as with pretty much all time-travel plots.) My kids all said they loved it, but they hardly talked about it afterward, so I can’t be sure how much they really did.
We saw it last night (only the 2D version), and thought it was very good. Pepper Mill and I had both figured out where it was going in short order, although I was hoping there’d be a little more to it.
A few observations (Spoilers!) :
1.) In view of the fact that they had a rubber-limbed robot and a character named “Wilbur Robinson”, I was just waiting for a “Danger, Danger Will Robinson!” But it never came. You know they were thinking about it (Heck, Pixar had used Jonathan “Dr. Smith” Harris’ voice in two cartoons). It may even be why they came up with the robot, but they decided not to do it (Too much money to pay for a lame joke? Derailed the story flow? Desire to not give the Lost in Space franchise free publicity? Who knows?)
2.) They wouldn’t have been human if they didn’t at least think of a “Mrs. Robinson” joke. But there’s no way they’d include it.
3.) Did it bother anyone else that, after divesting the T. Rex of its mind-control derby, everyone simply ignores it? Just because it’s no longer being mind-controlled, they act as if having a huge T.Rex right next to them is not an issue.
Didn’t the Robinsons decide keep the T-Rex as a pet? At least, that what it seemed to me- wasn’t he there with the family when they bade Lewis goodbye? And regarding the family not seeing the dino as unusual: when a family contains a man who is married to a hand puppet, another man who regularly wears his clothes backwards and draws a face on the back of his head, a woman who trains frogs to sing, a pizza delivery man who believes himself to be a great superhero, and two brothers who hide in potted plants egging people on to ring their doorbell rather than the other guy’s, a pet dinosaur is not going to be considered that unusual.