"Meet the Robinsons", the latest animated feature from Disney, ends with a quote from Walt himself and he once said: "Around here, however, we donít look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new thingsÖ and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.". Waltís philosophy to keep moving forward is at the heart of "Meet the Robinsons" the first movie to be fully developed with the Disney Digital 3D experience in mind.
Last year, the classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was respectfully reinvented as a test run for the new Disney technology. And as cool looking as Nightmare was, "Knick Knack", the Pixar short that was also adapted into 3D showed the promise of how natural the Digital 3D effect looked when applied to computer rendered animation. And once the fully rendered "Meet the Robinsons" get going; the digital 3D effect really shines.
The futuristic time travel plot affords the animators a chance to open up and paint a fantastic silly world that shows off the range of the Digital 3D. As a nice in joke to the theme parks, the future is labeled as "Todayland" where people travel in bubbles, and sculpted skyscrapers are built at the press of a button. The funky and stylish retro fifties tone is reminiscent of the colorful worlds of "Rolie Polie Olie", the computer animated kids tv show that was also created by William Joyce, the author of the Robinsons book which the movie is based on.
And like Joyceís other works, his spin on the family scene is fun to watch as "Meet the Robinsons" centers on an eccentric extended family that fosters invention and celebrates failure as an important part of the creative process. This seems like a fresh message for kids movies these days and it goes well with the traditional Disney family values.
And while all the eye candy in "Meet the Robinsons" is entertaining to look at in 3D, the movie itself falls short of being outstanding. The movie seems rushed at times and it feels like thereís a few quirky family members too many. Especially as we are shown the witty back story for each Robinson, which feels like a relentless string of jokes trying to reach one punch line after another. Despite this, "Meet the Robinsons" plays better than most of the recent family films and marks a new era of movie magic to enjoy.
And while "Meet the Robinsons" has been released in a standard movie format, itís worth the effort to seek out a theater showing the 3D version and shell out the couple bucks extra for the sleek black plastic glasses used to see the movie in 3D. Sure, itís a gimmick, but itís a neat effect and Iím looking forward to seeing what gets done next.
Dusting off my old bowler hat again, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2007 - Purple - Air Date: 4/4/07
Meet the Robinsons 3D
USA - 2007