Disney: Meet The Robinsons

It’s a long car journey to London from my house, and a very long flight indeed to Florida from there. Even equipped with a DS, two books and your beloved family for banter, there comes a time you turn to the in-flight entertainment. On a budget airline, the selection’s limited and my sister and I weren’t expecting much when we tuned in to Meet the Robinson’s.

Oh, how naive we were! It had us giggling and weeping intermittently, and before we knew it an hour and a half of our flight had passed. It’s strange to feel so much affection towards computer-animated characters, but geeky little Lewis with his round spectacles and sweater-vest will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. Befriended by “time cop” Wilbur – who may have a geeky name but who is as slick as they come – he goes in search of the evil Bowler Hat Guy and his stolen memory scanner and time machine.

It’s also strange to feel moved by a futuristic chase through time and space. If you’ve been to Epcot, you’ll already be aware of Walt Disney himself’s fascination with the future. (If you haven’t, don’t sweat it – you’re not missing much.) So, it’s a very fitting story to have chosen for adaptation from the book ‘A Day With Wilbur Robinson’ and very visionary – it’s bursting with flying vehicles, impossible architecture and even more impossible hairdos. However, it’s a little strange to think the fast-forward all the way to…2037. Perhaps a bit ambitious with the imagined advances for technology? You could call me over-analytical, but maybe another century or so added to that date would make it a little more credible – how dated will it look to our children when we’re insisting they sit through ALL the animated classics.

Lewis is so hung up on his past, and finding out when he was left an orphanage, that he’s never fully considered what the future may hold: a wonderful adoptive family, a wealth of inventions, and a family of his own. It’s a good message, as a lot of children’s domestic situations are far from nuclear (but so far removed from other Disney orphans like Cinderella in her stepmother’s mansion that there’s likely to be a lack of empathy).

There’s a big cast of characters and it’s actually quite a complex plot, but in its ingenuity and twists and turns, it’s possibly the least predictable of all the Disney films (of course, that may be because I haven’t watched it so many times every detail is ingrained in my memory forever more)…and hey: “keep moving forward!” isn’t a bad motto to live by!

Lauren Felton

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