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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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MEET THE ROBINSONS

SYNOPSIS:
Lewis (voice of Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry) is a brilliant young inventor who meets a mysterious young stranger named Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman), whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy (Stephen J. Anderson) in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate.

Review by Louise Keller:
What kind of family has a one-eyed purple giant octopus that works as the family butler, a helpful robot with a detachable head, a well-dressed frog that croons for his supper and an uncle who delights in shooting himself from a cannon? Meet the Robinsons... a wonderfully eccentric family, if ever there was one. It's a super bright, super fun, animated time-travel adventure for the whole family that's funny, crazy and has plenty of heart. With its themes of belonging, to learn from failure and to keep moving forward, the story tells of a young orphan genius whose passion to invent comes from a genuine wish to make the world a better place.

It is a rainy night when baby Lewis is left on the doorstep of the orphanage, and when we meet him as a 12 year old experimenting with outlandish inventions, we understand why no-one wants to adopt him. Inspired by his wish to reunite with his birth mother, Lewis sets about to invent a memory scanner that will enable him to revisit his past. It is at the science show where he hopes to impress the eccentric judges, one of which wears dozens of caffeine patches to keep her awake, Lewis encounters the smooth-talking 13 year old Wilbur Robinson who whisks him away into his time machine, taking him into an incredible, vibrant and wacky future.

The characters are beautifully drawn and engaging, and in the madcap world in which Lewis is taken, he feels more at home than he has ever felt. And this weird and scintillating family shows him genuine affection. Fast paced and hip, with plenty of zip, Meet The Robinsons is good entertainment that satisfies as Lewis finds his place and his family and manages to change a few things along the way.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Surprisingly hip and wacky, Meet The Robinsons has enough comedic 'business' to amuse the adults while the kids must be wetting their pants. The film burst through my stoicism (it was a media preview on a Friday evening, after all) with its exuberance and its unpredictability.

The technical achievements become invisible in the rush of story, and the visual stimulation is intense enough to keep our eyeballs greased. In a way, this a Walt Disney for 2007: the filmmakers take a leaf out of Walt's original book as an entertainer who likes to have fun with his audiences, always making us aware that we have escaped from reality.

At the same time, the script is based on dramatic themes that engage our emotions, and while for Australians some of this is a tad corny in its manifestation, it is nevertheless sincere.

Walt Disney stood for fantasy on screen and this is a loving tribute to his legacy. The film is preceded by a classic Mickey Mouse short, just to get us in the right frame of mind.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MEET THE ROBINSONS (G)
(US, 2007)

VOICES: Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Wesley Singerman, Matthew Josten, John H.H. Ford, Dara McGarry, Tom Kenny, Laurie Metcalf, Don Hall, Paul Butcher, Tracey Miller-Zarneke,

PRODUCER: Dorothy McKim

DIRECTOR: Stephen J. Anderson

SCRIPT: Jon Bernstein (book by William Joyce)

MUSIC: Danny Elfman, Rufus Wainwright

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robh Ruppel (art direction)

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 29, 2007







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