Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Disn-A-Thon: Meet The Robinsons (2007)

Lewis an orphan wants to see what his mother looked like. So he invents a machine that looks through your brain so you can see your memories. But this weird kid says he's from the future and warns him about a guy in a bowler hat. The bowler hat guy messes with his invention and it fails. He decides that he's a failure and no one wants him. But the kid that warned him about the guy is here on a mission to find the bowler hat guy that wants to destroy Lewis. To prove he's from the future he takes lewis to the future. But the time machine breaks and he's stuck in the future until he fixes it. In the meantime he spends quality time with the family. But the bowler hat guy is about to alter time and it's up to Lewis to save the future. [imdb]
In 2005, the Disney Company went through a series of massive changes internally that I personally feel were for the best.  First, Michael Eisner was ousted and replaced with Robert Iger... who then essentially cut practically all of the directors and department heads appointed by Eisner, bringing in some new people and many old, familiar faces who had since been "disassociated" from the company.  Without going into a lot of detail, Iger's mission seemed to be taking the company back to the glory of Walt Disney's lifetime, while simultaneously moving it further forward into the future.
A big part of this was, of course, the animation department.  A major play in this internal shake-up involved the aforementioned Pixar union, and ultimate resulted in ex-Disney animator (and major Pixar name) John Lasseter becoming the new chief creative officer for the Disney Company... which may very well be the ultimate salvation of Disney animation.

Despite being one of the few "Let's see if we need Pixar" movies, Meet The Robinson is a really fantastic movie, and I am incredibly certain that having Lasseter's input helped it a LOT.  According to the commentary and behind-the-scenes stuff, the film had been in production for quite some time, but when Lasseter came in to see it, he was able to point out various story flaws and weaknesses.  The film-makers then stripped the movie back down and re-wrote a lot of it (60% according to Wikipedia), and made the changes that I agree were necessary.

I will admit that this one has me hooked.  It's got beautiful animation, a fun story, some nice (but slightly expected) twists, and some wonderful, lovable characters.  It's funny, fun and exciting... Really, I just love it.

If you haven't seen it, you really should.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Some of the animation kind of put me off at first, to be honest, but I quickly warmed up to it... and I'm glad I did.  So don't let any initial reactions you have deter you from seeing this one.  It truly is fantastic.

I almost forgot... The Disney quote at the end of the movie sums up the entire message of the movie, which are the words "Keep moving forward."  I always thought they got that from the Disney quote and wrapped the movie around it.  As it turns out, they had the movie basically done before the director stumbled onto the quote, noticing that Walt had at one time said those exact three words which appeared throughout his movie.  He brought the coincident to the attentions of Lasseter and the other producers, and they decided it should be quoted at the end of the movie.  I'm glad they did, because it always brings a warm smile to my face.

Okay, I'm done rambling about this one... Rent it and watch it if you haven't seen it.  If you have, watch it again.