Meet the Robinsons, a wonderful adaptation of a William Joyce book

First time director, Stephen J. Anderson brings wonderfully to life the adaptation of William Joyce’s 1993 children’s story, A Day With Wilbur Robinson. Backed by Disney magic, the story unfolds with young Lewis (voiced by Jordan Fry, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), a little boy visionary who was delivered to a doorstep of an orphanage as a baby.

During a horrible rainstorm, Lewis’ mother made the decision to give up her child. Found by Mildred who runs the orphanage (voiced by Angela Bassett), Lewis is taken in and raised by her to hopefully one day have a family all of his own.

Lewis aspires to be a great inventor and consistently creates machines which in the end…fail. Rooming with Lewis and experiencing first hand his failures is Michael “Goob” Yagoobian (voiced by Matthew Josten), a tyke with a propensity for sarcastic one liners which hit home. Sporting a little league uniform, Goob is readying himself for the big game while Lewis readies himself for the school’s science fair.

The hallmark of all of his inventions is the Memory Scanner, pieced together by old household hardware. This new invention of his will ideally extract one’s memories and display them unto a screen. As necessity is the mother of invention, Lewis’ invention has an ulterior motive and the sole purpose of its design is to locate his birth mother.

Enter: The Bowler Hat Guy (incidentally voiced by Anderson), our canny, sinister antagonist from the future who travels back to Lewis’ time (thanks to a stolen time machine), enters our hero’s chance for making a name for himself, and plots to pilfer the machine.

Along with him is his smarter half and more diabolical sidekick/accomplice-DOR-15 or Doris, the robotic retro bowler hat. He succeeds but not without sabotaging it first (thanks to Doris), so that Lewis can once again fail. After the mayhem, and with the scanner in tow, The Bowler Hat Guy attempts to make a lucrative deal with an exec who can mass produce it.

Lewis is taken back and before he can wallow in self pity, he is introduced to Wilbur Robinson (voiced by Wesley Singerman), time cop from the year 2037 (or that’s what he tells Lewis). Wilbur quickly fills Lewis in about the Bowler Hat Guy and his machinations for evil (that’s pronounced “ee-veel”). Lewis thinks all is a farce so without time to spare, Wilbur has no choice but to speed him away to the future in his time machine.

Lewis’ enters a world he could only imagine and is hidden away by Wilbur until he could figure out what to do next. Eventually, Lewis’ curiousity gets the better of him and he sets out to discover the mansion is home to the cooky, Addams Family-like Robinson family who have their own Big Band singing frogs- led by Frankie the Frog, (equipped with their own outdoor bar as well), and a monstrous octopus butler.

Lewis has his hands full in the world of tomorrow and discovers lessons he couldn’t have possibly learned while being in his time. Co-starring voices of Laurie Metcalf, Tom Selleck and Nicole Sullivan (from MAD TV), and armed with zany scenes sure to incite hearty guffaws , “Meet the Robinsons” blasts off into hi-jinks, resplendent colors, and ultimately a touching story. This is definitely family fun equipped with a rollercoaster ride of smiles.

Cool Factors: Frankie The Frog, The T-Rex, Lizzy, the little girl with dark undertones who announces at the science fair, that her project- a fire ant colony will only bite her enemies. The entire eccentric Robinson Family.

Grandma Lucille can really “bake those cookies!”
Rating: A


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Tobe R. Roberts

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