(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Meet the Robinsons)
Doug (vo): Meet the Robinsons is kind of like Chicken Little if it had a touch more heart to it. But the downside is that it has the same problems as Chicken Little: way too many jokes of way too many styles and way too many characters that don't have a whole lot of focus. I guess I feel a little bit more for this movie, though, because the message, while very simple, I thought was actually developed much better than other films' development. The message of perseverance, learning to live with your failures but still finding the energy to move on. I just wish the rest of the movie was devoted as the message was.
Doug (vo): All right, well, the story centers around a young boy genius. He makes a ton of inventions that constantly gets him weird looks half the time, and also end up blowing up in his face. As if the kid wasn't odd enough, he comes across another little boy who says that he's from the future. Looking mostly to have fun and cause trouble*, he takes the boy genius with him and shows him off to his family. This is, as you would guess, the Robinsons, a very odd assembly of very strangely designed and strangely talking and somewhat memorable, but mostly forgettable, crew of oddballs. Most of their time, just like the movie, is spent always on the go, always doing something, always saying something, always doing something energized with some form of action. By God, look at how they eat dinner.
- [Note: Actually, he took the boy genius to the future in an attempt to solve a crisis that the villains of the film are causing]
[A scene is shown, showing a man named Gaston about to fire a cannon]
[The cannon fires a meatball into the face of Franny, the wife. As she speaks, the screen turns black and white for a moment]
Franny: Ha. Surely, that...is not the best you can do.
[She and Gaston get into a meatball battle]
Doug (vo): Yeah, it's that kind of movie. But an evil villain comes around, determined to take the little boy's inventions and make them his own, knowing for a fact that his potential will one day change the world.
Doug (vo): There's one or two twists in the movie that I think most adults can see coming, but for kids, they're actually not bad twists. But some of them get really weird, like the actual relationship between the family and the boy genius is...well, when you really think about it, maybe a little too uncomfortable, kind of Freudian when you get down to it. In another film, maybe they would dive more into this and the psychological ramifications, but it's Disney. It's a kids' movie. Of course they're not gonna do that, they shouldn't have to do that. But those weird, uncomfortable thoughts are still put in their minds once they show it to us. But as I said before, that's not the film's only problem. Its ambition is way too much for its own good. Every second, something is flying, something is popping, something is whoozing by, a character is shouting or saying a weird line or just doing something strange. The designs are pretty cool, but we never really have time to sit down and let them sink in. It's just constant weirdness upon weirdness upon weirdness. And it's not well paced, to a point where it just becomes so much overload that none of it sinks it. But occasionally, there's a joke that works or there's a character that's kind of fun or...I don't know. I guess it means well, so I can't be that harsh, but I just feel like it's trying too hard.
[Several more clips are shown before we are shown some of the ending scenes]
Doug (vo): The big redeeming factor, as I said before, is the message, and the way its portrayed. There's a very good quote at the end, and I won't ruin what it is or who says it. But it just leaves you with kind of a good feeling as you're exiting the theatre, which is more than I can say for some other Disney CG films.
[The title of Chicken Little is shown briefly]
Doug (vo): Does that make it a good movie? No. It's bad, it's pretty clumsy, and not very well put together, but I have a bit of a soft spot, maybe just for the message alone. It's a strange little experiment from Disney that never really went anywhere. You can see why, but I'll at least give it an A for "ambition".
[A scene showing the time machine flying around the futuristic city is shown]