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Meet the Robinsons

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Meet the Robinsons
Meet the robinsons.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Steve Anderson
Produced by Dorothy McKim
John Lasseter
Screenplay by Jon A. Bernstein
Michelle Spritz
Nathan Greno
Based on A Day with Wilbur Robinson
by William Joyce
Starring Jordan Fry
Wesley Singerman
Harland Williams
Tom Kenny
Steve Anderson
Angela Bassett
Laurie Metcalf
Adam West
Tom Selleck
Nicole Sullivan
Music by Danny Elfman
Edited by Ellen Keneshea
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • March 23, 2007 (2007-03-23) (UK)
  • March 30, 2007 (2007-03-30) (US)
Running time
94 minutes[1][2]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $169.3 million[3]

Meet the Robinsons is a 2007 American computer-animated science fiction comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures on March 30, 2007. The 47th Disney animated feature film, it was released in standard and Disney Digital 3-D versions. The film is loosely based on characters from the children's book A Day with Wilbur Robinson, by William Joyce. The voice cast includes Jordan Fry, Wesley Singerman, Harland Williams, Tom Kenny, Steve Anderson, Laurie Metcalf, Adam West, Tom Selleck, and Angela Bassett. It was the first film released after John Lasseter became chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios.


Lewis is an aspiring 12-year-old inventor at an orphanage whose inventions have been scaring off potential parents. He decides that his mother, who abandoned him at the orphanage as an infant, is the only one who ever truly loved him and works on a machine to scan his memory to locate her. Taking his memory scanner to his school's science fair, Lewis meets 13-year-old Wilbur Robinson, a mysterious boy claiming to be a time cop from the future. Wilbur needs to recover a time machine that a man wearing a bowler hat has stolen. Lewis tries to demonstrate the scanner, but it has been sabotaged and falls apart, throwing the science fair into chaos. Upset, Lewis leaves while the Bowler Hat Guy, with the help of a robotic bowler hat named Doris, repairs and steals the scanner.

Wilbur meets Lewis at the orphanage and asks him to repair the scanner. Lewis agrees to do so only if Wilbur can prove he is telling the truth, which Wilbur does by taking them to the year 2037 in a second time machine. When they arrive, however, Lewis says he can use the time machine instead of the scanner, and he and Wilbur get into an argument and crash. Wilbur then asks Lewis to fix the time machine, but Lewis has another condition: Wilbur has to take him to visit his mother afterwards. Reluctantly, Wilbur agrees and hides Lewis in the garage. Lewis doesn't stay there for long, however, and ends up meeting the rest of the Robinsons except for Cornelius, Wilbur's father, who is away on a business trip. Following Lewis, the Bowler Hat Guy and Doris unsuccessfully try to kidnap him. Meanwhile, the Robinsons offer to adopt Lewis, but change their mind when they learn that he's from the past. Wilbur admits to lying to Lewis about taking him back to see his mom, causing Lewis to run off in disgust.

Lewis then discovers that Cornelius Robinson is, in fact, a future version of himself, and Wilbur is his future son. Lewis also finds out that the Bowler Hat Guy is a grown-up version of Lewis' roommate, Michael "Goob" Yagoobian. Because he was always kept awake by Lewis doing his projects, Goob fell asleep during an important Little League game. After failing to make an important catch that cost their game, the teammates had beaten him up. Goob became so bitter as a result, that he was never adopted and remained in the orphanage long after it closed. Doris was "DOR-15", one of Lewis' failed and abandoned inventions. They both blamed Lewis for their misfortunes and decided to ruin his career by stealing the memory scanner and claiming credit for it. Leaving Lewis behind, they take off with the scanner, drastically altering the future to a world minus Wilbur and dominated by Doris' clones who mind controlled the human population into slavery. In a video camera, it is shown that Goob is betrayed and shocked by Doris' takeover of everyone and is presumably killed by Doris' clones. Lewis repairs the second time machine, goes to confront Doris and destroys her by promising to never invent her, restoring the future to its Utopian self. After persuasion from Lewis, Wilbur tries to ask the adult Goob to join the family, but he has disappeared, apparently ashamed at what he has done.

Back in Wilbur's time, Lewis finally meets Cornelius face to face. Cornelius explains how the memory scanner had started their successful career, which persuades Lewis to return to the science fair. Wilbur takes Lewis back, but makes one stop first: as he promised, he takes Lewis back to the moment when his mother abandoned him. Lewis nearly stops her from leaving his infant self at the orphanage, but decides not to, explaining to Wilbur that he already has a family.

Wilbur drops Lewis off in his own time and leaves. Lewis heads to the fair, but en route wakes up Goob just in time for him to make the winning catch, changing his future. Back at the fair, Lewis asks for one more chance to demonstrate his scanner, which this time succeeds. He is adopted by Lucille, one of the science fair judges, and her husband Bud, who nicknames him "Cornelius" and takes him to their home. As Lewis leaves, he turns and waves at Goob, who is also leaving the orphanage with a family of his own and a Little League trophy. The film ends with a quote by Walt Disney containing Lewis/Cornelius' motto: "Keep Moving Forward."



Director Stephen J. Anderson at the film's premiere

Originally titled A Day with Wilbur Robinson, production began in June 2004, and was scheduled for a 2006 release.[4][5] While the film was in production, Disney announced on January 24, 2006 that it would be acquiring Pixar, and as a result, John Lasseter became the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. When he saw an early screening for the movie, he told the director Stephen Anderson that he did not find the villain scary or threatening enough, and suggested that he make some changes. Ten months later, almost 60% of the film had been scrapped and redone. The villain had improved and was given a new sidekick, a dinosaur chase had been added, and the ending was changed.[6]


Over 600 REAL D Cinema digital 3D-equipped theaters presented Disney Digital 3-D version of the film.[7] The 3D version was preceded by the 1953 Chip 'n Dale 3D short Working for Peanuts.[8] The final credits of the 3D version were left two-dimensional, except for the names of those who converted the film to 3D.

Home video

The DVD and Blu-ray versions were both released on October 23, 2007.[9] Both versions feature 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, plus music videos, the "Family Function 5000" game, deleted scenes, and other bonus features. The DVD's audio commentary contains Anderson's narration, occasionally interrupted by himself as the Bowler Hat Guy. The Blu-ray also includes uncompressed 5.1 audio and a BD-J game, Bowler Hat Barrage!. A 3D Blu-ray was released on November 8, 2011.[10]

As of January 2008, the DVD had sold approximately 4 million copies.[11]


Critical reception

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 66% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 138 reviews with an average score of 6.3/10. The site's critical consensus states "Meet the Robinsons is a visually impressive children's animated film marked by a story of considerable depth."[12] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 61 out of 100, based on 27 reviews.[13]

Realmovienews stated that it has "a snappy plot that demands close attention as it whizzes back and forth in the space-time continuum, touching on serious ideas and proposing some rather disturbing alternate realities. And the witty story twists are handled with rare subtlety and intelligence. In the end it may get a little weepy and inspirational. But it's so charming that we don't mind at all".[14] Danny Minton of the Beaumont Journal said that "The Robinsons might not be a family you want to hang out with, but they sure were fun to meet in this imaginative and beautiful 3-D experience".[15] Andrew L. Urban of Australian Urban Cinefile said that "Walt Disney stood for fantasy on screen and this is a loving tribute to his legacy".[16] Kyle Smith of the New York Post named it the 10th best film of 2007.[17]

Conversely, A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote: "Meet the Robinsons is surely one of the worst theatrically released animated features issued under the Disney label in quite some time",[18] while Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C" and said "This is one bumpy ride".[19]

Box office

The film grossed $25,123,781 on its opening weekend, falling behind Blades of Glory. Over its theatrical run, it grossed $97,822,171 in the United States and Canada and $71,510,863 in other territories, totaling $169,333,034 worldwide.[3]


Meet the Robinsons
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released March 27, 2007
Length 52:46
Label Walt Disney
Producer Danny Elfman
Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology
Chicken Little
(2005)Chicken Little2005
Meet the Robinsons
Singles from Meet the Robinsons
  1. "Little Wonders"
    Released: March 13, 2007

The soundtrack album was released by Walt Disney Records on March 27, 2007. Contributors to the album beyond the Danny Elfman score include the Jonas Brothers, Rufus Wainwright, Rob Thomas, Jamie Cullum, The All-American Rejects, and They Might Be Giants. The track "Little Wonders", recorded by Rob Thomas, reached number 5 on the Billboard AC chart and the top 20 in Australia and Canada.

All music composed by Danny Elfman, except as noted.

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Another Believer" Rufus Wainwright 4:39
2. "Little Wonders" Rob Thomas 3:45
3. "The Future Has Arrived" The All-American Rejects 3:05
4. "Where Is Your Heart At?" (written by Rufus Wainwright) Jamie Cullum 2:23
5. "The Motion Waltz (Emotional Commotion)" Rufus Wainwright 2:35
6. "Give Me the Simple Life" Jamie Cullum 2:04
7. "The Prologue"   1:24
8. "To the Future!"   1:16
9. "Meeting the Robinsons"   1:56
10. "The Science Fair"   2:47
11. "Goob's Story"   1:01
12. "A Family United"   1:37
13. "Pop Quiz and the Time Machine Montage"   3:45
14. "The Evil Plan"   4:13
15. "Doris Has Her Day"   4:58
16. "Setting Things Right"   6:00
17. "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" They Might Be Giants 2:00
18. "Kids of the Future" Jonas Brothers 3:18
Total length: 52:46

The song "This Much Fun" by Cowboy Mouth, which was featured in the trailer, was not featured in the film or on the soundtrack. The song "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was originally from the Disneyland attraction General Electric's Carousel of Progress.

Video games

Disney's Meet the Robinsons video game is available from Buena Vista Games for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo DS, and PC. The independent England-based company Climax Group developed their own adaption for the Game Boy Advance.

Cancelled sequel

DisneyToon Studios originally planned to make a sequel to the film, tentatively titled Meet the Robinsons 2: First Date.[20] However, when John Lasseter became Walt Disney Animation Studios' new chief creative officer, he called off all future sequels DisneyToon originally planned, including sequels to Chicken Little (2005) and The Aristocats (1970), and refocused on spin-off films and original productions.[20]


  1. ^ "Meet the Robinsons". Australian Classification. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ Simon, Ben (October 24, 2007). "Meet The Robinsons". Animated Views. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Meet the Robinsons". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Walt Disney Feature Animation Set To Spend 'A Day With Wilbur Robinson' With New Animated Feature Slated For 2006". PR Newswire. January 11, 2004. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dunkley, Cathy (January 11, 2004). "Mouse re-tooning animation strategy". Variety. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ M. Holson, Laura (March 5, 2007). "John Lasseter: Disney's new boss re-imagines the Magic Kingdom". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Carolyn Giardina (March 7, 2007). "New dimension at Real D". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2007. 
  8. ^ Peter Sciretta (March 23, 2007). "3D Meet the Robinsons Advertisement, Featurette, and Fun Facts". /Film. Retrieved March 31, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Meet The Robinsons (English/French/Spanish DVD)". Archived from the original on July 12, 2007. 
  10. ^ McCutcheon, David (August 5, 2011). "Disney's Blu-ray 3D Line-up". IGN. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Meet the Robinsons - Video Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Meet the Robinsons - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Meet the Robinsons (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Meet The Robinsons (2007) Movie Review". Real Movie News. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Minton, Danny (March 29, 2007). "Meet the Robinsons - Critic Review". Beaumont Journal. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ Louise Keller, Andrew L. Urban. "Meet the Robinsons". Australian Urban Cinefile. 
  17. ^ "Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  18. ^ A. O. Scott (March 30, 2007). "FILM REVIEW; A Nerdy Orphan Plows Ahead With a Lot of Familiar Novelties". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (March 28, 2007). "Meet the Robinsons (2007)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  20. ^ a b Hill, Jim (June 20, 2007). "Say "So Long !" to direct-to-video sequels : DisneyToon Studios tunes out Sharon Morrill". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 

External links