meet the robinsons

Disney Reviews with the Unshaved Mouse #47: Meet the Robinsons


(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

I never get to say everything I want to say with these things, there’s never enough time. For example, in the Chicken Little review there was actually a lot of fascinating stuff going on between Disney and Pixar that I didn’t  even get to mention because I spent so much time talking about the fan-hate for that film and how I felt it was completely overblown. So, Chicken Little came out around the time when Pixar’s co-production deal with Disney was coming up for renewal and there was a lot riding on it, as whether it was a success or failure would strengthen or weaken Disney’s hand at the negotiating table. A flop would allow Pixar to say “See? You can’t make CGI movies without us, your movies blow chunks.” and a success would allow Disney to say “Nu-uh, our movies are totally boss and everyone says so.”

A typical Disney boardroom negotiation.

Chicken Little was released in 2005 and was a resounding minor success. Critics hated it, but it did do quite well at the box-office. Pixar realised that while Disney’s CGI output might not be ready for primetime, they’d probably be better to have as a friend than as an enemy. And so Disney and Pixar patched things up and decided to stay together for the kids and the billions of box-office and merchandising revenue generated by those kids. Disney acquired Pixar wholesale in 2006, at which point it became very, very difficult to tell where Disney ends and Pixar begins, what’s a Pixar movie and what’s a Disney movie and who exactly is qualified to be  a Disney princess.
Sure. Why not? She wasn’t in a canon Disney film, but why not? Hell, let’s make BUGS BUNNY a Disney Princess, who cares anymore?

Sure. Why not? She wasn’t in a canon Disney film, but why not? Hell, let’s make BUGS BUNNY a Disney Princess, who cares anymore?

Sorry. It’s just been a dark time for people like me who don’t like their fishfingers touching the peas.  Today’s movie, Meet the Robinsons was created right about the time that “Disney” and “Pixar” were becoming “DisneyPixar” (“Dixar”, as the media conglomerate shippers call them) and it really, really, really shows. In every Disney era there is a movie that sums up that whole era perfectly. Pinocchio is the quintessential Tar and Sugar movie, Jungle Book perfectly defines Scratchy Movies and honestly, I kinda feel that Meet the Robinsons is the ultimate Lost Era movie. Not that it’s bad (it’s not). But it is thoroughly weird and constantly searching for a tone. There’s also a wild, “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” style to its comedy, and in fairness to it, a lot of it does indeed stick. It’s a movie that feels more like several little movies strung together rather than a single, cohesive whole. But first a little background.
Meet the Robinsons is loosely based on A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce, the infamous Anglo-Irish fascist who, during the second world war broadcast Nazi propaganda from Berlin into British homes as the notorious “Lord Haw Haw”…
"Im sorry..."

“I’m sorry…”

Ah. Different William Joyce. This William Joyce is an American illustrator, children’s author and animator and most definitely not a Nazi. He did write Epic, however, so. Y’know. He’s not Mother Teresa either. He also worked on some really good movies like Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.  Which side of the spectrum does Meet the Robinsons fall on? Let’s take a look.