Meet the Robinsons | Chicago Reader

Meet the Robinsons

This lively Disney animation about an orphan inventor has been widely distributed in a 3-D process requiring special screens and projection, though it's been shown in 2-D as well and the effects are well integrated into the story. Derived from a William Joyce book, it's striking not for its originality but for its energy in juggling familiar elements. There are time-travel paradoxes from Robert A. Heinlein and Back to the Future, frogs that reference GoodFellas by way of Chuck Jones's One Froggy Evening, a bowler hat from Magritte, and an eccentric family and topiary garden that recall Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951), and the cheerfully totalitarian city of the future, known as “Todayland,” seems like Disneyland boilerplate. But maybe one of the seven credited screenwriters dreamed up the subtitled dinosaurs. Stephen J. Anderson directed. G, 102 min.

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