Fifteen years ago, in 2007, we were treated to a wonderful story about never giving up and to keep going on in life matter how many times you might fail. Meet the Robinsons was Disney’s 47th feature-length animated film and was the second fully CGI animated film after 2005’s Chicken Little.
The film follows you Louis, a young 12 year old boy living at an orphanage, who has a gift for inventing things. While attempting to build a memory scanner machine he is sabotaged by a villain known as “Bowler Hat Guy”, a man from the future who traveled back to the past to ruin Lewis’ future life.
Lewis must then put his trust in a 13 year old boy from the future named Wilber Robinson, son of Cornelius Robinson, the inventor of time travel. While Lewis becomes stuck 30 years in the future he meets Wilber’s family “The Robinsons” and eventually gets back his desire to create great inventions.
The film ends with a quote from Walt Disney himself with the highlighted phrase “Keep Moving Forward” being the film’s motto. The song “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas was made specifically for the film and plays as we close out.
The film began production in 2004 and was written and directed by Stephen Anderson, an animator who had previously worked on films such as Rover Dangerfield and Bébé’s Kids. The source material for the film was the 1990 children’s book A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce.
Stephen was attracted to the film by the film’s protagonist Lewis because he himself was adopted. While working on the film they wanted to stick closer to Joyce’s art style but had to alter it due to Robots from Blue Sky Studios having a similar art style.
The film was originally meant to release in 2006 but in January of that year, when Disney finished their acquisition of Pixar, John Lasseter was made head of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation. John watched an early screening and felt that alterations needed to be made, scrapping nearly 60% of what had already been done.
The voice cast of the film consisted of actors like Nichole Sullivan, Tom Selleck, Adam West, Jordan Fray, Laurie Metcalf, Angela Basset and voice actor Tom Kenny. Voices were also provided by Disney staff like Producer Ethan Sandler, Film Director Don Hall, Film Director Nathan Greeno and even Stephan Anderson himself as Bowler Hat Guy among other voices.
The film released on March 30th, 2007 and only broke even at the box office making $169 Million on a $150 Million budget. Part of the reason can be attributed to the Will Ferrell comedy film Blades of Glory releasing that same weekend.
Despite the disappointing box office a sequel was in the works called Meet the Robinsons: 2: First Date, but was scrapped when John Lasseter officially took over full control and ended Disney’s direct-to-video sequel craze in favor of original projects.
The film has since become a cult classic among those who saw it when it originally came out and is seen as a positive film about never giving up on your dreams, even if you fail the first few times.
To this day fans are still hoping for some sort of attraction to appear on Tomorrowland.
If you haven’t already seen the film it is definitely worth your time.
Hey, since the film was released in 2007 and the future they go to is in 2037 that means we’re only half way there. Just 15 more years then we’ll be traveling by bubble.
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