Monday, January 14, 2008

Family DVD recommendation: "Meet the Robinsons"

When this movie came out last year, reviews were mixed. I saw some that were negative, at the time. The very-critical IMDB reviewers, though, have given it a favorable 7/10; Rotten Tomatoes' critic survey gave it 65%.

I shrugged off the initial negative responses I'd read, and went to a theater with my younger boys, then 7 and 11. We all enjoyed it. In fact, I was surprised it wasn't a bigger deal. We found it funny, fast-moving, and had a couple of nice little "messages" (keep trying, family matters).

Last Saturday, the family watched it for Burger Night; this audience included my wife and daughter, who are much tougher critics. They both liked it, too. We all laughed, and both the ladies stayed for the whole thing. (If they don't like it, they don't stay; or they get something to read.)

It's a movie that works hard, in the best sense of the phrase, to be engaging and funny. It doesn't assume the viewer will be happy just because of the CGI animation, the eye-candy, and the occasion sight-gag. The voice actors are nuanced, the expressions and gestures of the characters sometimes very complex; there are some deftly subtle jokes adults will appreciate more than the kids will, yet plenty to have the kids roaring. A lot to like... unless you're a sourpuss. (You know who you are.)

Knowing that my readers include folks who are always looking for things they can watch with their kids, and that this movie was more under the radar than the (to me) disappointing "Cars" and "Ratatouille," I thought I'd pass along the recommendation.

And now... I have!


Aaron said...

We enjoyed The Robinson's as well -we saw it at the dollar theatre (there's a kindness from God for a guy with 4 kids!) & we'll probably buy the DVD eventually.

I agree with your dissappointment with the rat cartoon - it was just uneventful - even for adults.

But I'm wondering why you were also dissappointed with Cars. I thought it was one of Pixar's best, and it had several "nice little messages" about pride, friendship & the last scene where McQueen gives up the race to help...uh... that other car that crashes. I found that scene to be a great teaching point.

I'd be interested in hearing your critiques.

BTW - enjoy your blog & the pyros.

DJP said...

Thanks, Chief.

It wasn't that I thought Cars was bad; it just wasn't up to Toy Story 1 or 2, Monsters Inc, or others.

I forget exactly, but it just didn't jazz any of us as the others did, and even the younger kids didn't ever ask us to get the DVD. That's a telling sign.

I think it seemed kind of long, and SLOW, relative to the others.

Aaron said...

Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.
Frankly - my kids would watch underwater basket weaving if they knew it was on a DVD! :o)

David said...

I liked Meet the Robinsons, too. I liked Cars, also, but Ratatouille was just not that good. I don't even remember how it ended.

Fred Butler said...

We have seen previews of Meet the Robinsons and thought it looked weird but fun. We will have to add it to the list.

As for Cars and Ratatouille I avoided these two films when they were in the theater because they didn't look to impress me as previous Pixar material had. I was mistaken. Both of them were tremendous. My boys love Cars because, well, they're talking cars. Pixar was genius when it came to marketing this concept. I think I have dozens of car related toys, pajamas, etc.

Ratatouille was certainly less child friendly in that it was a more complicated story line and of course it is about cooking, not fast moving automobiles. The humor was spot on and the visuals were amazing. Now my wife and I want to go out and buy some of Alton Brown's fancy knives.


P.D. Nelson said...

Well Dan I also watched Meet the Robinson's and I agree it was a great little family film but the best part was the actor who played the Dad. (inside joke)

DJP said...

Yes!!! I loved that! Totally sailed over the kids' heads, but I loved it.

C.T. Lillies said...

OK, now I have to go look up who the Dad was.

Did you watch High School Musical? I tried really hard to find something wrong with it but there wasn't anything overtly bad about it.

LeeC said...

Thanks for the tip, very appreciated! I had been curious about it.

We just went to see the Veggietales Pirate movie Saturday (We go to theaters once every two years or so) we enjoyed it, the kids loved it. I thought Jonah was better made though.

Tim said...

Ditto on the Robinsons recommendation. Not often that we get something so laugh-out-loud funny under the Disney banner.

My fave in the Pixar catalog, by far, is The Incredibles.

The next movie I'm likely to take my family to see at the theater will be Prince Caspian.

Kristine said...

Our family really enjoyed "Meet the Robinson's".

My husband and I were cracking up at several places. My favorite character was the villain, for certain!!