April 23, 2007

Movie Review: Meet the Robinsons vs. Disney short venting

This past Saturday, I went to see the new animated feature Meet the Robinsons. This is a watchable, sometimes amusing flick about a genius kid named Lewis who wants to be adopted. Instead of showing his potential adoptees how cute he is, he tries to dazzle them with his latest invention. The result is disaster after disaster. The funniest case of this is when his doodad that should perfectly mix the right portions of peanut butter and jelly for a PB&J explodes, sending peanut butter everywhere. What our young scientist didn't know was that the man half of the couple is allergic to peanuts. Whoops.

This time, however, Lewis is sure his new project for the school science fair is THE one that will solve all of his problems. He will build a memory retrieval machine to remember who his mother is, meet her, and convince her to be his mom again. A mysterious, evil bowler hat man sabotages the invention during the science fair, humiliating Lewis and convincing him that the machine doesn't work.

But . . . the machine does work. Bowler hat man wants it for his own. Lewis meets a strange boy named Wilbur, who takes Lewis on a time travel device to his own home in the future. Suddenly, Lewis realizes he has it all wrong. The best plan is to get his hands on the time travel device and stop his mother from giving him up in the first place.

AWWWW! It's a great family film, and everyone will like it. It had several good laughs.

But, here is the sad part. The movie was okay, but it was completely overshadowed by the Disney short they showed at the beginning of the movie. This is called Boat Builders, released back in 1938. Mickey, Goofy, and Donald work together to put together a boat. It is supposedly so easy that "even a kid can do it." It was a sad, sad day. They do not make cartoons like that anymore: so magical, so innocent. As I was watching this short cartoon, I wondered what the kids in the audience were thinking. How did this look to them with their overstimulated brains?

After the short, I was ready to go home. I remember watching Disney shorts like this. We would check them out at the library. Usually there were several shorts on one video. I still own one on VHS. I don't have a VCR anymore, but I am not getting rid of Melody Time. It has some of the best Disney shorts ever: Little Toot (with the Andrews Sisters on vox),
Pecos Bill (Roy Rogers narrates and appears), Johnny Appleseed (back when you could mention God and the Bible without fear of lynching), and Blame it On the Samba (an early mix of real action and animation). Oh, Disney, you have sunk so low.

The last of the great Disney movies, in my opinion, is Beauty and the Beast. And now, I am done ranting.

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