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MEET THE ROBINSONS ($30) evidences the Pixar touch on Disney animated movies. Sure, Disney now makes their own CGI animated films (as do everyone else), but MEET THE ROBINSONS shows an evolution of style, character design and well though out humor that takes advantage of the extra perceived dimension of this animation form. MEET THE ROBINSONS has a lot of whimsical charm and does a respectable job with deeper sentiments of the story, but the film definitely excels on its sight gags. The premise of MEET THE ROBINSONS takes your average time travel story and has fun with its look at the future. Personally, I like the slightly retro-modern touches within the future world as envisioned by the filmmakers. Obviously, I not the only one who grew up watching things like THE JETSONS.

MEET THE ROBINSONS tells the story of an orphaned boy named Lewis, who has a hard time getting himself adopted. Lewis is a science geek and boy inventor, whose inventions have a tendency to blow up in his face, not to mention, those of potential adoptive parents. At the school science fair, Lewis encounters Wilbur Robinson, who claims to be from the future and warns Lewis about a bowler-wearing villain, who may be after Lewis and his latest invention, which he will be demonstrating at the fair. As you might expect, circumstances draw Lewis into the future, where he encounters Wilburís somewhat oddball family, and where he needs to fix the broken time machine, which is his only ticket to the past, in addition to being the only thing that will save him from the bowler-wearing villain, who is in possession of the only other time machine in existence. MEET THE ROBINSONS features the vocal talent of Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Matthew Josten, John H. H. Ford, Dara McGarry, Tom Kenny, Laurie Metcalf, Don Hall, Paul Butcher, Tracey Miller-Zarneke, Wesley Singerman, Jessie Flower, Stephen J. Anderson and Ethan Sandler.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has made MEET THE ROBINSONS available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. MEET THE ROBINSONS is a stunning looking DVD. Sharpness, clarity and image detail are all truly excellent. The CGI animation is consistently impressive, especially on a large display. Colors are bright, vibrant and completely stable. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp and the contrast is very smooth. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.

MEET THE ROBINSONS comes with a tremendous Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack, which is just as good as the DVDs impressive visuals. The sound design is excellent and makes aggressive use of the outlying channels to bounce the sound effects around the entire soundstage. Fidelity is also excellent for both the music and sound effects. The music has a wonderful sense of presence, while the sound effects are realistic, even when they are a bit cartoony. Dialogue is warmly recorded and maintains excellent intelligibility. The bass channel provides a nice amount of rumble. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles.

Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extra features. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Stephen Anderson. Featurettes include: Inventing The Robinsons (seventeen minutes) and Inventions That Shaped The World (six minutes). Trailers, Deleted Scenes (with director introduction), Family Function 5000 Game (trivia) and Music Videos (Rob Thomas [Little Wonders] and The Jonas Brothers [Kids Of The Future]) close out the extras.

MEET THE ROBINSONS is a fun animated film that shows that Disney branded CGI films are moving towards being on equal footing with king of the roost Pixar. The DVD looks and sounds pretty tremendous. Recommended.



Meet the Robinsons (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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