Keep Moving Forward

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This isn’t a review or critique of Meet The Robinsons, but I saw the film today at a screening at the El Capitan, in 3-D.

In a nutshell, it’s a very likeable film with eye-popping visuals, gorgeous art direction and pleasing character designs. The 3-D is great. The Streamline Moderne future is pretty cool, though the architecture reminded me more of Music Land (the 1935 Silly Symphony) than Tomorrowland. The story is a bit disjointed—shifting from heartwarming reality one moment to off-the-wall zaniness the next. In Disney terms, think if Pollyanna were grafted into Babes In Toyland. But it does hang together pretty well.

The film ends with a great quote from Walt Disney himself:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
–Walt Disney

This quote perfectly caps the theme of the movie, but even moreso, it sends a subtle message about Lasseter’s commitment to Disney heritage—and possibly states a new direction for the beleaguered animation studio. Or at least I’d like to think so.

Am I reading too much into this? All I know is the quote was a nice touch, and I left the theater feeling pretty optimistic about the future—of Disney.


  • Jeff Kurtti

    The actual complete quote is: “There’s really no secret about our approach. We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things—because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. We’re always exploring and experimenting. At WED, we call it Imagineering—the blending of creative imagination with technical know-how.â€?

    It’s from a 1965 presentation called “Total Image”

  • http://www.travisgentry.com Travis Gentry

    This one had me nervous until I read this. I still have no idea what the story is about. They definitely nailed the retro-futuristic look (unlike the unwatchable Robots, which was like a cheese-grater on the eyes after a few minutes of viewing). My wife and I both love the T-Rex from the commercial with the big head and small arms.

  • GhaleonQ

    If a well-meaning attitude and a supportive quotation were the only necessary building blocks of success, high school seniors would rule the world.

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com ZekeySpaceyLizard

    I’ve been wanting to see this ever since the texture-less grey Maya footage got onto Aint It Cool News a year ago. Footage of the “Bowler Cap Guy” slinking about.

  • http://doubleben.blogspot.com/ Emmett Goodman

    When I first saw the trailer for this movie, it was first time I saw a Disney trailer, and had absolutely no idea what the plot was. To me, that was a good sign, because it hinted to me that is was something different. Since then, I have been waiting patiently for this movie to be release, which will be soon. After seeing all the recent trailers, and TV spots, I still don’t know what its about, which makes me all the more curious.

    I read the article that says John Lasseter had nearly half of the film changed, because there were flaws in the story. I guess now we will see what his directions at Disney will lead us to. I wouldn’t be suprised if it was John Lasseter’s idea to insert that quote from Walt Disney.

    And thank you, Mr. Beck, for not spoiling too much of the movie.

  • sullivan

    I actually take that quote as kind of a spoiler. I don’t tell people about it ahead of time, and let them discover it within the film.

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I question the direction of the promotion campaign, and I wonder if it correctly reflects the film’s tone. If it does, I’ll be skipping it.

    The television spots showcase jokes directed towards adults, and fired well above the heads and concerns of children. A clumsy vaudeville joke about the insurance industry, an ill-executed joke riffing on nicotine patches, and a T-Rex joke straight out of the Toy Story franchise. An earlier trailer was one of several animated spots for various movies that found hilarity in an old man or woman losing their false teeth. I just don’t know who these movies are meant to entertain in recent years.

    Compare to Peter Pan, wherein a conversation between Smee and Hook piles on more funny visual gags- genuinely funny gags anyone could appreciate- than you could probably find in an entire feature these days. It’s not the CG exclusively, it’s a failure of the whole system of movie making. For me, the future of DFA is still very much in doubt.

  • Bill Field

    The main character reminds me of the younger brother on Mission Hill, but I agree it looks retro in a new way and looks like fun, and I was a bit concerned when Amid had doubts about it early on, because I usually agree with him in this area. I like the pallette of colors they work from, like the future is a great big kindergarden class– this almost seems like an animated version of the new Mike Judge movie about the future where everything is dumbed down.

  • http://lunarworks.ca Jacob

    I don’t know anything about the plot, but with a name like “Meet The Robinsons”, and a whole slew of secondary characters in the posters, I seriously imagine it’s a vehicle to launch a “Robinsons” TV series.

  • Roberto

    Or it is a remake of “The Graduate” ! :)

  • http://pinkdiamond2.blogspot.com Anne

    I was SO surprised at how good Meet the Robinsons was. Not the best animated film I’ve ever seen, but definitely solid. (I wish the future had been more…well…futuristic. As it was it felt like some sort of strange, surreal dream.) Anyhow, I take back all the snide remarks I’ve made about this movie. :P

    It definitely needs some new marketing, though–all the ads out now are doing a good job of making it look really terrible.

  • Anniston

    Saw the film last week as well, without having any prior knowledge of the plotline. (a) loved it. (b) you HAVE to see it in 3D.

    The jokes were adult enough that adults will have no problem seeing the film with their kids, and the jokes aimed at kids did not talk down to them either — unlike some “family” films that go for silly slapstick that the under-3 set would appreciate. Yes, the film gets a little sappy at times, but considering the storyline that had to be done.

    The commercials did not give away what I found to be the funnier jokes, so I’m happy about that.

    As for including a spoiler, here’s mine: there’s no need to stay through to the end of the credits expecting more character zany action (as has been Hollywood’s style recently with these types of films). If, however, you get to see the film in 3D and have no issue staying through to the end AND are a movie techno dweeb, then do so — I was mildly amused (not enough to make a point to do so again, but enough to point it out to others).

  • Steve Wojcik

    God, I miss Walt. The man was brilliant. A genius.

  • http://www.andrews.edu/~drazen/sonic.html Daniel J. Drazen

    I’d be interested in it because of the whole Retro Future thing. Just think about what the future was SUPPOSED to be like by now according to the futurists of the 1930s. For one thing, we were all supposed to be wearing skin-tight metallic clothes with weird shoulder flanges. NOBODY predicted that people would be wearing pants with the waistband down to the groin and boxer short up to the bottom of the ribcage.

  • bobbyhollywood

    Here’s a spoiler you’re going to love : the flat ( non 3D ) versions of MEET THE ROBINSONS are going out with a beautiful flawless print of 1938′s BOAT BUILDERS on the head of the feature, properly pillarboxed within the 1:85 frame to preserve the original 1:33 aspect ratio ! ( Don’t know if this also applies to the #D digital engagements . )

  • sullivan

    3D gets “Working for Peanuts” instead. In glorious Disney Digital 3D.

  • http://amymebberson.blogspot.com Amy Mebberson

    While Disney CG was seriously soured for me when I was thoroughly underwhelmed by Chicken Little, I will give Meet the Robinsons a chance only because Lasseter’s corrective hand is on it.

  • Leisan

    Remember, the movie is based on the look of an existing book. Likely they had no choice but to make the future fit the style of William Joyce’s original art.

  • Sadie

    I was at an advanced screening of the film today and the 3D effects just blew me away. You literally jump in your seat because at first it is quite startling. This 3D in this movie is a huge improvement from 3D in the past and the animation work is just amazing. The hair on the heads, the chrome on the cars, done to perfection. I will definitely be going back to see it again because its one of those pieces of work that is just stunning to watch.

  • sullivan

    Yay, Sadie!

    Beyond the look, how did you feel about the characters, the humor and the story?

    Pretty fun, huh!

    It’s cool to see it again once you know the whole story.

  • Sadie

    As far as the story:

    The message to Kids was really positive.
    In this story, everyone and that includes creatures, had a place and each character was treated with a sense of worth. (the family is a great example of this)

    I loved the fact that the hero started out as a geek that no one wanted to adopt and then we ultimately discover that he is wonderful and someone we hope we are more like.

    I also liked the way the orphanage was portrayed.
    Unlike the usual playing for sympathy type orphanage that we have all seen in films, this showed Kids without Parents in a normal loving setting, with a daily pattern of going to school and participating in school events, showing that they were just like all the other Kids.

  • Joe Strike

    I saw this at a preview Monday night. I’m a big fan of the original picture book & its writer/artist William Joyce (designer of RP Olie and the Robots movie) – I used to read it to my kids when they were young. My main fear was that Joyce’s imagination would be buried under a feature length CGI film. So far these 90-minute movies blown up from picture books have been pretty disappointing; also, there was nothing in the book about orphans, time travel or villains in derby hats & very little in the film’s promos reflected Joyce’s art.

    I was prepared to be disappointed but wound up leaving the theater really happy. All the motifs & images from the book were there, but very cleverly woven into the film’s story, which didn’t feel thin or stretched out. Once the film made it to the future, Joyce’s style really took over & the Robinson characters looked as if they’d stepped out of the book. The best thing was that they moved like CARTOON CHARACTERS, not motion-captured actors. Joyce is credited as an executive producer on the film & I suspect he may have been more hands-on than the usual person whose work has been turned into a movie. Definitely not a disappointment, and the quote from Walt was a sweet note to end the film on.

  • Mohana Devan

    It is a fantastic movie. High moral value and suitable for all age group. Keep moving forward is the key value in that movie. Sometimes it is good to watch cartoon which can reveal a lot of ‘feelings’ from each character. I will apply this value into my life and my new advertising business. Cheers!

  • Jeff Adams

    Walt was like a grandfather to me. I’ve always loved what he gave us and think he would be proud of Meet the Robinsons.

  • http://www.thexbridge.com Jeff Harris

    You know, I was totally unprepared for this movie. The commercials really didn’t tell the story nor give away everything. After all, the last non-Pixar Disney films didn’t really fill me with much confidence.

    So, I took my little 10-year old cousin with me to see it yesterday afternoon. I was shocked to see a classic Mickey Mouse short, Boat Builders, air before the movie. I think it was his first time seeing a classic Disney short on the big screen, and mine too. Then, the new Walt Disney Productions opening followed by a Walt Disney Animation Studio card with Steamboat Willie being drawn and animated. Then the movie came on . . . and we laughed . . . a lot. I think it was the first time I laughed that hard at a Disney movie. In the end, I felt a little optimistic about the Studio for the first time in a long time.

    Keep moving forward. Good advice.

  • christian

    To anyone who has yet to see the film i strongly urge you to go. I was shocked when after all the usual advertising in the theater ended, expecting the movie, had the boat builders blast its way on to the screen! I was so excited to see this wonderful short on the big screen. I really hope with future Disney movie releases they include at least 1 short like this. The quality of the business is outstanding.

    Meet the Robinsons is really exhilarating to watch. So many aspects to the film, be it the design of characters, their animation, all left me thrilled to be able to appreciate every detail of the movie. As always there`s a few schmaltzy moments, but it’s a Disney movie, what else do you expect. And like everyone else I ended up with the same optimism about the future of the company as everyone else. Since this is the first release under Lasseter it’s a very positive step to the future. Cheers to everyone who worked on the film.

  • Sadie

    I think the moment the robot reachs out and points to you (so real it made me jump) you know this film is going to be different and you realize how far 3D has really come.

  • http://www.dellandsarah.com Sarah Thompson

    We saw this yesterday in 3D, and we were floored by the quality. Both us parents and our 4 year old daughter loved the movie.

    There was a problem with the 3D projection though… 3 or 4 times the movie just went black for about 1 minute, but the sound was still working. Luckily the theater gave us reimbursement passes. We probably won’t be going to the theater to see it again, but will definitely buy it on DVD.

    [spoiler info below]
    As for me, I am adopted, so the movie touched a special place in my heart; I could really connect with Lewis. I was intrigued by the idea of being able to go back to see when my birth mother was making the decision to give me up for adoption, and if that would be a positive or negative experience.

  • http://www.unixworks.com Bob Radvanovsky

    I personally liked how Disney is trying to inspire innovation, and that creativity isn’t a one shot deal. This is good for BOTH children and the adults. My wife and I don’t have children (yet), so it was “one adult, one oversized ‘kid’” — we thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Not just for the message that it was trying to convey, but the method by which it was done: peacefully, ethically, without provocation, and without too much negativity (aside from the hat episode, which I won’t get into).

    The quote at the end almost translated to me “always move forward, never give up [your dream]., and that (to me) means ALOT.

    I have a quote that I have used for almost 15 years now, “knowledge squared is information shared”. In some sense, this falls under that same (if not similar) category.

    Enjoy the movie — I know that *I* did.

  • Kidd

    I love Disney movies, I can find something good in just about any Disney movie. That said, I took my 7 year old (who I am in the process of adopting) to see the movie tonight. I had no real idea what it was supposed to be about besides what she tried to explain to over our dinner date. I’m a 27 year old man, I got teary-eyed at the end of the movie! This will go down as on of my favorites and will be taking my wife to see it soon! Hopefully Disney will continue more along this rout!

  • http://www.bestminigames.com Anabella

    Absolutely loved it! The Disney quote at the end really made my eyes watery :)

  • http://www.crazy3dman.com crazy3dman

    Just saw it with the family and LOVED every minute of it. From the short before the movie which was a nice surprise to the quote at the end.

  • Scooter

    For me the movie was a bit disjointed at the beginning but my 7 and 9 year olds both loved it rail to rail. For me the ending really pulled everything together. In particular I loved the quote at the end.

  • Hayduke

    This movie was beautiful. Not only were the visuals beautiful, but the story and heart of it were beautiful as well.

    As with others… I was in tears at the end. Here I am…. a man in his mid-30′s and I’m bawling my eyes out (and I don’t even care!). It was that good. I haven’t cried in years, but this film did it to me.

    The laughs are often and great, but the thing I will remember the most is the feeling of inspiration and hope that I was left with at the end of the film. Please go see this movie and support Disney in this quality film effort. Hopefully they are encouraged to create more wonderful films like this one. I loved it!

  • kirra

    Awesome! I don’t know if it’s the bump on my head (that I got from laughing so hard) that’s talking, but I thought it was so cool and i didn’t even see it in 3D; though I would like to after what I’ve heard about it. The theme suited me well, it reminded me to keep moving and not dwell on the past, and that I can become anything as long as I move forward. Bring on life!

  • anna

    i watched this movie yesterday at an italian preview and i think that is very very amazing and that it gives more positives messages to everybody

  • Al

    Saw the movie today in 3D with the kids. I was pleasantly surprised. The story was a little disjointed in the middle, but it finished very strong. The 3D effects were excellent. I think Walt would be proud.

  • http://www.silversteps.8m.com TG

    I met The Robinsons today! The story is wonderful and champions the legacy of Walt Disney — Just Keep Moving Forward..

  • Sadie

    I know they are now releasing the movie on DVD.
    Will they be releasing a 3D version?
    After seeing the 3D effects, thats the only version I would want.

  • the ruler

    i liked the song at the end it fit the movie perfectly as a sum of his life after he gets adopted

  • Aysha

    Heeyy, this film made me changed my life..I say just thanks who made this movie..I feel so free now..Just thinking to be crazy to keep moving..

  • Lyla

    That quote by Walt Disney is my all time favorite quote, and I thought that Meet the Robinsons was a great movie, with exactly the right balance of humor and seriousness and I didn’t find it overwhelmingly corny or sappy. Well done Disney!

  • Pete Zahut

    BEST MOVIE EVER. its my favorite. i have seen it sooo many times and it never gets old. and i love that quote.