Meet the Robinsons is underrated.
Disney’s animated film Meet the Robinsons was released in 2007. I was in fourth grade and my sister was in kindergarten. I remember seeing this in the movie theater with her and loving it. At the time we were naive and while we still enjoyed it, we did not understand all the deeper meanings behind the character’s and the plot.
If you have not seen or heard about this film, the storyline is about a 12-year-old orphan boy named Lewis who is an aspiring inventor. He has been rejected by many potential families. The technology he creates fails time after time and he starts to give up on his latest invention, which ends up being stolen by the someone called, Bowler Hat Guy. Then, a time-traveler boy named Wilbur shows up one day and takes Lewis away to the future. There he spends a day with Wilbur’s eccentric family and discovers something about his life.
The love my sister and I have for this movie grew as we continued to rewatch it and learn more. As we became older we recognized the lessons, analyzed the characters and were able to connect the movie to our lives, building an emotional connection to the film. This is something I’ve noticed when I go back and rewatch many of my childhood favorites. As kids, the movies were enjoyable, but now I get more out of them as a young adult. I find it amazing when watching children movies and seeing how the writers designed the plot to reach audiences of all ages. Everyone is able to get something out of it. Not all movies are like this, which is fine, but I find it incredibly creative to figure out a way for someone at age 5 to enjoy a movie just as much as someone at age 25.
My favorite part of Meet the Robinsons is definitely the closing scene, partly because of the song choice. The song used is, Little Wonders by Rob Thomas. The lyrics are very fitting for the theme and lesson and complete the movie nicely. It definitely makes me tear up when watching. The song elevates the emotional impact of the ending, and ties together the overall powerful meaning of the movie.
As far as the rest of the film, Lewis, the main character, goes through a rollercoaster of finding himself and learning about major life lessons. Considering his age, failure is expected. However, Lewis is presented as very intelligent and obsessive about his work, easily getting frustrated when things go wrong. Early on in the film you begin to notice his confidence issues as he starts to doubt his skills. His self-esteem problems also derive from the repeating rejections by families at the orphanage. They are often taken aback by his energy demonstrated through his exquisite inventions. When Wilbur shows up he tries to convince Lewis not give up, because he knows the consequences of his future. During this time Lewis is more concerned with using the time machine Wilbur came in to go to the past to find his birth mother. The Bowler Hat Guy, who stole his recent invention that went wrong, tempts Lewis into helping him in trade for taking him to meet his birth mother. Lewis ends up betrayed, and near the end, before going back to the present, Wilbur decides to take Lewis back to when his birth mother left him on the orphanage doorstep. This was another impactful scene to me, because Lewis walks up behind his mother to reach out to her and then stops. He realizes that if he does this, his future will change. He then is faced with the difficult decision of what is more important to him, fixing the past or moving on? You later find out that Wilbur is Lewis’ son and the family he met traveling to the future is his family in the future. I also thought it was touching to see Wilbur sacrificing his existence to give Lewis the happiness he thought he wanted. If Lewis would have met his mother, he would have a different life and Wilbur and the rest of his future family would not exist.
Meet the Robinsons does an excellent job letting it be known that failure is a learning experience and that moving forward from someone or something is not always an easy choice. What I did not grasp from the movie as a child is, figuring out who and what is meant to stay in the past and what is meant to be given another chance. That said, one point in the movie I disagree with is that there are multiple instances where mistakes are able to be fixed. Sometimes relationships and situations cannot be fixed and we are not able to go back in the past to do that, nor into the future to see these mistakes so we can prevent them. We have to live with the consequences sometimes. Lewis learns from his future family to accept failure and take a step towards better things to come in his future. This hits him when visiting his mother and realizing he already has a family in the future that loves him and he becomes a great inventor.
Applying this movie to my life right now, being in college is stressful (an understatement) and at times it is hard to keep the end in sight and feel in control of everything. Movies like these are like a breather and remind me of simple life lessons, such as not giving up. It is okay to be bothered by a bad exam grade or worry about how my GPA will be affected by a final, but the important thing is to not let these things bother me for too long. Those feelings are temporary and I can’t dwell on what has already been done.
All I can do is: Keep Moving Forward.