If you want your animated movie to thrill the kiddies, be sure it contains the following things: time machines, dinosaurs, robots and baseball. If you want your animated movie to appeal to the grown-ups that are required to get the kiddies into the theater, be sure it contains the following things: a clever sense of humor, some really impressive animation, a bunch of solid voice performances and a few life lessons that are sweet but not over-sappy. Then throw in a great score by Danny Elfman, an admirably speedy pace and more colorful characters that you'll know what to do with ... and voila: Disney's Meet the Robinsons, which is just about as good a CG feature as you can get without the words "Pixar Animation Studios" emblazoned across the opening credits. (Matter of fact, I had a lot more fun with the non-Pixar Meet the Robinsons than I did with last summer's Pixar flick Cars!)
Based on the book by William Joyce, Meet the Robinsons is about a sweet-natured prodigy who is also an orphan. Young Lewis is a true-blue genius to be sure, but his technological obsessions always manage to scare potential parents away. Lewis has precisely one caring guardian and one loyal pal, yet of course he dreams of fitting in with a traditional family all his own. But when a devious mishap at a local science fair introduces Lewis to Wilbur Robinson (a crazy kid who claims to own a time machine), our little hero is in for a whole lot of craziness. Suffice to say he finally meets up with a loving family ... but "traditional" doesn't even come close to describing this futuristic clan.