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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz

Meet The Robinsons - [Blu-ray]

(Stephen Anderson - 2007)




  Re-released February 8th, 2011:



Theatrical: Walt Disney Animation (USA)

DVD: Walt Disney Home Entertainment (USA)



Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:33:80.671

Disc Size: 41,836,149,814 bytes

Feature Size: 25,522,974,720 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.05 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 23rd, 2007



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video




LPCM Audio English 6912 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 6912 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), French, Spanish, none



• Commentary by Director Stephen Anderson

• Featurette: Inventing the Robinsons

• Bowler Hat Barrage Video Game

Family Function 5000 Video Game

• Short Subject: Keep Moving Forward: Inventions that Shaped the World

• Music Video: Rob Thomas: Little Wonders

• Music Video: Jonas Brothers: Kids of the Future

• Deleted Scenes

• Trivia Track

•  Original Theatrical Trailer


Meet the Robinsons ~ Comment

This Blu-ray is a winner!  I need to say this up front because I need to get one nagging point out of my system: every time Wesley Singerman came on to voice the character of Wilbur, the kid from the future, my body involuntarily went into a kind of shudder.  Too much shtick?  Perhaps?  He really got in the way of what otherwise was a surprisingly good time that grew on me as the movie careened its merry way looking forward.  Perhaps the casting director felt that without Singerman's particular stridency, his character would not rise above the babble of kids and semi-adults that permeate the movie.  I haven't sorted it out yet.  I know I'll see this movie again, sooner rather than later; and perhaps he won't bug be quite so much the second time, knowing that I'll like the movie despite him.




I believe this is the first movie that Disney Animation produced since Pixar's John Lasseter took over the helm; however, it was in production some while before he came on board.  I really like the look of this movie: the art direction, the choices about how human to make humans, the overall color and contrast scheme.  And while we would never confuse Meet the Robinsons with The Incredibles or any other of Pixar's densely textured, adult pleasing movies, Meet the Robinsons does have heart, like any Pixar film.  It takes a while to find it through the jumble of zigs and zags, but the sentiment and the final plot twist is definitely worth the price of admission.



Meet the Robinsons ~ The Score Card


The Movie : 8

On a rainy night, a hooded young woman leaves her infant at the door of the 6th Street Orphanage.  The boy grows into a pre-teen with a penchant for invention - not that any of his creations actually work - but Lewis keeps hoping that someday he will impress a pair of potential parents in the market to adopt.  When he realizes that his chances for adoption decrease with age, he comes to believe that only his actual mother could love him.  He gets the brilliant idea that her identity is buried deep in his memory if only he could access it, so Lewis invents a machine to do just that.  Its maiden test is slated for the science fair where, it turns out, two others take a curious interest: there's Wilbur, an older boy, who pursues him in an annoying, overprotective manner.  And there's "Bowler Hat Guy," the very likeness of the old-time matinee villain, replete with moustaches.  He's not very bright, but with the aid of his Doris - that's the name he gives his robot hat - he steals Lewis's invention and tries to pawn it off as his own.  Wilbur, it turns out, is from the future and has a vested interest in helping Lewis get back his invention.  Why all this attention to Lewis and his invention?  Well, that's what this franticly paced plot is all about.



Image : 9+ (9/9)

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The score of 9 indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-rays.  The score in parentheses represents: first, a value for the image in absolute terms; and, second, how that image compares to what I believe is the current best we can expect in the theatre.


Despite the movie's being computer animated and therefore digitally sourced, I can't say that it's quite as razor sharp or as highly resolved as I expected.  That said, it is still excellent, without faults or distracting aberrations.  There is a brightness and dimensionality to the image that involves us immediately in its unique animated world of textures and colors, whether in this time zone or the next.  I never saw the movie in 3-D (in which some theatres showed it to packs of screaming children, no doubt) and, thankfully, there is no 3-D option on this Blu-ray, for I am sure that it would have distracted from the story's sentiment.





















Audio & Music : 9/8

The audio mix is as good as the video.  It never obliterates story or characters with unnecessary noises.  Dialogue and "effects" are always clear and Danny Elman's lovely score is right there when we need it.  There are also the obligatory songs - in this case, generally inoffensive and sometimes fairly engaging.


Operations : 9

The menu functions and cues are clever, easy to use and easy to read.  I noted that the subtitles are in yellow, and contrary to DVDBeaver's default on this subject, I think the color is the correct choice here.



Extras : 8

There's a lot here: most of it, pretty interesting stuff, regardless of your age.  First up is a commentary by director, Stephen Anderson who also hosts the half-hour making-of featurette, Inventing the Robinsons, which introduces William Joyce, who wrote the original book, and his actual family who inspired it.  There are two video games: the console-type Bowler Hat Barrage (which I could never get to work with my remote) and the quiz game Family Function 5000. I was partial to the quiz in principle, even though I repeatedly came up with wrong answers.  It was embarrassing to realize just how closely I was and was not paying attention to certain details.  The low-fi short subject Keep Moving Forward: Inventions that Shaped the World is culled from Disneyland television productions - definitely aimed at single-digit carbon units.  Just as there are two video games, there are also two stylistically different music videos. Jonas Brothers Kids of the Future is a more driving, concert-derived piece, whereas Rob Thomas' Little Wonders is the more reflective studio-produced.  One of the two HD theatrical trailers is for next summer's Pixar feature WALL•E.  It's an unusually well made trailer.  Also included is a less enticing preview for Pixar's underappreciated Ratatouille, coming out on Blu-ray in just two weeks.




Recommendation: 9

The movie surprised. While blatantly heartfelt, it never got stupid or sappy.  Image quality is excellent, stopping just short of benchmark.  Repeatable and Recommended.

Leonard Norwitz
October 21st, 2007

January 12th, 2010



  Re-released February 8th, 2011:


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About the Reviewer: I first noticed that some movies were actually "films" back around 1960 when I saw Seven Samurai (in the then popular truncated version), La Strada and The Third Man for the first time. American classics were a later and happy discovery.

My earliest teacher in Aesthetics was Alexander Sesonske, who encouraged the comparison of unlike objects. He opened my mind to the study of art in a broader sense, rather than of technique or the gratification of instantaneous events. My take on video, or audio for that matter – about which I feel more competent – is not particularly technical. Rather it is aesthetic, perceptual, psychological and strongly influenced by temporal considerations in much the same way as music. I hope you will find my musings entertaining and informative, fun, interactive and very much a work in progress.

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