Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Narrative - Meet the Robinsons Character Film Review

Fig. 1. Meet the Robinsons poster.

Meet the Robinsons (2007) created by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by Stephen J. Anderson, who has also worked on other animations such as Tarzan (as a writer) and Tangled (as a story artist) tells the story of Lewis, a young intelligent inventor orphan who is yearning for a family. Lewis is being tracked by a mysterious man from the future who wears a bowler hat, he intends to ruin Lewis’s life and claim Lewis’s invention as his own. Another stranger from the future intervenes and takes Lewis to the future, they then team up to fix the situation they are in.

The purpose of this review is to examine the breakdown of the two opposing characters in the story. The characters this review is going to focus on are Lewis, the main character and Bowler Hat Guy, who we later discover to be Michael ‘Goob’ Yagoobian who was Lewis’s orphanage roommate. These characters are very much opposites and have very different views on the world that they inhabit.

Fig. 2. Lewis still.

To start with we will analyse Lewis, the movie gives us a little bit of backstory about him in the first few minutes. We find out that his mother leaves him at the doors of an orphanage, so he is alone from the very beginning. We are then shown that he is a bright minded individual that attempts to create some interesting inventions, such as a peanut butter and jelly gun, to serve the perfect breakfast. His view of the world is that if he is intelligent and invents something impressive, he will get adopted and find a family that will love him. Lewis wants to be adopted at the beginning of the film, and then he wants to find his mother so she can take him back. His goal is to find a family and he believes that inventing will help him achieve that, another goal is that he wants to make the world a better place through his inventions. He ultimately needs to be loved and part of a family, being an orphan this comes as no surprise. Internally our character is intelligent and starts off determined; however after a few failures he starts to become nervous and doesn’t believe in himself anymore, he also is quite lonely due to being an orphan and the failure amplifies this as he worries he will never have a family. Externally he is mostly calm and smiling; he tries to look positive even though inside he is worried about failing. Lastly we will look at his flaws, Lewis’s main flaw is that after he fails he gets depressed and starts to believe that he will never succeed in life, this flaw is something that takes him awhile, but he eventually overcomes it.

Fig. 3. Michael still.

Next we will look at Michael’s character, his backstory is shown at the beginning of the movie as well, he is Lewis’s roommate and he is a baseball player. He is constantly kept awake at night by Lewis creating things and it slowly begins to affect how his life unfolds. He unfortunately misses the winning catch in a baseball game because he falls asleep on the field due to Lewis keeping him awake all night, he ultimately blames Lewis for ruining his life and begins to develop hatred. Michael’s view of the world is that Lewis ruined his chance to be adopted and have a happy life; he blames him for him becoming a failure and becomes bitter and twisted because of it. Michael wants to get revenge on Lewis, his goal is to sabotage Lewis’s life by stealing his first real invention and claiming it as his own, this will then destroy the life Lewis will have. Michael needs revenge and teams up with a bowler hat robot to achieve this, however we later discover that Michael is not really the villain in the story, he has a grudge but overall he is pretty harmless, the hat however is a different story. Internally Michael is a bit dim, he isn’t the most intellectual character and the movie makes jokes about this a few times by having minions that he controls say “I'm just not so sure how well this plan was thought through”. He is also full of hatred and despair due to a horrible life of failing. Externally he completely demonstrates that he isn’t very smart, how he moves, acts and talks are a complete reflection of his stupidity. A lot of the time he also looks quite nervous and overall quite sad, he is a character that you end up feeling sympathy for more than anything. To finish up we will look at his flaws, Michael’s main flaw is that he is pessimistic and blames all of his failures on one incident instead of moving forward, his stupidity also is a big flaw as he is used by the bowler hat and doesn’t realise it.

Over the course of the story both characters change, Lewis starts off being optimistic about being adopted and invents stuff in the hope that he will find a family, he then becomes less and less optimistic as he fails and he begins to gradually get less confident about his abilities. He over comes this by the end and becomes and happy and confident character that achieves everything he wants to. Michael however starts off being a happy baseball player, this changes when he misses the winning catch and he then develops hatred from Lewis, his hatred evolves but by the end of the story he lets go of his hate and leaves even though Lewis tries to welcome him in to his future family.

Lastly we will look at the scene in which Lewis gets the time machine working and how the characters change during this scene. Lewis starts this scene feeling unconfident and quite scared of the situation; he is then attacked by bowler hate minions and is forced to fix the time machine. He manages to stop Michael from claiming his invention and stops the evil bowler hat, Lewis leaves this scene feeling confident, fulfilled and he now knows he can achieve what he wants if he “Keeps moving forward”. Michael enters this scene feeling confident, he has successfully ruined Lewis’s life; however after all of the events he realises that he was wrong and he feels sorry for attempting to destroy his old roommate’s success.

To conclude, Meet the Robinsons is a fun movie with some unexpected plot twists and interesting characters. It had a nice overall message about the importance of moving forward and not dwelling on mistakes. Both characters contribute to the story in interesting ways and they change each other drastically by the end and they are very clear opposites.

Illustration List:
Anderson, S. (2007). Figure 1. Meet the Robinsons poster. http://www.impawards.com/2007/posters/meet_the_robinsons.jpg (Accessed on 19/10/2015)

Anderson, S. (2007). Figure 3. Michael still. https://yts.to/assets/images/movies/Meet_the_Robinsons_2007/large-screenshot2.jpg (Accessed on 19/10/2015)

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