Friday, March 30, 2007

Will the country Meet the Robinsons?

For the second weekend in a row, a CG-animated feature opens wide, this time the first from Disney since Chicken Little back in October '05. The reviews for Meet the Robinsons are good (68% "fresh" so far), and the forecast is for a very solid $32 million weekend despite stiff competition from the latest Will Ferrell confection and the hold-over TMNT . . .

The marketing on The Robinsons has struck me as severely front-loaded -- I'd swear I saw far more ads six weeks ago than I'm seeing now (it appears Blades of Glory has bought up most of the ad time), but awareness of the film seems high.

I've heard some folks making this film a referendum on the Pixar merger, sometimes with contradictory logic: If the film succeeds, it means that Disney was already on the right track, and maybe didn't need the Pixar brain trust. Or, if it succeeds, it's proof that the film needed the Pixar gurus to fix it up at the last moment. Ultimately, we know how success is treated in Hollywood, and in Burbank -- if its a hit, everyone takes a bow. And if it tanks, well, there was a good reason the prior leadership needed to be booted out.

This is a film I've been looking forward to seeing since a glowing report was given of the story reels at the San Diego Comicon a few years ago. Congrats to the crew -- I'll see you in the theater.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been looking forward to this one since I saw some footage at SIGGRAPH a couple of years ago. Add my $10 to the weekend totals...

scorpiotsm said...

I hope it's a good film. I don't expect too much blame if it isn't for John Lasseter... afterall, it was almost 80% done when he got there. Next years American Dog will get far more scrutiny, as well as the much anticipated Frog Princess and Rapunzel...

As far as Hollywood, just like like: "Success has many fathers, Failure is an orphan"...

mc said...

Oh, it's bound to be good... it's CGI, it's filled with lots of cutting-edge-pop-culture references and characters doing little breakdance moves!

HOW COULD IT FAIL?!?!

sl said...

Oh! And don't forget... it's all "future-retro" looking, too! THAT'S NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE!

Y'see. it's ironic 'cause it takes those wacky design styles from old issues of 'Popular Mechanics' and 'Science Digest' from the 50's and actually USES THEM in their design style!

It's JUST SO ORIGINAL!

Golly wolly I just can't WAIT!

pu said...

Oh oh oh! And don't forget, the character designs look like samples from every CalArts graduate's portfolio from the last 30 years!!!

And the storyline isn't formulaic and it has a great message about 'believing in yourself'!

I think MORE people should believe in themselves, don't you?!

Brent said...

mc/sl/pu (since you're obviously all the same bitter person)-

You obviously haven't seen the movie, since there is not a single breakdancing character to be found anywhere, and hardly "lots" of pop-culture references--there was exactly one in the entire 100-minute film. Find a clue, pinhead. Better yet, find a job.

fu said...

Aw, don't be so touchy.

You should learn to believe in yourself.

scorpiotsm said...

Yeah, you guys wouldn't have something against this BEFORE seeing it, would ya?

I agree with ya that the trailer is lame... I consider Disney a great marketing company, but boy did they give us a crappy trailer for this thing. That being said... I will reserve judgement until I see it. How 'bout then we call it a failure... if it is one of course.

I think American Dog will be a better pic under Lasseter's guidance... and by the next year with the Frog Princess I expect that we should be able to tell whether or not he's been able to turn Walt Disney Animation Studios around.

Let's try and not be too negative here fellows... give it a chance. Afterall, the idiots that got them in the situation are gone(Ei$ner, Stainton and others). So let's watch the events unfold and be patient.

David Germain said...

I think they should give a share of the profits to the Bob Clampett Enterprises for making the villain look like Dishonest John.

Anonymous said...

well I saw it yesterday and for me it's very much a transitional film. the first third was ok (loved the opening scene, just beautiful and gloop is great in a Charlie Brown sort of way) second act where you actually meet the robinsons was far and away the worst and began to seriously lose the plot (is it just me, or did anyone actually emphasise or even like the family?)and the villain began to just be ridiculous who you really lost all interest in because you just don't know why he's doing what he's doing.

but the third act, as Scorpiotism mentioned the film was 80% done before Lasseter came in and you really feel the different as the quality in storytelling goes right through the roof and the film has a really strong emotional pull that in my opinion hasn't been seen in a in-house Disney production since the days of the renaissance in the mid 90s.

and if you don't like it, at least you get to see a classic Disney short from Walt's days on a big screen for the first time in your life probably so at least it was worth your five quid/dollars etc.

Anonymous said...

five dollars? Where in the heck are you seeing these movies at??!

Jenny said...

5 quid(that's British sterling)=about 10 bucks, so yeah...anyway--

scorpiotsm said...

Yes, I saw it yesterday and liked it. It's not as good as the "Second Golden Age" but it's way ahead of Chicken Little and Home On The Range and those others.

The second act is the biggest problem. That's what I hear Lasseter and his buddies thought too. They gave Anderson notes, but let him keep most of the movie with just some minor tweeks. Yeah, that family needed to be more likeable and less NUTTY. That seemed just a gimmic and there was too much exposition to explain what was going on at the end of the 2nd act/beginning of 3rd. I feel if they'd have had another 9 to 12 months Lasseter would have had time to correct this and strengthen the story. That being said I still liked it and if this is what we get with Lasseter tinkering with about 25-30% of it, I can't wait for what comes next. Can we say "Third Golden Age" just ahead?

In the words of the Meet the Robinsons" motif: Keep Moving Forward...

Anonymous said...

I have a message for the bitter (probably ex-2D animator) who's too scared to post as anonymous like me.

"Don't let it go. Take these feelings and lock them away. Let them boil and fester inside. Heed my warning pl/bs/pms, don't let it goooo..."

And....let's see,..take responsibility for your own actions or blame the animation industry? Ding, Ding, Ding Ding!! Blame the animation industry wins hands down!!! (..doesn't it)

-CA

PS. I expect to see you chucking eggs at the hat building any day now.

Anonymous said...

...oh and,

keep moving forward.

mic said...

My problem with the movie wasn't that it was CGI.

My problem with it was that it was terrible.

Believe in yourself.

Anonymous said...

I didnt see the film yet and i must admit I did see Blades of Glory, but the only reason why I havent rushed to see MTR is because the commercials dont do much to make me want to see it. The brianiac that thought a dancing T-Rex will make people flood the theatres was wrong.

But to my Disney brothers and sisters, I will see it. Promise.

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