The future is imperfect in Meet the Robinsons, a frantic computer animation from the House of Mouse whose fantastical vision of a retro tomorrow looks like some cynical amalgam of Robots, The Incredibles and Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius. Offering yet more proof that Disney cartoonery ain't nothing without Pixar, this wearisome tale of a lonely orphan who travels through time has a wacky exuberance small children will no doubt appreciate. Anyone older, though, will merely find it noisy and obnoxious.
The fact that it took seven writers to knock this hyperactive caper into shape tells you all you need to know about Stephen Anderson's feature debut, which tells of a young inventor called Lewis desperate to find the mom he never knew. Said quest leads him into contact with Wilbur Robinson, a cocksure tyke from 50 years hence who whisks Lewis away in a stolen time machine. No sooner has he met his new chum's extended brood, though, than our hero finds himself battling his sinister nemesis, not to mention a robotic bowler with a mind of its own.
"INDEBTED TO SUPERIOR SCI-FI FLICKS"
Saddled with a severe surfeit of characters and a needlessly complicated narrative, Meet the Robinsons ultimately proves as erratic and spluttering as Lewis's patented peanut butter and jelly splurt gun. Its biggest problem, however, is its indebtedness to superior sci-fi films, its space-age hardware and hellish evocation of a twisted alt-reality, lifted wholesale from The Matrix, Back to the Future and countless other time-hopping adventures.
Meet The Robinsons is released in UK cinemas on Friday 30th March 2007.