Thursday, March 29, 2007

Reviews for 'Meet the Robinsons' trickling in

See updates below.

Disney's "Meet the Robinsons" opens tomorrow and Shreveport has an iron in its fire.

William Joyce, successful children's author and rising moviemaker, is an executive producer. "Meet the Robinsons" is based on his 17-year-old book "A Day with Wilbur Robinson." (Joyce, a Shreveport native, also lives here with his family.)

Joyce's artspace exhibition about the movie opens Saturday. Like the artspace "Robots" exhibition which coincided with the release of that 2005 film, "The Art of Disney's 'Meet the Robinsons'" aims to show us nonanimators how a book gets, well, fully animated.

I review the movie tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few early, and mostly pithy, reviews. To keep track of what the critics are saying, keep watching this Metacritic page for "Meet the Robinsons."

LA Weekly's Ella Taylor likes the story and loves the clever animation.

EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum calls the story "unmanageable."

Premiere's Glenn Kerry writes that the movie is "a sometimes fun but mostly frustrating mess."

Empire's Helen OHara judges that "like its main character, it has too many ideas running round in its head to make any of them work."

I'm awaiting the more thorough verdicts by critics at the big guns: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

UPDATE 4:32 p.m.

And now for the wordy reviews. These two watched it in 3D.

Read Ann Hornaday's review in The Post. She is one of the best movie critics writing today. "Stephen J. Anderson not only creates a visually arresting version of the future (picture Rube Goldberg by way of the Jetsons with a dash of David Lynch) but a terrific story as well. (Moral: Get over yourself.)"

Chicago Tribune's Michael Wilmington is impressed. "It's a real technical breakthrough, a cartoon feature done in 3D computer images of unusual depth and plasticity that creates its own crazy world and then dunks you in it."

UPDATE 9:15 p.m.

The New York Times's A.O. Scott hates "Meet the Robinsons." He writes, "This movie has more in common with cobbled-together junk like 'Chicken Little' and 'Treasure Planet' than with the studio’s classics."

The Los Angeles Times's Dennis Lim likes the design but questions the effects. "In other words, the stereoscopic effect, achieved through state-of-the-art digital technology, is used in no more modern a fashion than it was in the golden age of 3-D: the 1950s."

Variety's Todd McCarthy predicts big box office. "Snazzy entry should do strong if not smash biz through the spring, especially in the 600-plus theaters equipped to project it in the superb Disney Digital 3-D process."

Consider me thoroughly confused.

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