As DVDs became popular in the 1990s, almost every studio was quick to embrace the format. When Disney finally came around, they touted each title as a "Disney DVD," as if it were somehow more technologically advanced than any other DVD. That bit of hype came to mind as I saw a sneak preview of Meet the Robinsons in not just 3-D, but Disney Digital 3-D. Ooh.
I don't know if the movie is showing in traditional 2-D as well, but if it is, I think the experience would be about the same. The 3-D technology is fine, and is put to effective use in the film, but ultimately is a bit of a gimmick. (If anything, the biggest benefit to a 3-D screening is the sight of really small children wearing dark glasses, which is always funny.)
This being the second recent family film to address time travel (the other is The Last Mimzy, reviewed here), there's an overriding need to keep things simple, which is nice. The film is based on a story by William Joyce --who also created TV's underrated cartoon Rolie Polie Olie -- and fittingly depicts the future with a playground mentality. Everything is stark and clean and gloriously placed, like Dr. Seuss creations with fewer knick-knacks.
The story follows Lewis, a young orphan and an inventor of some interest to people from the future. He's taken forward in time, and must figure out a way to get back while immersing himself with a futuristic family. While the timeline is treated as linearly as possible, there are some pleasantly twisty moments that may surprise. Sharp-eyed children who pay attention to present-day characters and events will be rewarded.