Australian Council on Children and the Media

Meet the Robinsons

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 10 (Violence, Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Meet the Robinsons
  • a review of Meet the Robinsons completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 29 November 2007.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the nature and frequency of violent and scary scenes this film is not recommended for children under 8.
Children aged 8-10 Parental guidance is advised for children between the ages of 8 to 10 due to violence.
Children over the age of 10 Children over the age of 10 could see this film with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Meet the Robinsons
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 84 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Abandoned as a baby, Lewis (voice of Daniel Hansen) is left on the doorstep of an orphanage where he will spend the next twelve years searching for a family who wants him. Much to the displeasure of his roommate Goob (Matthew Josten), Lewis is an avid inventor who is determined to find a way to remember his birth mother. He invents a machine that can replay memories of any point in time. On the verge of unveiling his invention at a science fair Lewis is sabotaged by the Bowler Hat Man (Stephan J. Anderson) who has come back from the future in an attempt to steal Lewis’ invention, pass it off as his own and destroy Lewis’ future in the process.
Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman) a thirteen year old who is also from the future has come back in time to thwart the Bowler Hat Man’s evil plan, as his own existence is dependent upon Lewis’ survival. The boys travel to the future where Lewis meets the eccentric Robinson family who, despite their unusual ways, show Lewis what it means to truly belong.
In a desperate effort to save Wilbur and the future of society Lewis must believe in himself to achieve the impossible. By making a difficult choice between the past and the future Lewis comes to realize that the family he has always sought has been with him all along.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Abandonment, adoption

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • When Lewis’ memory machine is sabotaged by the Bowler Hat Man, pieces of it fly off and hit various objects; chaos ensues with an erupting volcano going haywire and a rampage of fire ants attacking people after their ‘ant farm’ is shattered.
  • Wilbur pushes Lewis off a building; he lands on an invisible time machine.
  • Lewis and Wilbur fight over the time machine’s controls, breaking the wheel and crashing the time machine.
  • The Bowler Hat Man drags another man across a large table by the collar.
  • The Bowler Hat Man is tied up like a pretzel and thrown onto the street.
  • The Bowler hat Man advises Goob to let hate be his ally.
  • At dinner, meatballs are fired out of a cannon and smashed against the floor.
  • A tyrannosaurus crashes through the Robinson home attempting to attack and eat Lewis.
  • A giant squid attacks the dinosaur.
  • A pizza delivery ‘space ship’ blasts dough at the dinosaur, trying to confine it.
  • The dinosaur tries to eat Wilbur
  • Bowler hat machines take on a life of their own possessing people and turning them violently against one another.
  • Wilbur’s robot is impaled through the heart.
  • Lewis is pursued through a factory furnace by hundreds of spider like bowler hat machines who are trying to attack him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The first scenes of the Bowler Hat Man are especially creepy with glimpses of an evil, seedy, looking man with a dangerous spider- like hat and an evil laugh.
  • When Lewis returns to the Robinson’s house he finds that they have all been possessed by the Bowler Hats and their strange eyes are glowing red as the once-friendly family threateningly corners Lewis. The scene is both dark and scary.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Baby Lewis is abandoned by his mother on a dark and rainy night; the scene is sad, but not scary.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the violent and scary scenes mentioned above

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be frightened by anything in this film.

Product placement

None

Sexual references

None

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A group of frogs drink martinis at a bar.

Coarse language

Some putdowns, including:

  • “Puke face”
  • “Butter fingers”
  • “Goober breath”
  • “Repulsive, half-witted, fool”

In a nutshell

This animated adventure featuring excellent computer animated graphics and special effects will appeal to a wide variety of ages, but due to its content is best suited to slightly older children and adults.

The main messages from this movie are to never give up and always have hope for the future.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include persistence, determination, honesty and creativity.

Parents could discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as allowing anger to cloud judgement or the consequences of choosing to lay blame instead of taking responsibility for your own actions.

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