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crazy4wdw
03-29-2007, 04:45 PM
'Robinsons' is first test of Lasseter at Disney
Thu Mar 29, 2007 2:41pm ET

LOS ANGELES, March 29 (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co.'s animated movie "Meet the Robinsons" debuts on Friday with modest box office expectations in the first major test of Pixar's creative influence on Disney's struggling animation studio.

The film was extensively reworked by John Lasseter, the creative chief behind Pixar Animation Studios blockbusters like "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles" and "Monsters Inc." who now heads both studios' animation programs.

Lasseter took over last year when Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion in an all-stock deal, and is widely perceived as the heir to company founder Walt Disney's animation vision.

"Investor eyes will be on 'Meet the Robinsons' as this is the first Disney animated film that will have the direct influence of John Lasseter," BMO Capital Markets analyst Jeff Logsdon wrote this week in a note to clients.

Analysts pegged the film's opening weekend box office at $20 million to $30 million, well below last year's $68 million record for the weekend set by "Ice Age: The Meltdown" or Pixar's "Cars," which debuted last June with $60 million.

Sander Morris Harris analyst David Miller estimated the film cost Disney about $52 million to make and $65 million to market and distribute. He said a $30 million opening weekend should guarantee a profit over the life of the title.

"This is the first time you will see Pixar's influence on a story that had already been done," Miller said. "If the film is successful it will prove to the Street that the $7.4 billion that Disney paid for Pixar is a damn good deal."

"Meet the Robinsons," which is opening in 3,413 U.S. and Canada theaters, was No. 1 in advance ticket sales on Thursday at Fandango.com, the largest U.S. movie ticketing service with access to more than 15,000 screens, said Fandango spokesman Harry Medved.

On Thursday, "Robinsons" accounted for about 31 percent of ticket sales, compared with 23 percent for the No. 2 film, "Blades of Glory" and 18 percent for "300," Medved said.

Box office grosses also may get a boost from premium ticket prices charged at roughly 700 screens that will show three-dimensional versions of the film, in the largest-ever release of a modern 3D film.

While reviewers generally praised the film's cutting-edge animation, they had mixed opinions of its story and characters.

Associated Press reviewer Christy Lemire described the digital 3D effects as "pretty spectacular" and "eye candy," but added that "it's hard to feel too emotionally engaged by any of this."

Entertainment Weekly reviewer Lisa Schwarzbaum rated the film as average with a grade of "C," calling it "one bumpy ride."

But Fandango.com columnist Richard Horgan saw "Lasseter's fingerprints all over this thing because it pops the way a Pixar film does."

"It just has that bounce in its narrative step," Horgan told Reuters. "It's a great heralding of the Disney-Pixar era. It's just really encouraging."

wbk
03-31-2007, 02:39 PM
It was a nice story, but it sure isn't one I'd buy for my collection once it's released in video. Sure hope this isn't the beginning of a trend.

*Robin*
03-31-2007, 03:09 PM
I was impressed by the art, not the story...though it has a good beginning and a decent end, the meat of it was long, rambling and really needed direction. It was also pretty perdictable in my opinion.

I'll buy it, if for nothing more than the last few minutes, and the Walt quote...but I really hope it can only go up from here.

MJMcBride
03-31-2007, 06:01 PM
its not doing well right?

http://www.mouseextra.com/

*Robin*
03-31-2007, 06:18 PM
its not doing well right?




Seems to be doing ok critically...so far, so good. It really isn't that horrible, it just seems to wander too much, and trys to do too much for one movie.


Here's a link for Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/meet_the_robinsons/)

WDWPinCollector
03-31-2007, 06:59 PM
I caught the 4:50 PM show in 3D at Downtown Disney yesterday and thought it was quite good. At one point it was a little hard to follow, but the image quality and detail, especially in 3D, was stunning. The theater was jammed packed.

Looking forward to watching it again on DVD.

EUROPACL
03-31-2007, 07:05 PM
I caught the 4:50 PM show in 3D at Downtown Disney yesterday and thought it was quite good. At one point it was a little hard to follow, but the image quality and detail, especially in 3D, was stunning. The theater was jammed packed.

Looking forward to watching it again on DVD.

Got to wonder about a movie made for kids that adults have trouble following.

YoHo
03-31-2007, 08:01 PM
Yeah, no kidding.

I like the utter lie that is the Article title.
Lasseter had exactly 2 things to do with this movie and Jack left town.

Remember, if Meet the Robinsons tanks, then the middle manager idiots that brought you Chicken Little and Home on the Range will lose all power in the company. Lasseter and Catmull will actually have control in more then just name.
If you love Disney, you won't see this movie.

Also
It was a nice story, but it sure isn't one I'd buy for my collection once it's released in video. Sure hope this isn't the beginning of a trend.
Again, I draw your attention to the two previous cow patties released. The trend is ongoing.

MJMcBride
03-31-2007, 09:19 PM
Yeah, no kidding.

I like the utter lie that is the Article title.
Lasseter had exactly 2 things to do with this movie and Jack left town.

Remember, if Meet the Robinsons tanks, then the middle manager idiots that brought you Chicken Little and Home on the Range will lose all power in the company. Lasseter and Catmull will actually have control in more then just name.
If you love Disney, you won't see this movie.



My only issue with your post, is I actually liked Chicken Little

WDWPinCollector
03-31-2007, 09:57 PM
Got to wonder about a movie made for kids that adults have trouble following.

Well, not really. My mind isn't as sharp as it used to be...:confused3

mickeyfantroy
03-31-2007, 09:57 PM
Saw it today in 3D at Downtown Disney and though it was just OK. I liked the story line at the beginning but it went downhill and became real cheesy. In that line it reminded me of Chicken Little.

Captain Hook
03-31-2007, 11:02 PM
I think its going to tank, especially if the reason everyone is going to go see it is because of the 3D effects. Any time I see "reworked" in the discription of the movie you know theres trouble. Story is what sells not gimics and what type of animation is used

MJMcBride
03-31-2007, 11:03 PM
here's a bad review. I have still yet to see it

http://www.mouseextra.com/

Carnotaurus
03-31-2007, 11:25 PM
Just saw this with six intelligent adults of diverse tastes. We all LOVED it. (The five kids with us liked it, too!)

The plot was fast-paced and twisty, but really smart and charming. And funny.

It didn't feel like a Disney movie, per se. But it didn't feel like anything else that's out there right now ... no overt pop culture references, no gross humor, really stylized characters, lots of really quietly funny jokes (which tend to be my favorite kind).

Maybe it did feel like an old-school Disney movie. It's the first non-Pixar kids' movie I've seen in a long time that embraces sincerity and warmth without getting too drippy.

Don't judge it by its trailer, which shares the lamest jokes and gets the tone of the actual movie all wrong.

(For context, I hated "Brother Bear," thought "Chicken Little" was horrible and thought "Home on the Range" was a visually interesting failure.)

Sarangel
04-02-2007, 11:23 AM
Please remember that posts should have some bearing on the topic at hand (even if not the original topic), and should not attack individual posters. Be polite to your fellow posters.

Sarangel

mjstaceyuofm
04-02-2007, 01:44 PM
Took the family to see this on Saturday night. I thought it was one of the worst Disney theatrical movies I've seen in a long time. It was pretty bad....

There weren't even any funny "adult" jokes / innuendos in the movie at all. Very dissappointing.

The best part about it was the 3D Donald Duck/Chip&Dale cartoon beforehand.

Viki
04-02-2007, 03:00 PM
Entertainment Weekly gave it a "C." My partner tried to talk me into it over the weekend, but I wasn't having it. We saw Namesake instead. Now, there's a good movie. :thumbsup2

All Aboard
04-02-2007, 04:06 PM
$25 million opening weekend. A little better (inflation adjusted) than Brother Bear and Treasure Planet. A good step up from Home on the Range. Much worse than Chicken Little. Might struggle to do $100 million domestically. If we were arguing two years ago whether Chicken Little was a failure at $130 million, this shouldn't be much of an argument.

Too bad. In my opinion, only Lilo and Stitch was better amongst the eight 21st Century Disney Animated Features.

ChrisFL
04-02-2007, 04:09 PM
I thought it was a very well done movie, a bit over the top and crazy in places but I still really enjoyed it.

perdidochas
04-02-2007, 04:12 PM
It was a nice story, but it sure isn't one I'd buy for my collection once it's released in video. Sure hope this isn't the beginning of a trend.

I agree. The best parts of it were shown on the commercials. The rest was just ho-hum. I'm glad now we didn't spring for the extra money for 3-d.

YoHo
04-02-2007, 04:23 PM
$25 million opening weekend. A little better (inflation adjusted) than Brother Bear and Treasure Planet. A good step up from Home on the Range. Much worse than Chicken Little. Might struggle to do $100 million domestically. If we were arguing two years ago whether Chicken Little was a failure at $130 million, this shouldn't be much of an argument.

Too bad. In my opinion, only Lilo and Stitch was better amongst the eight 21st Century Disney Animated Features.

This doesn't say much.
Personally, I liked Brother Bear. It wasn't great, and it wasn't new or unique, but I liked it. This, I just have no desire to see.

raidermatt
04-02-2007, 07:22 PM
From what I read before it was released, $25 million is roughly what they expected. They hoped it would bring in $30 million. This was referred to as "modest expectations".


I honestly haven't seen anything in the previews to make me want to see Robinsons. Nothing gives me any kind of real indication as to what the movie is really about. A T-Rex joke which reminded me of Toy Story, and somebody who looks like a CGI version of Joan Cusack acting spazmatic. This doesn't exactly have me chompin' at the bit.

ASilmser
04-03-2007, 03:03 PM
I just saw the movie, and I thought it was very good. I am a big fan of the William Joyce book "A Day With Wilbur Robinson", and I would recommend reading that book before seeing the movie. Some of the over the top characters and situations come directly from the books and the Artwork of William Joyce. The weakest part had to be the evil "bad guy" character. He was not scary or funny, although it seemed they were trying to make him both. He just looked like an idiotic purple pie man with bad teeth.

I think it is a clever attempt. Was it a classic? Is it a success? Who knows, but the animation was very good, the story was was creative, original, entertaining for my whole family, and worth the seven bucks. I don't think we should ask anything more of Walt Disney Animation. We should not expect every film to be a blockbuster or a classic. If we do, are we any better than the corporate heads who ruined WD animation in the first place?

In short, the movie accomplishes the goals that they should be setting forth for their movies--creative setting, endearing characters, excellent story, family focus.

Keep doing this, and the money will come.

EUROPACL
04-03-2007, 03:24 PM
I don't think we should ask anything more of Walt Disney Animation. We should not expect every film to be a blockbuster or a classic. If we do, are we any better than the corporate heads who ruined WD animation in the first place?



WOW....just WOW!

YoHo
04-03-2007, 03:36 PM
well, since I didn't cut the budgets on those films, fire/drive out the competant people and generally make the entire place a terrible anticreative pit of dispair, yeah, I'd say I'm still better then them.

Also, personally, I don't expect everything they make to be the next Lion King, I do however request that everything they make have SOME sort of artistic merit. To be made with heart and soul.

ASilmser
04-03-2007, 04:54 PM
Also, personally, I don't expect everything they make to be the next Lion King, I do however request that everything they make have SOME sort of artistic merit. To be made with heart and soul.


I guess that's what I was trying to say in my last post. I think there WAS some artistic merit in this movie. They attempted to do something different, creative, and interesting. It had heart. Will the public take to it? I don't know. Am I glad they tried it? yes.

If I have my history right, Sleeping Beauty was originally a box office disappointment--but artistically and creatively, it is one of the most beautiful animated features I know of. PLEASE don't get me wrong, I don't think MTR in any way was attempting to push the boundaries like SB did, but I can still appreciate it for the artistic stretch that it was.

ASilmser
04-03-2007, 05:10 PM
WOW....just WOW!

Now that I see my quote standing alone, It may have been poorly written

I think maybe you misunderstood what I was saying. I didn't mean that WDW animation should be creating the same old recycled stuff that we have been seeing lately.

I meant that by focusing on quality, originality, story, creativity, and universal appeal, heart and soal (as stated by yoho), the box office results will come. Of course we should be holding Disney to a higher standard.

Perhaps I am reading it wrong, but the tone of this thread seemed to be focusing on the box office results for the weekend: almost as a test (or a confirmation of someone's opinion) for whether the movie was good or not. I just wanted to point out that when we focus on box office results rather than merit we might be making a mistake. Some really fine movies did not do so well at the box office.

raidermatt
04-03-2007, 05:19 PM
If they really did take some artistic stretches, and also tried to make a movie with a solid story and "Disney heart", then whoever designed the marketing plan should be fired, because they didn't convey any of that in the marketing. It was marketed as another collection of one-liners and pop-culture references.

We should not expect every film to be a blockbuster or a classic. If we do, are we any better than the corporate heads who ruined WD animation in the first place?
Depends on what we mean by "expect". If expect means deliver it or we'll consider the entire creative process a failure, then no, that should not be expected. But if expect means that's our goal, our target, our success criteria, then yes, it very well should be expected. The corporate heads you mentioned took the former of course, and virtually destroyed the department.

You're right that of course you won't have a box office hit with every single release, but if you do it right you will succeed more often than you fail, and that's not what DFA does.

But hey, if you're right and this really is a step in the right direction, good for them. It would be a sign that Pixar's way is rubbing off on Disney, and not vice-versa.

girt25
04-03-2007, 05:37 PM
We (2 adults) saw it this weekend and thought it was phenomenal. some of the middle parts were a bit outrageous but very entertaining nonetheless. There was plenty of laughs for both kids and adults. I thought a lot of the jokes were really cleverly done and better suited for adults who don't want to be hit in the face with purely physical comedy. anyways it had me laughing the whole way through.

I don't think the movie was marketed very well thou. I consider myself a disney fan and when my wife told me we were going to see the new disney movie a couple of weeks ago.. i thought she was talking about Ratatouille.

YoHo
04-03-2007, 05:55 PM
If I have my history right, Sleeping Beauty was originally a box office disappointment--but artistically and creatively, it is one of the most beautiful animated features I know of. PLEASE don't get me wrong, I don't think MTR in any way was attempting to push the boundaries like SB did, but I can still appreciate it for the artistic stretch that it was.

There's a fundamental difference between how Sleeping Beauty was made and how Meet the Robinsons was made. An entirely different corporate culture. Perhaps there were individuals at Disney, involved with Robinsons that were attempting to create something of artistic merit, but they are in the minority, surrounded by mindless middle management and upper management that has no experience making movies.

I thought Emperor's new groove was amusing and funny too, It's never going to age like sleeping beauty.

ASilmser
04-03-2007, 08:44 PM
Depends on what we mean by "expect". If expect means deliver it or we'll consider the entire creative process a failure, then no, that should not be expected. But if expect means that's our goal, our target, our success criteria, then yes, it very well should be expected. The corporate heads you mentioned took the former of course, and virtually destroyed the department.

You're right that of course you won't have a box office hit with every single release, but if you do it right you will succeed more often than you fail, and that's not what DFA does.

But hey, if you're right and this really is a step in the right direction, good for them. It would be a sign that Pixar's way is rubbing off on Disney, and not vice-versa.

You are absolutely right. I think management threw away the baby with the bath water with Disney Feature animation. I also think MTR is a step in the right direction, more pixar than DFA. I, too, think it was poorly marketed. You said it much better than I did. It will be interesting to see the results NEXT weekend, after the word-of-mouth gets out. It really shouldn't do that poorly--There's not really any G-rated stuff out there right now.

JustBob
04-05-2007, 08:45 AM
I'm back looking at the boards after a long hiatus (more than a year). This discussion is why I like these boards. Intelligent comments on both sides.

My two cents...
Went to see the 3D version of the show on Monday. I loved it. Technically the 3D enhanced the experience while not being a total gimmick like one would expect at one of the theme park shows (which I also love.) The 3D was basically another tool in the animator's tool box (like CGI or the multiplane camera) so I'm all for it. If we saw a film that merely capitalized on the multiplane camera and was image after image of that kind of shot just for the sake of enjoying that technology then we would all be bored.

So, is there a story of merit to go with the technology? YES! Maybe it's where I'm at as a parent right now, but the celebration of failure and the encouragement to keep moving forward meant a lot to this dad of a struggling high school graduate who is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.

Yes, the middle section (second act?) gets quite random and a bit hard to follow - it's as though the story folks were on the "caffeine patch" as well. :coffee: But it all comes back together after a variety of misadventures. A family applauding failure? YES! How beautiful to have a movie that has a scene like that.

I was not a fan of "Home on the Range" - what a disappointing final film from WDFA. Brother Bear, though visually beautiful, was bogged down with a lethargic story and the atrocious Phil Collins songs. Chicken Little just did not move me even a little - I never got involved with the characters. MTR clicked for me.

By the way - did anyone see a trailer for yet ANOTHER penguin movie prior to MTR? Aaaauughh!

I'm over the CGI animalcentric thing. At least as it refers to anything with the word "hedge", "wild" or "Madagascar" in the title. Now Parisian rats? Those I'll give a try...

:)