Meet the Robinsons is the story of a good scientist and budding inventor, who struggles to get his inventions right in a world without emotional support or room to experiment. Lewis lives in an orphanage, where his tinkering annoys his roommate Goob, and his ideas often scare off potential adoptive parents.
Growing up friendless, and with no family, each new invention is an opportunity to impress and connect with others – making the stakes, and potential failure, that much greater. After suffering an invention mishap during an adoption interview, Lewis runs away and laments, “I have no future.” For him, failure in his inventions is inherently linked to failure in finding a home.
Circumstances whisk Lewis away from his constraining present into a positive, optimistic future. At the home of the Robinsons, Lewis tries, and fails, to fix inventions several times – and each time is met with encouragement and praise. The Robinsons happily insist that you learn from each failure to build a better future: to “keep moving forward.”
Such is the rallying cry of Meet the Robinsons. Through various degrees of time travel, Lewis glimpses a wonderful future before he returns to the present and work to build that future, today. He looks at the potential world awaiting him, asking “so this’ll be my future?” Future Lewis replies, “Well, that depends on you.”
There are two key themes running throughout this film: first, the importance of a space where creative minds can tinker, with room for trial and error. Second, the reality that you need to work to change your own future: no one is going to do that for you. This thread weaves together the importance of family with empowerment and humanism, leaving a positive message for all kids, scientist or not.