Meet the Robinsons

Rated 2.0

An orphan boy sees his school science fair disrupted by a mysterious villain and his chances for adoption scuttled—until another adolescent appears in a time machine to take him into the future and set things right. William Joyce’s essentially plotless picture book is adapted by director Stephen J. Anderson (and too many writers to mention) into a frantic barrage of computer animation, jam-packed with half-baked ideas and zip!-zoom!-pow! action. The animation (in 3-D in selected theaters) is as bright and gleaming as a tin toy under a Christmas tree, but it’s also hard-edged and charmless. The title family seem like refugees from a 23rd century interplanetary touring company of You Can’t Take It With You, while the time-paradox story is too complicated for kids and too plot-holed for grownups.