Meet the Robinsons (rated G) is one of Disney's best recent creations not exclusively done by Pixar. Central character Lewis is an orphan who remains unadopted as he approaches his 13th birthday: Prospective parents tend to like him until Lewis' true self (a geeky but lovable inventor) begins to shine through.
When he tries to make a machine to remember images of his birth mother, two time travelers appear. The first, a slightly older kid named Wilbur Robinson, tries to encourage Lewis to pursue inventing. The second, a fiendish older man in a bowler hat, tries to steal the invention and market it as his own.
The mystery of the film is what's motivating the pair of time travelers. When Lewis travels back to Wilbur's world, he's introduced to oddball family members and a world of invention young Lewis immediately loves. Lewis would like to stay and be adopted by these inventive Robinsons. But he can't. The rest of the film lays out why.
For a children's movie, Meet the Robinsons is constructed with a sharp eye for wit and plot that puts it ahead of many animated flicks. Pop-culture references may fly over children's heads, but parents may appreciate having jokes written exclusively for them. And while critical reception has been mixed, viewers have generally enjoyed the light-hearted and fast-paced frivolity reminiscent of earlier Disney projects.