Meet the Robinsons (2007)
This is an odd transitional feature in the company’s history. During production Disney had announced that it was acquiring Pixar and that John Lasseter, visionary filmmaker and Pixar bigwig, would be leading the charge on all animated features. When he saw Meet the Robinsons, he cornered director Stephen Anderson and told him how the movie could be improved. (The New York Times claims the meeting lasted six hours.) The movie ended up being pushed back and the film heavily reworked (something like 60% of what had previously been done was thrown out). It’s unclear if the earlier version of the film would have been much better, but the version of Meet the Robinsons that was released was fairly undercooked. There are some great things about this family comedy-cum-time travel tale, in particular Danny Elfman’s score and some nifty shout-outs to the Tomorrowland section of the Disney Parks, but overall this feels like the pilot to a series we never get to watch. There are so many characters, each one of them thinly sketched, with very little in the way of resolution (or even a clear emotional through line). It was the work of a studio on the precipice of renewed greatness but this one is … not great.