Story

Abandoned as a baby at the doorstep of an orphanage, Lewis (voiced by Daniel Hansen) spends the next 12 years searching for a substitute family. Much to the displeasure of his room mate Goob (Matthew Josten), Lewis is an avid inventor who is determined to find a way to remember his birth mother. He invents a machine that can replay memories of any point in time. On the verge of unveiling his invention at a science fair, Lewis is sabotaged by the Bowler Hat Man (Stephan J Anderson). The Bowler Hat Man has come back from the future to steal Lewis’s invention, pass it off as his own and destroy Lewis’ future in the process.

Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman), a 13-year-old from the future, has also come back in time. He must thwart the Bowler Hat Man’s evil plan because his own existence depends on Lewis’s survival. The boys travel to the future where Lewis meets the eccentric Robinson family. Despite their unusual ways, the family shows Lewis what it means to truly belong.

In a desperate effort to save Wilbur and the future of society, Lewis must believe in himself to achieve the impossible. He must also make a difficult choice between the past and the future. In doing so, he realises that the family he has always sought has been with him all along.

Themes

Abandonment; adoption

Violence

  • When Lewis’s memory machine is sabotaged by the Bowler Hat Man, pieces of it fly off and hit various objects. Chaos ensues with an erupting volcano going haywire and fire ants attacking people after their ‘ant farm’ is shattered.
  • Wilbur pushes Lewis off a building. Lewis lands on an invisible time machine.
  • Lewis and Wilbur fight over the time machine’s controls, breaking the wheel and crashing the time machine.
  • The Bowler Hat Man drags another man across a large table by the collar.
  • The Bowler Hat Man is tied up like a pretzel and thrown onto the street.
  • The Bowler Hat Man advises Goob to let hate be his ally.
  • At dinner, meatballs are fired out of a cannon and smashed against the floor.
  • A dinosaur crashes through the Robinsons’ home, attempting to attack and eat Lewis.
  • A giant squid attacks the dinosaur.
  • A pizza delivery ‘space ship’ blasts dough at the dinosaur, trying to confine it.
  • The dinosaur tries to eat Wilbur.
  • Bowler hat machines take on a life of their own, possessing people and turning them against one another in violence.
  • Wilbur’s robot is impaled through the heart.
  • Lewis is pursued through a factory furnace by hundreds of spider-like bowler hat machines who are trying to attack him.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes noted above, there are other scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five. For example:

  • The first scenes of the Bowler Hat Man are especially creepy. He is an evil, seedy-looking man with a dangerous spider-like hat and an evil laugh.
  • When Lewis returns to the Robinsons’, house he finds that they have all been possessed by the bowler hat creatures. The once friendly family now look at Lewis with strange, glowing red eyes and corner him threateningly. The scene is both dark and scary.

From 5-8

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by an early scene where baby Lewis is abandoned by his mother on a dark and rainy night. The scene is sad, but not scary.

Over 8

Children aged 8-10 might need parental guidance because of some of the violent and scary scenes. Children aged over 10 will probably not find the movie disturbing.

Sexual references

None

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

In one scene, a group of frogs drink martinis at a bar.

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Product placement

None

Coarse language 

This movie contains put-downs and name-calling.

Ideas to discuss with your children

This animated adventure features excellent computer-animated graphics and special effects. It will appeal to a wide variety of ages. Because of its content, however, it is best suited to slightly older children and adults.

The main messages from this movie are to never give up and always have hope for the future. You might like to discuss with your children the values of persistence, determination, honesty and creativity presented in this movie. 

You could also discuss attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • the effect anger has on judgement
  • the implications of blaming others versus taking responsibility for your own actions.