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Two weird things, one of which is Meet the Robinsons - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Apr. 6th, 2007

01:23 am - Two weird things, one of which is Meet the Robinsons

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I saw two weird things today.


"Meet the Robinsons", Disney's latest non-Pixar CGI movie, is fun, and very very weird.

The kid with the stick-uppy blond hair is Lewis, a boy genius and orphan, who has trouble finding a foster family because they all find him and his cobbled-together inventions too weird. The kid with the dollop of black hair is Wilbur Robinson, a kid from the future who's following a sinister man in a bowler hat who's traveled back in time to ruin Lewis's life by sabotaging and stealing his science fair project.

This movie is chock full of weird stuff, most of which eventually makes sense in context. I need to say that up front. :}

Wilbur takes Lewis to the future, where he meets the Robinsons, all of whom are very, very eccentric. There's the old guy who wears his clothes backwards and has a face drawn on the back of his head; the guy who plays with a small cannon that shoots meat; the woman who teaches frogs to sing and play music like Frank Sinatra and his big band; the twins who live in flowerpots, each one trying to get visitors to ring the doorbell on his side of the door; the robot assistant; the octopus butler... There are a lot of them; we're suddenly introduced to at least a dozen family members in what feels like less than a minute. Suffice it to say, big extended family of WEIRDOES OF THE FUTURE.

Various weird things happen throughout the movie; you'll be treated to images such as Lewis wearing a Carmen Miranda fruit hat; a trio of frogs tossing a tiny robotic bowler hat into a car trunk, Mobster style; a dinosaur being mind-controlled by the sinister bowler hat guy; a grim dystopian vision of a future ruled by evil robotic bowler hats... where are Men Without Hats when we NEED them?!



So anyway, the showing I went to happened to be a 3D presentation of the movie. I was given a pair of 3D glasses, which looked like they might have been polarized. The theater was chock full of kids, all wearing glowstick necklaces. They were noisy before the movie, but fortunately they quieted down and behaved once it started.

The robot from the movie came out and told the audience to put their 3D glasses on, then did some schtick with extending his long-necked head off the screen and way out into the audience, saying "I see one guy in the back row who hasn't put his glasses on yet!" Before the movie, there were two segments in 3D: a trailer for the 3D version of "The Nightmare Before Christmas", and a Donald Duck cartoon called "Working For Peanuts" that was made in 3D back in 1952 and had recently been adapted for the Disney Digital 3D process.

Then the movie started. The 3D image was crystal clear! The picture quality was every bit as good as the best-quality 2D films. A few times, I tilted my head, and didn't see any ghost images from the left and right images crossbleeding. When it was over, I took the glasses home, curious about how they worked. I looked at a reflection off a window at an angle through one lens, and it disappeared when I held the glasses at a certain angle. Yup, it's polarized.

Then I looked through the other lens. It was polarized in the same direction!

A look at Wikipedia's page on Disney Digital 3-D told me they use circularly polarized light. I've forgotten much of what I learned about polarization; I didn't realize a circular polarized filter could screen out linearly polarized light like that.

What's even weirder is, I found it only works one way; if I wear the glasses and look at the window, it doesn't block the light out. But if I hold them up to my eyes the wrong way round and look in instead of out, it works!

Comments:

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From:kinkyturtle
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)

Please Silence Your Cellphones And Grunion

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Huh boyyy. Yeah, I got lucky and none of the kids in my theater did that.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)

ö

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Er, nope, didn't think to look for those. Now I'll have to see the movie again. :}

I know there was one hidden in "Tron" way back when, though.
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From:klepsydra
Date:April 6th, 2007 07:47 am (UTC)

Re: ö

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There's a water tower somewhere off I-4 between Orlando and Tampa shaped like that. I wonder why? ^o-^
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From:deckardcanine
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:25 am (UTC)
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They slipped the audience Mickeys?? :P
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:April 6th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
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I gather Disney has a habit of sneaking Mickey Mice into non-Mickey films?
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:April 7th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
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But it's not a Mickey film. Mickey, Donald, Goofy, et al. don't appear as characters in it.
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From:rikchik
Date:April 6th, 2007 09:21 am (UTC)
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I haven't seen it yet, but I intend to - it's based on a fun picturebook called "A Day with Wilbur Robinson". In the book, they're not in the future, they're just wierd.
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From:nefaria
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:21 am (UTC)
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Leave it to Disney to create a polarizing film that discriminates against light people! :)
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From:deckardcanine
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:28 am (UTC)
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I've heard rather different things about that movie. The first critic I read said the story was great but didn't gain much from the 3D. The next critic said the opposite. The middling score on IMDb has me worried. But then, Happy Feet didn't score much higher, and I enjoyed that.
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From:wbwolf
Date:April 6th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC)
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I wasn't particularly interested in seeing the film, but since one of my local theaters will be showing it in 3-D I'll go, just for the novelty of it. The last 3-D film was a campy 1952 film, The Maze which had the red/cyan system.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
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I think you'll be impressed with the quality of the 3D images.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:41 pm (UTC)
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Well, the movie certainly doesn't lose anything in 3D either, especially given that the Disney Digital 3D process is so good that it suffers none of the problems that older 3D processes have had, such as ghosting and flicker. Seriously, 3D film has finally been perfected (and boy do I sound like a shill saying that, but honestly it has!)

Anyway, not every showing is in 3D. It was showing at the Edwards Marq*E theater on three screens, 3D on only one of them, and the showing I arrived for happened to be one of the 3D showings. I didn't even plan on that.

Some critics probably don't like "Meet the Robinsons" because a lot of the time it goes by too fast. It rewards paying attention; it's not a movie you can go get popcorn in the middle of.
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From:chocorisu
Date:April 6th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
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Huh, I had no particular interest in seeing it but now I'm kind of excited to just because of the technology! I am all about polarisation.
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From:panama_fox
Date:April 6th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
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I saw the movie last night in 3-d format, like the fact is shows one simple event can set a whole future in motion.
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