Meet the Robinsons

Nina is the one that wanted to see it. She has wanted to see it for months. Daniel didn’t. Neither did I. There was really nothing else showing, it was pouring rain and we had an afternoon off school together. I appeased Daniel by paying the extra bucks for a 3-D version. You know…the kind where they give you special glasses to use? Cost me the price of another ticket. Sigh. For a kids’ movie. An animated one at that. I hate animated movies. But only because it’s difficult to read their lips….something crucial that a hearing impaired viewer needs to be able to do. Actually the only animated feature I have ever been able to enjoy without interpretation was Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Watch it some time and pay close attention to how well the words match the characters’ lip movements. It’s incredible. Haven’t seen one like it since…and with two kids, we have seen them all. And so I resignedly settled into my seat, settled the 3-D glasses over MY glasses and prepared to snooze.

What a nice surprise. The movie was actually entertaining. The subject also – surprisingly enough – was one that is very dear to my heart. Adoption….and more specifically, older child adoptions. I didn’t know why I didn’t pick up on it sooner.

A little kid named Lewis, a brilliant inventor who was left on the door step of an orphanage as an infant, has entered a ‘Memory Scanner’ in the school’s Science Fair. His reason for creating it is to find his birth mother so they can be a family again. Another character – Wilbur Robinson – whisks him into the future so they can stop another character from stealing the invention and save the future. Along the way Lewis meets and begins to care for the wierd and wonderful Robinson family. He learns that the future is rooted in his own present and affected by his actions. Along the way he has a chance to discover his birth mother and doesn’t, finds a family and lives happily ever after.

I have read that adoption advocates do not support this Disney movie. They report that adopted children and their parents came away distressed about the scenes depicting Lewis turned down by 100 prospective parents. Birth parents have come away distressed that Lewis, when given the chance to reunite with his birth mother, chooses not to. I don’t know really know how my own adopted sweeties took that aspect of the film. They never really talked about it. We’ve never really talked about birth parent abandonment at all. They thought it was a really, really good movie however – even Daniel.

I saw it as a story of a kid searching for a family and finding it in his own backyard. A kid who knew his potential, knew he was a genius and liked that about himself. He never blamed his birth mother for abandoning him….never hated her….and in the end, respected her decision to give him away.

We have a smidgen of information about Daniel’s birth parents and nothing at all about Nina’s. I wonder if they will ever feel the need to search for their biological roots? If that day ever comes we will do everything that we can to help them. But in the end, I hope they will know that their ‘real’ family is the one that has been in their backyard all along. The one that treasures their uniqueness and loves them….just the way they are.
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One Comment on “Meet the Robinsons”

  1. Team Says:

    Hi, sorry to leave a public post but could not find your email address posted. I read your blog every now and again and always come away with some new insight or lovely turn of phrase. You write beautifully and lovingly about topics dear to my heart: being hard of hearing, ER and children of color.

    I’m sure you already know about the InSight captioning systems installed in many movie theaters these days.
    You can just pick up a viewer from the Customer Service desk for free and watch the movie with closed captioned with mainstream audiences. It’s really great and covers many kids films.

    Mary Watkins of WGBH Mopix service has a weekly mailing list that alerts folks about upcoming film releases that come with captioned options

    all the best, A. Crew

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