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Crafting The Characters
The heart of MEET THE ROBINSONS is the orphan boy who is whisked from a world in which he has just about given up hope to a world where anything and everything is not only possible, but expected to happen! This is 12-year-old Lewis, the film's time-traveling young hero, who Steve Anderson describes as "someone who thinks differently than the rest of the world.” Lewis' main goal in life is to find his family, which is why he invents the Memory Scanner, a remarkable machine that allows a person to see into the past—although Lewis will later realize he needs to switch directions and head towards the future to resolve his quest. The director explains: "Lewis wants to make a better world through inventions, but his inventions are a little bit odd, and it's not what families who come to the orphanage are looking for. Lewis' hopes of ever finding a family, or his real mother, are just about dashed until he meets Wilbur Robinson, who restores his hope in the future by bringing him into it!”

As outcast as Lewis might feel at the outset of his story, he might ultimately be one of the least eccentric characters in MEET THE ROBINSONS—because he is about to be surrounded by a group of people who definitely put the "free” in "free-spirited.” To bring the film's remarkably diverse characters to life, the filmmakers recruited a group of actors from all walks of life—ranging from Oscar® nominees to behind-the-scenes animators who are rarely heard on screen. Comments Steve Anderson: "I'm so excited about the cast that we have. We have people from all kinds of backgrounds, who are experienced in comedy, in television, in theater, in cartoons and especially improv, and because of that, they were able to create characters in a truly bigger-than-life sense. They have taken these wonderful characters even beyond what we imagined.”

The cast includes Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett, who portrays Mildred, the sweet and patient caretaker at the 6th Street Orphanage that has always been home to Lewis, ever since Mildred first found him on her doorstep as an infant. Bassett loved the story's comic-tinged take on the wonders of family. "I really appreciated this story about a little boy who's looking for a family and about how there's many ways to make family,” she says. "As a new mom, I found it especially appealing.”

Bassett got to exercise all her maternal instincts as Mildred. "Mildred's ambition, her dream, her occupation and her greatest commitment is to finding each and every one of her orphanage kids a loving family, one who will see them for who they are and love and appreciate their own special uniqueness,” the actress explains. In the case of Lewis, however, that search has hit a dead end, much to Mildred's chagrin. After all, Mildred loves all her kids, but she has a special place in her heart for Lewis. "She understands how different Lewis is, how he marches to the beat of his own drummer,” says Bassett. "I think she sees a little Albert Einstein in the making.”

As much as Bassett enjoyed creating Mildred's voice, one of the biggest thrills for her was seeing the character come to life in all her animated glory. "She has a fantastic look, so endearing and cute. With her little eyeglasses and hairdo, I loved it. To me, it's amazing what the animators have come up with on this film,” she sums up.

Another major star who lends his voice to MEET THE ROBINSONS is Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winner Tom Selleck, whose tough-guy charisma was a perfect match for the vast optimism and fearless genius of Cornelius Robinson, the accomplished inventor and beloved head of Robinson Industries, which turns out world-altering gadgets by the score. "He might be animated, but Cornelius Robinson is just a great character—a brilliant, optimistic family man who has proved that just about anything is possible if you<

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