Headed out to the multiplex recently with my family to catch the latest Disney Digital 3-D offering, MEET THE ROBINSONS, and was surprised by a couple of things. First the bad: AMC is charging an extra $2 to see the 3-D version, though the box office person didn’t say it was specifically for the glasses. My question is this–if it’s to cover the cost of the glasses and you go back to see it a second time with your original pair in tow, do they still hit you up for the surcharge? Considering the multiplex mentality, I bet that’s the case but I may have to put it to the test. Or at least give my glasses to someone in the office like Ferraro who plans to see it. And I don’t remember paying extra when I saw the superior MONSTER HOUSE in Digital 3-D last year–did anyone have to pay more for that one?
The pleasant surprise was the short that preceded MEET THE ROBINSONS, a 1953 “Stereoscopic” Donald Duck cartoon called “Working for Peanuts” that was originally produced in 3-D. Unseen in theaters for years (unless you happened to catch it at Disney World), the story features Donald as a zookeeper taking care of Dolores the Elephant. Much to his chagrin, there are a pair of mischievous chipmunks trying to steal Dolores’ supply of peanuts, and these two critters turn out to be none other than Chip ‘n’ Dale! Apparently these two didn’t get equal billing with other Disney heavyweights, but Donald is a supporting player in his own cartoon. I originally thought this may have been their very first appearance in a Disney short, but it turns out they were actually first named in another Donald Duck cartoon (“Chip an’ Dale”) from 1947 that was Oscar-nominated. Gee, six years later and still no star billing.
“Working for Peanuts” is only playing with the 3-D version of MEET THE ROBINSONS, so you may have to seek it out. Otherwise you’ll be seeing something called “Boat Builders” with the flat version. And as far as the main attraction goes–fun animation, so-so story with echoes of both TOY STORY and JIMMY NEUTRON, certainly worthy if you love gimmicks, but no MONSTER HOUSE by a long shot. Oh, and that’s the voice of Adam West, not Patrick Warburton–good voice casting! Grab a kid if it makes you more comfortable and check it out while you can. Then drop the kid off and come see THE HOST at Enzian for some real jaw-dropping special effects and fantastic entertainment.