Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons”: good or bad for adoptive families?

There is a controversial message circulating among adoption
listservs that was first brought to our attention by our friend
Peggy Knudson. It is regarding the new Disney movie, “Meet the
Robinsons,” and it raises some very interesting concerns
specifically pertaining to adoptive parents. The warning is getting
some mixed reactions among parents – some feel the criticism is
valid, while others are grateful that the movie brought up the
topic of adoption in their home so that they could talk about

So, draw your own conclusions. Here’s the letter, unedited:

Dear all:

I am writing to warn all parents/guardians who were planning to
take their kids to see the new Disney movie “Meet the Robinsons” to
consider NOT going.

The advertising for this animated feature makes it sound like a
great movie for any young child. Unfortunately, the movie paints a
picture of adoption that is false and absolutely degrading–if not
horrific–for any adopted child, and will give false impressions
about adoption to any child, adopted or not.

The basic story is about an adorable baby whose birth mother leaves
him on the doorstep of an orphanage.

Portrayed as loving, sweet, extremely smart and very appealing, he
spends the next 12 years of his life wanting a family and being
turned down by one family after another. In all, 114 couples refuse
to adopt him after interviewing him as a prospective son. He’s not
good enough for them, not the right fit. He fails interview after

This is NOT how adoption takes place; it’s a total fabrication.

One scene shows a prospective dad losing interest in adoption
because this very smart little boy is more interested in science
than sports. The prospective parents leave the disappointed child
in a huff when he accidentally splatters them with peanut butter
and jelly from his science project; the prospective dad has a
serious physical reaction because he is allergic to peanuts; the
well-meaning orphan has almost killed his prospective dad.

This is supposed to be funny.

Again, this has nothing to do with how adoptions really take place.
I sat in that movie theater horrified, with my young adopted
children at my side, wondering how I was going to explain these
lies to them.

Since no one else wants the little boy, the child invents a time
machine in order to go back in time to find his birth mother. The
“bad guy” in his time travel journey turns out to be his best buddy
from childhood, once his orphanage roommate. Now an emotional wreck
resulting from being left behind when the orphanage was closed, the
once-cute orphan is now mean and devious.

“Meet the Robinsons” is tasteless and totally insensitive regarding
adoption issues. Please think very carefully before taking your
child to see it, whether adopted or not. Disney has taken the issue
of adoption and handled it crassly, incorrectly, and flippantly.
These are issues that are extremely important and not funny for
millions of adoptees and their families in this country and around
the world.

Feel free to share this message with anyone who you feel might
benefit from knowing about this warning.

Notably, as hard as we tried, we were unable to find the author.
The letter has been circulated from listserv to listserv. What do
you think? Have you seen the movie – and do you think this open
letter is a fitting assessment? Leave us a comment and share your