MEET THE ROBINSONS (2007) I think will always be in my top 5 animated classics as it’s so poignant to life. It’s so steeped in Thomas A. Edison philosophy of celebrating failure. But it has another very prominent message, one that links with our acceptance (or resentment) toward failure, situations or people.
At one of the climaxes of the film, the Bowler Hat Guy (from the future) meets himself, Michael (Goob) Yagoobian, and counsels him toward evil and away from the wiser words of his baseball coach. Goob had dropped the catch that would’ve won the game--he was then beaten up by his team mates. The coach told him to simply, ‘let it go.’
The Bowler Hat Guy says:
“No! Everyone will tell you to let it go and move on, but don’t! Instead, let it fester and boil inside of you! Take these feelings and lock them away. Let them fuel your actions. Let hate be your ally, and you will be capable of wonderful, horrid things. Heed my words, Goob: don’t let it go.”We see it so much in life; people’s lives destroyed by hate, festering and boiling resentment.
Picking up my daughters from school recently, I did what I normally do and got the cricket set out of the boot to play catch with my youngest daughter, whilst we waited. As I did this, the top of the bag wasn’t properly secured and the tennis ball rolled out before I realised and clipped the bumper of the car behind mine.
The woman in the car was furious. I promptly apologised and noting that my apology hadn’t helped, I tried to be even more sincere. She then got angry about where I had parked as she felt I’d parked her in... I was parked fine, but as a goodwill gesture I kindly moved my car without any hesitation. Her response was interesting. She didn’t want eye contact but she did this in a shamed sort of way. She was obviously troubled by something. I felt she might’ve been holding onto something. Something was making her miserable.
There is such a great message in Meet the Robinsons about the choice we have to either let things go or to hold onto them, making us captive to them. As Wilbur says, it’s only the truth that sets us free. It’s only in the letting go that we give ourselves permission to really breathe again.
The unfortunate thing about holding onto things in resentment is it almost always hurts others and not simply ourselves. We become narrow-minded and focused on that one thing that person or situation ‘done to us.’ It’s carcinogenic vitriol that eats away at us.
Yet, at the end of the day life always operates under this premise: If we blame others and hold things against them we’ll never achieve happiness and peace. If we let it go, whatever is impinging us, taking responsibility for our emotions, we’ll know happiness and peace, and life will be wonderful again.
It’s a no-brainer, but we must choose.