In the United Kingdom, the 3D version was released on March 23, 2007. It was released in standard and Disney Digital 3-D versions in the United States and in its standard version in the UK on March 30, 2007. It is based on the book A Day with Wilbur Robinson, by William Joyce. The film originally had the same title as the book. The voice cast includes Jordan Fry, Harland Williams, Tom Kenny, Steve Anderson, Adam West, Tom Selleck, and Angela Bassett. The film was rated G by the MPAA. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 23, 2007.
Lewis is an aspiring 12-year-old inventor who grew up in an orphanage, whose inventions have been scaring off potential parents. He works all night on a machine to scan his memory to locate his birth mother, who abandoned him at the orphanage when he was a baby. While taking the scanner to his school's science fair, Lewis meets 13-year-old Wilbur Robinson, a mysterious boy claiming to be a time cop from the future. Wilbur needs to recover a time machine that a man wearing a bowler hat has stolen. Lewis tries to demonstrate the scanner, but it has been sabotaged by the Bowler Hat Guy and falls apart, throwing the science fair into chaos. Lewis leaves while the Bowler Hat Guy, with the help of a robotic bowler hat named Doris, repairs and steals the scanner.
Wilbur meets Lewis at the orphanage and asks him to repair the scanner. Lewis agrees to do so only if Wilbur can prove he is telling the truth, which Wilbur does by taking them to the year 2037 in a second time machine. When they arrive, he and Wilbur get into an argument and crash. Wilbur asks Lewis to fix the time machine, however Lewis realizing that he can simply use the time machine to see his mother instead has another condition: Wilbur has to take him to visit his mother afterwards. Reluctantly, Wilbur agrees and hides Lewis in the garage. Lewis does not stay there for long, however, and ends up meeting the rest of the Robinson family except for Cornelius, Wilbur's father, who is away on a business trip. Having followed Lewis, the Bowler Hat Guy and Doris try to kidnap him, but the Robinsons beat them back. The Robinsons offer to adopt Lewis, but change their mind when they learn that he is from the past. Wilbur admits to lying to Lewis about taking him back to see his mom, causing Lewis to run off in disgust.
Lewis then discovers that Cornelius Robinson is, in fact, a future version of himself, and Wilbur is his future son. Lewis also finds out that the Bowler Hat Guy is a grown-up version of Lewis' roommate, Michael "Goob" Yagoobian. Because he was kept awake by Lewis' work on the scanner, Goob fell asleep during an important Little League game and failed to make an important catch that cost the game. Goob became so bitter as a result that he was never adopted and remained in the orphanage long after it closed. Doris is "DOR-15", one of Lewis' failed and abandoned inventions. They both blamed Lewis for their misfortunes and decided to ruin his career by stealing the memory scanner and claiming credit for it. Leaving Lewis behind, they take off with the scanner, drastically altering the future to a world where Doris' clones have enslaved humanity. Lewis repairs the second time machine, confronts Doris and destroys her by promising to never invent her, restoring the future to its Utopian self. After persuasion from Lewis, Wilbur tries to ask the adult Goob to join the family, but he has disappeared, apparently ashamed by what he has done.
Back in Wilbur's time, Lewis finally meets Cornelius face to face. Cornelius explains how the memory scanner started their successful career, and persuades Lewis to return to the science fair. Wilbur takes Lewis back, but makes one stop first: as he promised, he takes Lewis back to the moment when his mother abandoned him. Though Lewis approaches his mother, he ultimately decides not to interact with her, realizing the family he will come to have with Wilbur and others.
Wilbur drops Lewis off in his own time and leaves. Lewis heads to the fair, but en route wakes up Goob just in time for him to make the winning catch. Back at the fair, Lewis asks for one more chance to demonstrate his scanner, which this time succeeds. He is adopted by Lucille, one of the science fair judges, and her husband Bud, who nicknames him "Cornelius" and takes him home.
The film ends with a quote which reiterates the message of not dwelling on failures and "keep moving forward", attributed to Walt Disney.
- Jordan Fry as Lewis
- Tom Selleck as Cornelius, Lewis' older self
- Wesley Singerman as Wilbur Robinson
- Steve Anderson as Bowler Hat Guy
- Matthew Josten as Michael "Goob" Yagoobian, Bowler Hat Guy's younger self
- Anderson also provided the voices of Grandpa Bud and Cousin Tallulah
- Harland Williams as Carl
- Nicole Sullivan as Franny Robinson
- Jessie Flower as young Franny
- Angela Bassett as Mildred
- Adam West as Uncle Art
- Laurie Metcalf as Lucille Krunklehorn
- Ethan Sandler as:
- DOR-15 (Doris)
- Uncle Fritz (and Aunt Petunia)
- Spike and Dimitri
- Cousin Laszlo
- The CEO of InventCo
- Don Hall as Uncle Gaston
- Hall also provided the voice of the Gym Coach
- Tom Kenny as Mr. Willerstein
- Kelly Hoover as Aunt Billie
- Tracey Miller-Zarneke as Lizzy
- Joe Mateo as Tiny the T-Rex
- Aurian Redson as Frankie the Frog
- Jamie Cullum as the singing voice of Frankie the Frog
- Paul Butcher as Stanley
- Dara McGarry as InventCo Receptionist, Mrs. Harrington
- John H. H. Ford as Mr. Harrington
- Nathan Greno as Lefty
- It has been announced that the film will use the same Disney Digital 3-D technology that was used for Chicken Little, with 3D screenings at select theatres.
- The soundtrack will feature a cover of the theme song ("There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow") of the classic Disney attraction the Carousel of Progress by They Might Be Giants. The song was written by Robert B. Sherman & Richard M. Sherman in the 1960s.
- A 3D trailer premiered with 3D versions of Monster House and The Nightmare Before Christmas.