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On a rainy evening, a young woman sneaks to the front steps of an orphanage, and lays a box by the front door. She picks up an infant boy from the box, and hugs him tight, saying goodbye. She then rings the doorbell and disappears. Twelve years later, Lewis is still living at the orphanage, hoping for a family to adopt him. He is highly intelligent, and loves to invent things that he hopes will impress prospective couples. Something always seems to go wrong, however, and the right couple has yet to be found. In his frustration, he tells his caretaker, that not even his own mother wanted him. She tries to soothe him by explaining that maybe she did want him, but gave him up because she couldn’t take care of him. Lewis decides he wants to find her, but she hurriedly mentions that no one say her that night, so no one would know what she even looked like. But Lewis knows that, even though he was just an infant at the time, HE saw her, and obsessively sets off to create a memory scanner in order to tap into his latent memories to discover her identity. In his haste to create the machine, he often works late into the night, keeping his roommate, Michael “Goob” Yagoobian, awake. Goob’s passion is baseball, and longs to be a professional baseball player. At the big championship little league game, however, he falls asleep in the outfield, and misses the winning catch. Meanwhile, Lewis takes his invention to the school science fair. A man in a mechanical bowler hat sabotages his machine, creating a domino effect of misfortunes at the fair. While sulking over what he believes to be his own failure, a strange kid named Wilbur appears claiming to be from the future, warning him about a man in a bowler hat. Of course Lewis doesn’t believe him, so the boy takes him to the future in a time machine to prove himself, and to encourage Lewis to fix his machine and return to the science fair. The boys end up crashing the time machine, and Lewis must try to somehow fix the machine and avoid raising suspicion from Wilbur’s extended family, all the while being pursued by the mysterious man the bowler hat.
Lewis is completely obsessed with finding his birth mother, since every couple who comes into the orphanage rejects him. Here, we get a glimpse into the mindset of a child who doesn’t know his family. The bond of family is a basic human need. His determination to gain that bond is unmatched, but he fails to see how his round the clock work efforts affect his roommate. He never notices the jealousy and hatred that grow inside his former friend. Lewis’ journey to find his real mother takes him on a trip through time, and shows him everything that has happened because of his blind passion. He learns that it is certainly ok to pursue one’s own dreams, but you shouldn’t turn your back on those you care about in the process. Things may not turn out exactly as you intend them to, but as long as you keep your passion to do the right thing, you may find that your results are even better that you initially planned for.
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Michael “Goob” Yagoobian: (sarcastically) Nothing says ‘adopt me’ like a weird invention.
Lewis: My own mother didn’t even want me!
Mildred: Now stop it! You do not know that!
Lewis: Then why did she give me up?
Mildred: She may not have been able to take care of you, did you ever think of that?
Mildred: I am sure she was only thinking about what was best for you.
Lewis: I never thought of it that way.
Mildred: Maybe she wanted to keep you, but she had no choice.
Wilbur: [when Wilbur is showing Lewis the future] Is this proof enough for you?
Lewis: [looking around at everything] Is it ever! I never thought that time travel could be possible in my lifetime, and here it is, right in front of me!
Wilbur: The truth will set you free, brother.
Lewis: This is beyond anything I could have imagined.
Lewis: This means I could really change my life.
Wilbur: That’s right, you can. Next stop, science fair to fix your memory scanner.
[turns around to punch in the date]
Lewis: Hey, I’m not going to fix that stupid memory scanner.
Wilbur: [the brakes screech, making the time machine come to a screeching halt] What?
Lewis: Wilbur this is a *time machine*. Why should I fix my dumb invention when you can take me to see my mom now, in this ship?
Wilbur: Uh… um…
Lewis: I can go back to that night and stop her from giving me up.
Wilbur: The answer is not a time machine.
[takes out the blueprint of the memory scanner and shows it to Lewis]
Wilbur: It’s this.
Lewis: [points to the blueprint] This? You wanna know what I think of this?
[grabs the blueprint, rips it up and throws the pieces away]
Wilbur: What are you doing?
[runs to catch the pieces]
Lewis: I’m sorry, Wilbur. You don’t know what I’ve lived through.
[tries to start up time machine]
Wilbur: Lewis, no!
Lewis: I don’t even know what I’m doing.
Wilbur: Keep moving forward.
Lewis: I mean, this stuff is way too advanced for me.
Wilbur: Keep moving forward.
Lewis: And what if I can’t fix this, what are we going to do?
Wilbur: Keep moving forward.
Lewis: Why do you keep saying that? And don’t just say keep moving forward!
Wilbur: It’s my dad’s motto.
Lewis: Why would his motto be keep moving forward?
Wilbur: It’s what he does.
Uncle Gaston: If I gave up every time I failed, I would have never invented the meatball cannon.
Grandpa Bud: If I gave up every time I failed, I would never have invented my fireproof pants!
[Pants burn up, revealing his underwear]
Grandpa Bud: Still working the kinks out a bit.
Bowler Hat Guy: Now, my slave, seize the boy!
[T-rex traps Lewis in the corner, but has trouble grabbing him]
Bowler Hat Guy: What’s going on? Why aren’t you seizing the boy?
T-Rex: I have a big head and little arms. I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through.
[Bowler Hat Guy glares into his handset]
Wilbur: I never thought my dad would be my best friend.