Michael "Goob" Yagoobian A.K.A the Bowler Hat Guy is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 2007 animated feature film Meet the Robinsons. He was introduced as the main antagonist (only to be replaced by Doris after he changed the future).
He is a tall, skinny man often seen wearing a bowler hat and suit. He is commonly dressed in black as an adult.
As a 12-year old boy, Michael is more interested in baseball than his roommate's inventing hobby. He is mature for his age as he is willing to let go of his problem.
However in one of Lewis' timelines, after he missed the winning catch, his fury became uncontrollable as he was constantly in a bad mood. Once the orphanage shut down, as time progressed (and as he grew up), his resentment of Lewis grew.
As a result of shutting himself from the world for three decades, Goob never properly matured as an adult as his anger caused a stunted mental development. His childlike attitude suggests that he dropped education after finishing middle school, given that he lacked knowledge and common sense for many things in life as a side-effect of his self-destructive obsession of destroying Lewis. He has displayed extremely childish mannerisms, such as running on the table in the meeting room of Inventco. during his failed presentation of Lewis' Memory Scanner. He also has a habit of commiting childish mischief as evil deeds in his terms which greatly crippled his attempts for revenge before meeting DOR-15 and even during his partnership with her. It took many of his misdeeds to fully wake him back to his senses when Doris takes over the future and betrayed him to his death (which was erased by Lewis later).
Ultimately, Goob represents a side of Lewis that refuses to let go of past failures in life, as evident in his behavior and outdated outfit. He serves as a parallel to Lewis, as the genius boy would not have given up his intention to find his biological mother had Wilbur Robinson not intervened.
Role in the film
Michael Yagoobian is Lewis's roommate and is kept up all night helping Lewis on his memory scanner. As a member of the local Little League team, the Dinos, Goob never really takes an interest in his roommate's inventing.
The last game of the season occurs on the same day as the Science Fair. During the 9th inning, he falls asleep and misses the winning catch. The players beat him up and he never lets it go. No one wants to adopt him since he is so angry. He also believes that everyone hates him, despite a few that are willing to become a friend, he is too angry to notice. Eventually, the orphanage is closed down and he is left behind.
He spends the next 30 years in the orphanage, never changing out of his baseball uniform and listening over the radio tormenting himself listening to Lewis's successes. He finally decides that his current situation is Lewis' fault, reasoning that if Lewis did not work on his project keeping him up all night, he would've caught the ball and could've been adopted. He threw eggs and toilet-papers Robinson Industries as a pathetic attempt at revenge. Then, he meets Doris, who tells her story about being a helping hat, a slave to humans. She says that she is capable of more things, but Cornelius did not see her as anything else she was capable of doing. Cornelius thought she was shut down, but she escaped the lab and swore revenge, plotting to steal the Robinsons' time machine. Realizing his simple plan was inferior to what Doris had in mind, Goob added in the sabotage of the Science Fair to the hat's scheme. The two joined forces, and Goob took on the identity of Bowler Hat Guy.
He steals the time machine from the Robinsons rather easily when Wilbur fails to listen to his mother and forgets to lock the garage door. He ruins the science fair where Lewis is presenting his memory scanner, then steals the device and takes it to Inventco. Since he doesn't know anything about the scanner, he is thrown out, and at Doris' suggestion, they start to track Lewis for help. Checking at the orphanage, Goob runs into his past self, who had just returned after being beaten up by his baseball team. After being reminded that Lewis likes to hang out on the roof, future Goob decides to go up there, but not before telling his past self to nurture his hatred and resentment for Lewis. Upon discovering that Wilbur had followed them to the past, and was now gone, they return to the future and land invisible in the Robinsons' lawn. When Doris leaves to get Lewis out of the Robinson house, she gives him control of a mini-Doris so that he can accompany her without leaving the time machine. After spying Lewis, Doris flies off on her own, while Goob ponders how to get him out of the house. After finding a bar of frogs, he has an idea of taking control of Frankie and using him to intercept Lewis and bring him to Goob. This fails as Frankie is too small to grab Lewis. After dismissing Frankie, a garden structure gives him the idea to go back in time and steal a T-Rex named "Tiny". He then sends him controlled by Mini-Doris after Lewis. With the help of the Robinsons, Lewis and Wilbur defeat Tiny and Mini-Doris is taken away by the frogs to her presumed destruction, while Doris chastises Goob for his plan. However, they seize their chance when Lewis is walking away from the Robinson family after being seemingly betrayed, Goob promising to use the time machine to take him back to see his mother if he will repair the memory scanner. Wilbur's arrival makes Lewis angry enough to agree, and Goob flies them in the time machine to his old orphanage home. After Lewis fixes the memory scanner, Doris ties him up and takes him prisoner, and then Goob tells his story. Carl and Wilbur save Lewis, but before they can reach the house, Doris impales Carl and steals back the memory scanner, and Goob pauses just long enough to taunt them before going back to the past.
Goob successfully passes off the memory scanner as his own, and then presents the idea of helping hats to Inventco. Sometime shortly afterwards, the helping hats begin terrorizing the people, and a horrified Goob asks Doris about it. But Doris, having no more use for Goob, sics several hats on him and presumably kills him. This future is edited, however, after Lewis uses the time machine to go back to before it was set in motion.
At the point in time immediately after Goob signs the contract and makes the invention his own, Lewis appears and tells him that Doris is using him and will kill him after getting what she wants. Goob sees Doris being destroyed after Lewis promises he will never invent her. Lewis then shows Goob the industrial, smog-filled future that Doris would have created, which fades after a few seconds thanks to Lewis's intervention in the past, restoring the original, peaceful future. As Wilbur is restored into existence, he attacks Goob on sight, until Lewis pulls him and tells his future son of his association with Goob. Then Goob leaves, wondering what to do next despite Lewis getting Wilbur to offer to have the Robinsons adopt him. He leaves his binder behind with his checklist and one unchecked box that has a question mark next to it.
Upon returning to the past, Lewis, instead of going straight to the Science Fair, heads to the ball field where young Goob is sleeping. Lewis yells at him, waking him up and Goob catches the ball he missed before, winning the game and negating the events that led to his transformation into the Bowler Hat Guy. Goob is shown as a much happier person afterwards, no longer having a reason to be so furious. He is seen carrying around his trophy and getting adopted by the Hendersons, a couple that had previously interviewed Lewis and having an amicable goodbye with Lewis when he leaves the orphanage.
Despite his reformation at the end of Meet the Robinsons, Bowler Hat Guy also made an appearance with classic Disney Villains for the "Unleash the Villains" stage event at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2013.
- Stephen J. Anderson director of the film as well as providing the voice of Bowler Hat Guy, also did the voices of Bud and Tallulah Robinson. As a result, Bowler Hat Guy interrupts the commentary for the Meet the Robinsons DVD three times trying to explain how he got in on the project.
- Jim Carrey was originally offered the role, but he turned it down to star in the film The Number 23.
- Having had possession of one of the 2 time machines, Goob could have went back in time and prevent his younger self from falling asleep during the baseball game as long as Doris was not watching him (since this would cause Goob and Doris' alliance to lose purpose and Doris needed Goob to accomplish her plans). And it should be noted that Goob had the opportunity to make his life better when his younger-self seemed to be on the verge of not developing his future hatred of Lewis only for Goob to cement it. It could be that Goob didn't have enough common sense or he found more satisfaction in following Doris.
- This was explored in an alternate ending of the film, when after Lewis emerged into the meeting room with the time machine, he brought the Bowler Hat Guy back in time to the day of the game. As the winning catch was thrown, Bowler Hat Guy yelled to his younger self to awaken, resulting in him making the winning catch. Bowler Hat Guy celebrates this, and realizes that all along, he didn't have to destroy Lewis' future, but only had to wake himself up. He shudders as he realizes how very little he thought everything through, but then sincerely thanks Lewis, who replies that it was his pleasure. Bowler Hat Guy then fades from existence, and Doris follows a moment later as Lewis says that he's never going to invent her. Why this alternate ending was deleted and replaced remains unknown.
Similarities with other Disney villains
- The Mad Doctor — Both use mechanical minions who eventually betray them (Doris for Yagoobian, the Blotworx for the Mad Doctor). Incidentally, Doris-shaped robots make a cameo in Epic Mickey as beetleworx (other minions of the Mad Doctor).
- Buddy Pine — Both turned evil rather for childish reasons and used mechanical robots who eventually act sentient against them (Doris for Yagoobian, the Omnidroid v.10 for Syndrome). However, Buddy Pine was more successful than Goob as a successful supervillain but at a cost of his life in the hands of Mr. Incredible at the end of the film.