“Don’t make such a fuss; he’s probably doing this just to get attention.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
And if Robby the Robot dictates that everything within Eyer’s nearby “electromagnetic field” becomes invisible, too, why doesn’t the spoon he uses to noisily slurp soup in front of his parents disappear? However, many other elements about the film’s preposterous and convoluted storyline — which at first glance make one nearly guffaw from hysterics — turn out to have a “deeper” meaning, if you’re looking for it.
In essence, this entire film could be viewed as Eyer’s dream, given that he falls asleep not too far into the storyline:
… and such is the convention that we’ve learned to expect in movies — except…
(sorry for the spoiler; it’s relatively important to my argument here)
… he never “wakes up” at the end, thus leaving the situation intentionally (?) vague. As argued by one user on IMDb, Timmie (Eyer) not only becomes literally invisible; he starts off as “invisible” to his overworking father, who — as clearly established during the film’s opening sequences — views his non-mathematically-minded son as a huge disappointment.
Thus, everything that happens after Timmie falls asleep in front of the Super Computer (where his father has placed him for some extra tutoring) could be seen as simply a manifestation of Timmie’s fantasies. He’s finally able to beat his father at chess:
… he manipulates a robot — his new best friend — into doing his bidding (sending him up in a kite), even when this goes against the robot’s prime directive to not place any human in harm’s way:
Indeed, everything about Timmie’s invisibility and the subsequent drama that ensues — involving a fairly serious amount of threat to Timmie’s very existence, not to mention the state of the Free World — occurs on a level that one soon realizes is not merely laughably implausible, but very much from a child’s perspective. I won’t say more here, since I’ve already spoiled enough, but suffice it to say that if you watch the film from this point of view, you may find yourself “appreciating” it on an entirely different level. In fact, it’s enough of a unique approach to the material that I found myself shifting my vote to “must see” for this reason alone; otherwise I would simply relegate it to a movie of minor historical interest for science fiction fans.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: