In this stop-motion short film, a bird raised by mice begins to question where she belongs and sets off on a daring journey of self-discovery.In this stop-motion short film, a bird raised by mice begins to question where she belongs and sets off on a daring journey of self-discovery.In this stop-motion short film, a bird raised by mice begins to question where she belongs and sets off on a daring journey of self-discovery.
Robin Robin is the latest production from UK based stop-motion animation house, Aardman animations best known for their work on the Wallace and Gromit films, as well as Chicken Run, The Pirates: Band of Misfits (UK: The Pirates in an Adventure with a Scientist), and Early Man. Created and directed by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, this is the first major project for either director (barring a couple of prior shorts on their filmography) and for their first major outing both Ojari and Please bring that same level of care, quality, and craft we've come to expect from Aardman even if admittedly it's a very familiar take whose story origins will seem more than a little reminiscent of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The movie's animation is absolutely top notch with every scene from the opening onward lovingly crafted with simple but expressive creatures brought to life with Aardman's trademark style giving a real sense of tangibility to the proceedings with even the most minor of interactions. The opening sequence where we see Robin's egg roll out of her nest and through the woods seamlessly goes through an interconnected series of sets that are all beautifully crafted with only the occasional "editing trick" to give the illusion of flow. The animation is well synchronized with some charming song sequences with the mouse "sneaking" song being both charming as well as humorous with Robin's constant bungling Gillian Anderson's song as the Cat is playfully wicked as she sings mocking taunts to Robin while also insinuating her intentions to eat her.
The movie's characters are filled with charm and personality thanks to the design work in conjunction with pitch perfect casting. Bronte Carmichael's turn as Robin carries both enthusiastic tenacity as well as good natured naivety that endures the audience to a protagonist like this, and Adeel Akhtar as the mouse Dad is wonderful in supportive and caring attitude towards Robin and shows just how much he wants Robin to succeed at being a mouse. Richard E. Grant is quite funny as Magpie with his song about "things" and the value he places upon them being an amusing and humorous character quirk, and last and certainly not least is Gillian Anderson as the cat who is absolutely fantastic is our main villain effortlessly bringing to life some subtle but macabre charms to the character.
Robin Robin's story of an "odd duck" (no pun intended) protagonist not fitting in is definitely well trodden ground seen in the likes of stories like Dumbo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but the movie manages to overcome the familiarity of its story thanks to its attention to the little details and some really solid work by the voice cast.
Robin Robin is a pleasant Holiday themed short with Aardman's typically beautiful animation and charm and personality to spare. While the plot covers well-trodden ground, it's such an effortlessly immersive and pleasant viewing that I can only imagining people saying they like it.
- Nov 25, 2021