Eye For Film >> Movies >> Robin Robin (2021) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
This latest short film from Aardman studios is aimed at the sort of very young audience who are charmed by The Gruffalo but its sweet centre might prove a bit sticky for older audiences. We meet Robin (Bronte Carmichael) as an egg that has a mini-adventure even before it hatches and who finds herself taken in by a friendly family of mice.
The mice are expert sneakers, going on nightly forays into homes in the district for crumbs and when we catch up with them a year later, we see that Robin, complete with a pair of self-fashioned mouse ears, also goes a long. The trouble is that Robin is terrible at robbing. She thinks she's being quiet when she's singing at the top of her voice and stumbles through rooms like a bull in a china shop. When a night-time adventure sees her path cross that of a local Magpie (Richard E Grant), the pair of them hatch a plan to steal a Christmas tree star they believe will make their wishes come true, while trying to avoid the local cat (Gillian Anderson, enjoying being the bad guy).
The fuzzy-felt style animation, directed by Daniel Ojari (Slow Derek) and Mikey Please (The Eagleman Stag) has that endearing tactile quality that stop-motion always brings but the whole enterprise could use more wind beneath its wings. It's not a problem that the musical numbers from The Bookshop Band (Please's brother Ben and sister-in-law Beth) are sung by the members of the cast in rustic fashion but they lack any real hook that will have children singing them afterwards - as though they have been written for a much older audience than the animation target.
The action also feels under-powered in places, with set pieces mainly reminding you of other, more accomplished Wallace & Gromit outings, while you long for a bit more of the Gruffalo's heart. Those of a certain age may also find themselves reminiscing about You & Me's Alice and Crow. Robin Robin's underlying message is infused with the warmth of Christmas and the importance of families, however unconventional, but it could do with a bit more sparkle and fizz.Reviewed on: 14 Dec 2021