Robinson Crusoe


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Robinson Crusoe
"The animation is odd"

The concept of isolation as a brain fast is worth remembering when the sun goes down for the 550th time and the natives haven't bothered to turn up yet. Desert Island Discs says you can take a record, a book and something special, like a grand piano. Daniel Defoe says, you're on your own, Sweet Pea, get used to it, and you think, who wants a beach front property when you haven't got Netflix, or broadband, or someone to love?

The latest cinematic interpretation of the most famous shipwreck survivor since the whale spat out Jonah could hardly be further from the concept. Robinson, known as Robbie for purposes of this review, is the classic seven stone weakling. He's working, or rather slaving, on a pirate ship. He's the go-to-guy when the shitty jobs are being handed out. He's not a leader. He's nice, which means non violent, probably vegan and a boring roommate.

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During a storm the pirate ship goes oops! Glug glug! With crew. Robbie makes it alone onto Paradise island. Population: humans zero, animals/birds multitudes.

The main dude is Tuesday, a parrot, who wants to expand his education and learn more about Beyond. He wants to travel to the lands on the far side of the horizon and maybe Robbie can help. After all, he's from Beyond, this pale excuse for a two legged monkey who talks funny.

The animation is odd. Robbie appears tiny and most scenes are shot from the middle distance. Tuesday's pals are a collection of comic stereotypes that ricochet off memories of other films.

Only when feral cats, saved from the sinking ship and until now starving on a smaller, darker, emptier island, take to the sea and arrive on Paradise, like a scouting party for ISIS, does the film gasp into life.

Too late.

Robbie is a wimp. Tuesday is not Friday. The wildlife is tame.

Will someone tell Dan to stop turning cartwheels in his grave. Robbie is not Crusoe.

Reviewed on: 05 May 2016
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Dafoe's classic gets an animal twist.
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Director: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen

Writer: Lee Christopher, Domonic Paris, Graham Welldon, based on the novel by Daniel Dafoe

Starring: voices of Yuri Lowenthal, David Howard, Matthias Schweighofer, Dennis O'Connor, Joey Camen, Jeff Doucette, Sandy Fox, Dieter Hallervorden, Kyle Herbert, Colin Metzger

Year: 2016

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: Belgium, France


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