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Review: 'Robin Robin' (2021) Dirs. Daniel Ojari & Michael Please

Adeel Akhtar, Gillian Anderson, Bronte Carmichael, Richard E. Grant and Amira Macey-Michael


A stop-motion animation from the masterminds that are Aardman, bringing the Christmas spirit to a host of animals voiced by the cream of British talent in an original new story...

Raised by mice after her egg fell from a tree, young Robin (Carmichael) follows her adoptive brothers and sisters, led by Dad Mouse (Akhtar) to scavenge and hunt in order to provide and survive.

On the hunt for crumbs and supplies to feed her mice family, Robin sets out to find a home ripe for pickings. Meeting up with Magpie (Grant) on her travels, Robin starts to learn more about what Christmas means to others.

Having to avoid a number of perils and obstacles in the shape of humans and the outside world, Robin and Magpie must also deal with a pesky Cat (Anderson) as they discover just what they can do when they put their mind to it and overcome adversity...

Running at just 30mins, this is a wonderful little festive treat from Aardman, the creative team behind the likes of Shaun the Sheep Movie and Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out. Using stop-motion animation, we are joining the adventures of Robin, voiced by young Bronte Carmichael, who was raised by a family of mice. Robin wants to be the best mouse that her family can be proud of, but struggles to comprehend just who she is, as a bird who can't really fly and a mouse who can't really scavenge. Carmichael helps makes Robin as sweet as they come.

Richard E. Grant voices Magpie, a broken winged friend who helps guide Robin on a little journey of self-discovery to understand what the Christmas season is all about, but also injects Robin with the power of hope and self-belief. The two make a nice amusing pair, with Grant full of zest and world-weary attitude as Magpie. It's a quirky father-daughter bond, more so with Adeel Akhtar as Dad Mouse. Gillian Anderson is also purr-fectly sly as a cat out for midnight snacks and is a thorn in Robin, Magpie and the mice's sides.

This is an animation filled with heart and song, something that always makes festive feel-good stories worth a watch, especially one suitable for all the family.

The animation and atmosphere of a dangerous outside world is presented in the same grand way as the adaptations of Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom. There's no scary moments but the world is full of tricky obstacles to navigate such as frozen rivers, snowy gardens and human homes full of festive treats that our dysfunctional family want to have for themselves.

A few merry songs carry the story along that is amusing in parts and wonderfully animated as expected by Aardman, It refrains from being overly silly, but has lots of heart for a short, simply message about family and festive spirit.

With animation you can't help but admire, and lots of festive spirit, 'Robin Robin' may be short and not brimming with memorable moments, but it's still a harmless and sweet watch.

'Robin Robin' is an Aardman Animations production

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