If you are wondering what to watch with your family this Christmas, Netflix’s 30-minute-long Oscar-contending animated short Robin Robin is a winner. Produced by the creative geniuses of Dan Ojari and BAFTA-winning Mikey Please in collaboration with the acclaimed stop-motion animation studio Aardman, it should be your go-to film for some Christmas cheer.
You don’t know what to expect when the first frames of Robin Robin hit the screen. The film is about an adorable robin named Robin who is adopted by a family of mice who thrive on stolen crumbs from the houses of “who-mans” (a witty wordplay with ‘humans’). While Robin is adored by the dad mouse and his younger kids (of whom the tiniest mouse, Dink, is weirdly fond of kittens), the eldest mouse, Pip, is not particularly fond of Robin. Robin is loud, exuberant and full of life and totally in contrast to her quiet family, who needs to remain silent while sneaking into the houses and procuring food. Robin messes their food heist up and considers herself a “terrible mouse”.
As Robin begins questioning her position within the family, she is determined to bring her family a whole sandwich and prove herself a competent, sneaky mouse. However, chaos ensues when she meets the main antagonist, a cat, and is narrowly rescued by a broken-winged, materialistic Magpie. Together, they steal the star of a Christmas tree that supposedly grants wishes, and soon, Robins’s escapades lead to a heartwarming moment of revelation and self-discovery where she finally comes to embrace her identity as a bird. She is no longer a “freak” or a “misfit” but a bird who is a part of the mice family.
Voiced by Bronte Carmichael, Robin and her cute fluffy pseudo-mouse ears as well as all the other creatures and props used in the film, are handknits. In a glorious burst of colours, the visuals are stunning, and the simple yet touching premise is enough to warm our hearts. The spirit of Christmas is not lost as Robin finally feels at home with her chosen family. Even the songs within the short film are fleshed out perfectly to be an effortless part of their individual narratives. As the terrifying cat, Gillian Anderson deserves a special mention for taunting Robin into oblivion.
What makes Robin Robin such a special watch, you ask? Well, Netflix is bent upon producing Chsirtmas content obsessively every year. While most of their films are feel-good rom-coms or tales with fantastical elements, rarely do we feel connected to these stories as they, more or less, follow the same structure and narrative. However, this 30-minute short film is unique in its own way. While the story is not very original, the execution of the idea is immaculate.
Robin, with her button eyes, resonates with us as she tries to belong somewhere and locate her position in her world. The spirit of family time and relationships is celebrated in a beautiful manner, and the film appeases the child inside us.
Give Robin Robin a chance if you are tired of watching the same Christmas classics every year. I promise you; you will be left smiling ear to ear once you’re done with this charming, delightful, delicate and fluffy tale of love and belonging.