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[Movie] Robin Robin review – a small, yet heartfelt short

This review of Netflix short film Robin Robin does not contain spoilers.

The holiday season is here. Rather than tuning into the Hallmark Channel or rewatching your favorite Christmas film for the umpteenth time, Netflix has gifted its subscribers with the superb animated short Robin Robin.

[Movie] Robin Robin

[Movie] Robin Robin

Produced by Aardman (Wallace and GromitShaun the Sheep), the film revolves around a bird — a robin aptly named Robin. The film follows Robin as she’s adopted by a family of mice who grows up learning how to be a sneaky scavenger like them. There’s only one problem though. She doesn’t fit in. It has nothing to do with the fact that she’s a totally different species either. While the rest of her pack is so smooth at breaking and entering “who-man” houses as they call them, she finds it hard to follow their code or “rules of the sneak” that they must live by to be successful smugglers. In other words, she’s a terrible thief. Rather than be nimble and quick, she’s noisy, leaves crumbs, and has gotten her family kicked out of nearly every local house.

Eager to try and feed her family and desperate to prove that she’s not so terrible at being a mouse, Robin sets off on a small-scale heist on her own at one of the last nearby houses. Along the way she encounters a fellow bird who is equally as materialistic as he is narcissistic, as well as a pesky cat that threatens to ruin everything and eat her and her family.

Now, for a 30-minute short film, there is a lot that happens here. I didn’t even mention the part about the Christmas star Robin tries to steal because she believes it has the magical power to grant wishes. The beauty of the film is that it is so perfectly paced that no single plot point ever feels jumbled or jam-packed into the story. It flies by so quickly that by the end you’ll be begging for more of the characters.

If I had to be honest, that’s probably my only con about the film. Most short films are good at telling a story and wrapping it in a satisfying way. The best ones though make the audience want to spend more time in the world they’re introduced to. Netflix’s short film Robin Robin certainly falls into the latter category. I’m not saying that I would have loved to see the film stretched into a three-hour epic, but I definitely wanted to stay a little longer and see what else they had to offer.

It’s hard to make a good film about rodents, let alone an animated one. To date, all we have is Ratatouille. Yet by leaning into the kleptomania that the creatures thrive on, Robin Robin comes across as surprisingly endearing. Its emphasis on the importance of owning up to who you are will tug at your heartstrings. That is unless she and her family haven’t stolen it already.

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