Netflix to present Aardman Animation Christmas movie Robin Robin

Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run – Aardman Animations has a long list of success stories.

And there is no doubt that his latest family film – about a robin adopted by a family of mice – will be a hit, too.

Aptly named Robin Robin, the 30-minute Hanime stop-frame musical was written and directed by Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, who pitched the idea to Bristol-based Aardman after he first made up the story in 2014.

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The duo, who together founded BAFTA award-winning Parabella Studio, were inspired by the annual tradition of watching Christmas specials like The Snowman and The Gruffalo.

“These are such wonderful and beautifully crafted films that are like little gifts to the country every year,” Ojari said. Pennsylvania.

“Usually, in Britain anyway, short films aren’t particularly watched, or they don’t have a great cultural platform, I guess – except for the Christmas period,” Please adds.

Here, the pair tell us more about what to expect from Robin Robin, which will be available to watch on Netflix – marking Aardman’s first collaboration with the streaming service.

Ultimately, it’s a tender story about identity. Robin may be a bird, but she’s been raised by mice ever since she rolled around in landfill like an egg.

As they get older, the determined creature begins to realize how different she is from her loving family – she is loud and slightly clumsy, while they are suitably devious.

She has only one wish: to prove that she can be a good mouse. What follows is a snowy adventure, with plenty of humorous characters and songs along the way.

Pictured: Sarah Cox Bronte Carmichael, Dan Ojari and Mikey Please attend Robin Robin Premiere Screening
(Image: PA archive / press footage)

Rising star Bronte Carmichael already has a glowing resume: the film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel On Chesil Beach, the war drama Darkest Hour, and the Disney live-action film Christopher Robin. And now the girl can add the voice of a robin to that, as she takes on the lead role.

Meanwhile, Adeel Akhtar – most recently seen in the BBC comedy, Back to Life – is Daddy Mouse, who is a naturally anxious single parent responsible for five children, including Robin.

The cast roster also includes legendary performer Richard E Grant. The Withnail star and I voice the eccentric Magpie, who collects the shiny items, and ends up helping Robin as she embarks on her journey of self-discovery.

Finally, all good animation needs a villain, and in Robin Robin who comes in the form of Cat. The star responsible for the scary character is Gillian Anderson, famous for The X-Files, The Fall and Sex Education.

During the sessions in the recording booth, Ojari and Please showed the animation clips to give them context.

They also played scenes at them to gauge their reaction to the way their character presented himself. They remember it was especially funny how excited the kids who played mice were to watch pieces of the movie before everyone else.

What really stands out when looking at Robin Robin is Aardman’s signature style. Ojari loves the way the animators capture the “nuance of naturalistic performance” in the characters.

“We tried a lot to push that into our movie, just to make it relatable.”

Discussing the process in more detail with the cast, Please says, “We’re always looking for the little clips between their lines, the little laughs when they maybe don’t know we’re still recording. ”

“The guys from Aardman and the animation team we work with are so masters of bringing out these performances and translating them into animated puppets,” Ojari continues. “It was very fun.”

A scene from Robin Robin

The filmmakers also bring up the decision to use needle felt for Robin Robin, rather than the usual Aardman plasticine figures, please explaining that you could “actually hug those puppets”.

It looked like a Christmas pick because you can get felt decorations, suggests Ojari.

“A lot of the magic of stop-motion is when you’re familiar with the material this world is made of, and you’re used to it as an inanimate thing, but it moves, and it breathes, and it is alive, ”he continues.

“Fabric is something that I think always appears very tactile on the screen. So that was part of the logic of using needle felt. It’s endearing.

Please say each shot was “super hard,” but there is one scene that particularly stands out as a challenge in Ojari’s mind.

“The one that probably took the longest was Robin’s song,” he recalls. “There are a lot of characters and she tramples on the landfill while singing a song.

“It took two weeks to film and it took about a week to block – you do a block before you film a song, like a rehearsal. And then it probably took a few weeks to fall into place. So it’s been over a month for a single shot!

Robin Robin is released on Netflix on Wednesday, November 24.

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