Charming stop-motion animation Robin Robin — the latest offering from Aardman’s famous animation studios — is set to be a Christmas TV streaming highlight. It tells the story of a bird who goes on a journey of self-discovery, and boasts a voice cast including Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant and BAFTA winner Adeel Akhtar. The musical adventure follows Robin (voiced by Bronte Carmichael), a bird raised by mice, who begins to question where she belongs.
Created by its directors Dan Ojari and Mikey Please, this animation hits Netflix for Christmas 2021, so here’s what we know so far about the heartwarming family film Robin Robin…
'Robin Robin' release date...
Robin Robin is released worldwide by Netflix on Wednesday Nov. 24, so there's plenty of time for families to watch this movie in the run up to Christmas. The film was produced by Aardman Animation Studios in the UK.
Is there a 'Robin Robin' trailer?
Yes there is! A full trailer for Robin Robin has been released by Netflix, and as expected it's super cute, plus we get a good preview of the wonderful new music! So take a look at the official Robin Robin trailer below...
'Robin Robin' plot
After her egg rolls into a rubbish dump, Robin ends up being raised by a loving family of mice. But as she grows up she begins to realise just how different she is. Not quite bird and not quite mouse, Robin sets off to try to prove that she can be a good mouse, but only ends up discovering who she really is.
'Robin Robin' voice cast — Gillian Anderson on voicing Cat
Gillian Anderson lends her vocal talents to the role of Cat, the villain of the Robin Robin story, who clearly loves nothing more than eating mice — and birds! Bu when Gillian signed up to supply the voice of a cat in Robin Robin, there was one thing she failed to notice before signing on the dotted line. It was only after she began working on the project when she discovered that she would have to perform a song…
"I was like, The song!? I completely missed that!," she says. "In the end, it’s delivered mostly as the spoken word rather than being sung and I had a lot of fun. Robin Robin is all about learning to love yourself as you are. It has a warm Christmas message and there’s a lot of room for it in this world right now.
"I love animation and I’ve done quite a bit before, including working on some quite obscure Hayao Miyazaki films (Princess Mononoke, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter). So, animation has always been in my consciousness. My daughter, too, has done some stop-motion animation work and so I understand the complexity of it.”
Gillian remembers, too, when Wallace & Gromit first came out: “I was completely obsessed by it! I don’t know how many times we ended up watching those movies over and over. So, all round, it made sense when Aardman knocked on my door. It really was a very good fit.”
Gillian shot to fame as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully in the long-running series The X-Files, but show recently stole the show as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Season Four of The Crown. Her career has seen her star as everything from playing Miss Havisham in BBC1's adaptation of Great Expectations to sex therapist mother Jean Milburn in Netflix comedy Sex Education.
Robin Robin isn't Gillian's first voice role, either as she’s voiced Queen Vorkana in Robbie The Reindeer and the Witch in Room On The Broom both shown on the BBC and BBCiPlayer.
'Robin Robin' voice cast — Richard E Grant on voicing Magpie
Listen out for Richard E Grant as Magpie, an obsessive collector of shiny stuff, who ends up taking Robin under his wing – literally!
"Magpie is my favourite character in the film. Obviously,’ laughs Richard. "He’s a lonely old bird who believes that collecting shiny objects is the route and source for all happiness!"
The Withnail and I actor has had a long TV career, appearing in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Doctor Who, Jekyll and Hyde and Game of Thrones. On the big screen, he’s recently been seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and he won critical acclaim for his role as Jack Hock in the 2018 film Can You Ever Forgive Me?.
Richard will be singing in Robin Robin. His role in the 2021 movie, Everyone’s Talking About Jamie, was his first outing in a musical and the role of Magpie in Robin Robin is his second. “I’d describe it more as caterwauling than singing,” he laughs. “I am definitely not a singer, but I have learnt to get a number across.”
He hopes that Robin Robin will join the lexicon of other must-see musicals that families return to each Christmas. “And my daughter and I will be watching it together when it launches in the run up to Christmas this year.”
At age 32, she is no longer a child, and yet the beauty of Aardman, Richard says, is that there's always something for adults and children alike to enjoy. Robin Robin shares themes, like the importance of family. “For me, though," insists Richard, "the central theme of Robin Robin is about never giving up hope, no matter what obstacles are placed in your path.”
'Robin Robin' voice cast — Bronte Carmichael on voicing Robin
Bronte Carmichael will voice Robin, who sets out on an adventure to prove herself. And it’s all about the word Robin for Bronte! The child star found fame as Madeline Robin in the 2018 live-action film Christopher Robin. She’s also appeared in Game of Thrones and the 2017 film On Chesil Beach. Bronte is the daughter of two actors, Katy Carmichael and Tristan Sturrock.
"Robin's an optimist with great determination," explains Bronte, 14, who was chosen from hundreds of actors to voice the animation's lead character. "But she’s naïve to the dangers of the world."
“When I first saw Robin, to be honest, my heart just melted. I couldn’t believe how sweet she was and how they’d captured such a big personality in such a tiny puppet.”
This Christmas, Bronte intends to watch Robin Robin with her own family, including her younger sister. “My little sister reminds me a lot of Dink (the adorable youngest of the movie’s mouse family) and when I was learning my lines she’d help me by reading that part with me.”
'Robin Robin' voice cast — Adeel Akhtar on playing Dad Mouse
In Robin Robin Adeel Akhtar plays Dad Mouse, who has single-handedly raised a family of five, including adopted bird Robin.
“He’s doing the best he can and learning as he goes along, like most dads, myself included,” says Adeel. “He can be a bit bumbling and a little bit clumsy, but he does, eventually, get the job done in his own unique way. Most of all, he’s trying to raise his family with love, empathy, kindness and compassion and, in adopting Robin as his own, he’s teaching his four children to be open-hearted and accepting of others and their differences. He has so many qualities that, as a dad and as a man, I’m constantly striving for.”
The British star won critical acclaim for his role in Murdered by My Father and C4’s conspiracy thriller Utopia. He’s also appeared in The Night Manager, the recent TV non-musical version Les Miserables on BBC1, and as Inspector Lestrade in the 2020 Netflix film Enola Holmes. You can soon catch up with Adeel in the Netflix fantasy series Sweet Tooth.
Adeel is a lifelong fan of Aardman animations. “I even loved the Creature Comforts electricity adverts back in the 1980s and 90s – where you’d have the voices of normal people coming out of penguins and other animals. In fact, thinking back, maybe that was the first time I thought someone ordinary like me could be an actor.”
Since becoming a father to Arlo, 5, and three year old Ezra, Adeel has been watching a lot more children’s TV and films: “I’m very much in that world with my kids at the moment. And when it’s really good and it’s done well it works for everyone, no matter what their age. I knew that Aardman would take an idea that starts with kids and then make something that would appeal to everyone. I think that for me was the main draw.”
Aardman Studios other famous film animations…
Robin Robin follows in the footsteps of a string of hit films for Aardman, which kicked off with a series of Wallace and Gromit shorts, including A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993) and A Close Shave (1995).
Their first feature film, Chicken Run, landed in 2000 and still remains the studio’s highest-grossing movie. Since then, they’ve produced a string of film hits including Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Flushed Away (2006), Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) and Early Man (2018).
The Aardman team behind 'Robin Robin'
Robin Robin is directed by its creators Dan Ojari (Slow Derek) and Mikey Please (The Eagleman Stag , with Aardman’s Sarah Cox (Tate Movie Project, Heavy Pockets) as Executive Producer and Helen Argo (Tate Movie Project, Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels) as Producer.
'When Dan and Mikey first pitched us the concept for Robin Robin we knew instantly that this was a rare and special project that we had to make together,' says Sarah Cox. 'It’s a beautifully crafted stop-frame musical that immediately feels classic whilst being groundbreaking and modern.'
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.
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