Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Robin Robin

Go To

Robin Robin is an animated Christmas Special by Aardman Animations and streamed on Netflix. Like most Aardman productions, it's animated in stop-motion, but instead of the usual plasticine look, the characters have a felted appearance.

It's the story of Robin (Bronte Carmichael), a robin who fell out of the nest as an egg and was found by a family of mice. She is raised by them and joins them in the Sneak, their regular foraging trips to human houses, as a result of which, nearly all the human houses in the area have discovered them and set traps or got cats. Refusing to believe that she's bad at sneaking, she sets out on her own to the one house left, with the reluctant assistance of Magpie (Richard E. Grant). But there's a cat (Gillian Anderson) on the prowl, and Robin really isn't very good at this.

Robin Robin contains examples of:

  • Admiring the Abomination: One of the mouse kids is fascinated by cats and needs to have the fact cats want to eat them explained to her repeatedly.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Justified, Magpie can't fly because he's got a broken wing. Robin can't fly because she was raised by mice. Until she has to.
  • Avian Flute: Each main character is associated with a different instrument. Robin, a robin, is associated with a cheerful tune on two flutes.
  • Be Yourself: Robin learns that, as a robin, she simply isn't good at sneaking, but then realises what she is good at. Being a distraction.
  • Black Comedy: Twice in Magpie's song, some roaches crawl out of the woodworks to provide backup vocals. Both times, Magpie suddenly eats one alive.
  • Cats Are Mean: Cat is the film's villain. She is intent on eating the heroes, who are birds and mice, and she is downright sadistic about it.
  • The Comically Serious: Magpie acts very dignified, but his obsession with little trinkets is comical to us human viewers. For example, Magpie thinks Robin is silly for wishing for crumbs or a sandwich, but to us, the objects he values, including buttons, strings, and keys, are just as insignificant, if not even more so.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Cat's Villain Song, "The Purr-fect Place" is about how Robin doesn't "fit in" as either a bird or a mouse, and how Cat has a place where Robin will fit in. She is, of course, referring to her stomach, and she makes this clear by the end of the song.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Robin, Magpie and Cat.
  • The Faceless: The humans are always shown only in silhouette.
  • Fatal Fireworks: Magpie's match accidentally sets off fireworks at the shed. He, Robin and Cat escape by the skin of their teeth.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Cat loves to cruelly toy with her soon-to-be victims while keeping a mild-mannered demeanor. Gillian Anderson, who voiced Cat, said in a behind-the-scenes video that she was originally going to be more overtly sinister, but the directors encouraged her to make her performance more subtle. Even Cat's first "Hello" when meeting Robin was intentionally meant to sound very neutral.
  • Good Parents: Dad Mouse cares equally for all of his children, even his adopted child, Robin.
  • Happily Adopted: Dad Mouse clearly loves Robin and is very patient with the fact she's terrible at sneaking. (Perhaps too much so, since she doesn't realise she is.)
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Robin's understanding of "normal" is mice, and her Christmas wish is to actually become one.
  • Interspecies Adoption: A robin raised by mice.
  • The Klutz: Robin is just really bad at sneaking.
  • Leitmotif: Similar to Peter and the Wolf, each main character is associated with a different musical instrument:
    • Robin is associated with joyful, Christmas-y flutes.
    • The mice are associated with plucky pizzicato strings.
    • Magpie is associated with elegant brass instruments.
    • Cat is associated with a sinister bass clarinet and cello.
  • Missing Mom: There is no Mum Mouse, and no mention of what may have happened to her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Magpie appears just in time to save Robin from Cat. Unfortunately, he also brought a lit match as a torch, which accidentally sets the shed on fire and sets off the fireworks stored there.
  • Nice Mice: Played with. The mice are heroic characters, especially Dad Mouse, who is very kind and caring to Robin. They do steal food and cause trouble for humans, though they don't see anything morally wrong with it, and this story is not told from the humans' perspective.
  • Oblivious to Their Own Description: When Robin and Magpie sneak into the house, Robin tells Magpie to do exactly what she does. So Magpie carefully knocks things over, gets stuck, and falls over backwards, while singing loudly. Robin can't understand what he thinks he's doing.
  • Parental Abandonment: The opening makes it clear, without spelling it out, that Cat ate Robin's parents.
  • Seasonal Montage: The Cold Opening is in spring, when robin eggs hatch. The background shifts from a sunny day to a snowy one behind the title card.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Cat has a very gentle voice, even when tormenting her prey. Even her Villain Song is mostly sung (or spoken) in a very low-key manner.
  • Species Surname: The mice. Leads to confusion at the end when Dad Mouse says that Robin may not be a mouse, but she'll always be a Mouse.
  • Spoken Word: Cat's Villain Song is mostly spoken, although Gillian Anderson does a little singing in some parts.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Cat pursues them all the way back to Magpie's house.
  • Tempting Fate: Magpie assures the mice that Cat can't get through the door of his house. Cat then tears the door down.
  • Thieving Magpie: Magpie has a whole song about the importance of the stuff he's collected called "Things Make You Happy". It's apparent, however, that they don't.
  • Uncertain Doom: Cat is last seen being comically swept away in a stream, weighed down by Magpie's trinkets covering her body. She might have eventually drowned or died some other way, but it's also possible that she survived.
  • Villain Song: Cat's "The Purr-fect Place" is a Hannibal Lecture about how Robin isn't good at being a bird or a mouse, yet it also contains some cleverly disguised hints that Cat wants to eat Robin. Near the end of the song, Cat sings about her intentions in a more direct way.
  • Wish Upon a Star: Magpie tells Robin about how once a year, the "hoomans" put a magic star on top of a tree inside their house, and the next morning get everything they wish for. So they steal a star from a Christmas tree and put it on top of Magpie's tree, hoping to get their wishes come true (in Robin's case, to become a real mouse). The next morning, they don't get what they wish for, but Robin does get reunited with the mice.
  • With Catlike Tread: The mice sing "The Sneak Song", about not being noticed and leaving no trace, as they enter houses. To be fair, they sing it quietly. Robin doesn't, belting out "The Rules of the Sneak are these!" while pirouetting in the middle of the dining table, sending things flying.