The Making of Arrdmen’s Robin Robin

Young journalists from Haverstock School talk to the directors of the short film, Robin Robin and review it.

Robin Robin is a musical film short, (30 minutes long) by Arrdmen Associates. The idea of a Christmas film about a Robin appealed greatly to the directors, Michael Please and Dan Ojari. The story is about a Robin’s egg that accidentally hatches in a mouse’s rubbish dump and is adopted by a family of mice.

The directors described what it was like to enter the Arrdmen world where classic stock motion films like Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run were produced. They told us they were, ‘in awe and amazed’ to find props from the original Wallace and Grommit movie such as the pillars in the magpie’s house.

The Arrdmen’s world is described by the directors ‘as a world within worlds.’ Three hundred animators working on several productions are filmed in the studios simultaneously. At times the new directors must have felt overwhelmed by this chaotic world, where the studio’s mantra is, ‘Footage, footage, footage.’

Three model Robins were used for filming, a large one, medium one and a small one. Instead of plasticine, the models are constructed from needle felt and often got torn during shooting. In order to save time, Arrdmen Associates built the Robin Robin Hospital so that the characters could be mended.

We imagine it must have looked like a real hospital but with a sewing machine in the operating room and hospital supplies of felt and needles on the shelves. In the wards, proper hospital beds held the wounded characters with sheets up to their chins, looking sick as they are made to rest and recover.

The film shows what it’s like to be a member of a family and the difficulties arising when you are different. Gillian Anderson plays the voice of the cat that Robin Robin encounters. The directors found that when she was openly evil it wasn’t very frightening but when she played the cat normally it was terrifying. At the same time Gillian Anderson was playing Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, and both directors wondered whether that might have helped her!

Bonny, Tahim, Lily, Maya in Year 7

Robin Robin Review

Michael Please and Dan Ojari have created the world of a family of mice who steal food. Their world is disrupted when Robin Robin joins the family as an egg. He is raised by them, and eventually joins in on their night raids.

The film shows the journey Robin Robin and the mice take in order to understand that Robin Robin may be different, but that difference can be a positive thing.

The directors and Arrdmen have constructed a set that drew us into the mice’s world. They are often shown in the shadows and we think that shows their sneakiness. The directors have created a world of wonderful details like the dancing maggots. During the film the tension grows when Robin Robin meets an evil cat (Gillian Anderson). We won’t spoil it for you, but the chase had us on the edge of our seats and we were calling out!

Bronte Carmichael as the voice of Robin Robin helped draw us into his world, and the other characters had very expressive speaking tones that brought the characters alive

Robin Robin is well worth seeing and the film is rated by us as an 8 or 7 depending on whether you like maggots!

Keyonte, Lily, Bonnie, Sophie, Shamme, Kayley, Hussain and Ruby from Year 7

Martin from Year 8

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