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Robot Dreams review – Animated films don’t get more charming than this

Pablo Berger writes and directs Robot Dreams.

Set against the backdrop of New York City, Robot Dreams follows Dog as he finds a resolution to his loneliness in the form of a build-your-own Robot and how his life positively changes because of this whilst coming to terms with the true importance of friendship. All of this is told purely through its visuals, score and sound design, as the film unconventionally does not feature a single line of dialogue.

This film gets a lot of things right by doing very little. Relying solely on its visuals to tell its story is a bold move; stripping everything back to its bare essentials and reminding audiences how emotions can be stirred with nothing but moving images is something that certainly pays off in the long run. It’s incredibly refreshing to see and is brilliantly well-realised thanks to the film’s vibrant and genuinely delightful animation style.

There is a sense of joy and unbridled wonder that can be found in every single frame of Robot Dreams. Even as the story progresses and our characters start to drift apart due to actions out of their control, the film always finds interesting ways to bring its themes to the forefront or keep things moving at a consistent pace. All of these varying emotions are also wonderfully encapsulated within Alfonso Vilallonga’s lovingly playful score, which perfectly accompanies the images on screen to the point where the film wouldn’t be the same without it. 

Throughout the film, Pablo Berger takes the time to relish the beauty of the every day and the small details we all miss in our busy lives. They never become the main focus but these moments help to further cement the film’s messages in a manner that never feels distracting. It’s a minor yet vital touch to what the film is trying to say, resulting in many scenes that will stay with you long after the film has finished, despite how insignificant they can seem in the moment.

Over its brisk 102-minute runtime, Robot Dreams reminds you just how life-changing friendship can be and does so in the most charming of ways. Its animation will calmly invite you in as its tenderness and infectious personality embrace you like a warm hug. It’s a film that tugs at the heartstrings but remembers to leave you satisfied with a massive smile on your face, which is honestly something we could use more of right now.

Releases in UK cinemas on 22nd March 2024

Robot Dreams review – Animated films don’t get more charming than this

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