Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Robot Dreams is a beautiful film about the power of friendship

The 96th Academy Awards ceremony, a highly anticipated event, has garnered significant attention across the globe. In this context, I would like to highlight a lesser-known film titled “Robot Dreams,” which was nominated for the Best Animated Feature category. The film, written and directed by Pablo Berger, is an adaptation of Sara Varon’s 2007 comic of the same name. Despite its nomination, this film may have yet to receive widespread recognition among mainstream film enthusiasts, as it has only been released in France and Spain. However, NEON Film Studio acquired the distribution rights to release the film in North America during the summer.

“Robot Dreams” is a narrative presented without verbal dialogue. It centers around the character Dog, who is a resident of Manhattan in 1984. Dog, feeling lonely, constructs a robot to serve as his companion. Their friendship blossoms, and they become inseparable, enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city together. However, one summer night, Dog is compelled to leave Robot at the beach, leaving him with a deep sadness. The question that lingers is whether Dog and Robot will ever reunite.

After hearing rave reviews from a fellow film critic, I hit play on my screener copy of the film. I was unaware of the director’s previous works, so I went in totally blind. Pablo Berger, the wizard behind “Robot Dreams,” has managed to create a vibrant and realistic world that miraculously comes alive even though its lead and secondary actors are nothing more than lovely animals and expressive robots.

The film is characterized by its unique absence of dialogue, instead opting to rely on its period setting to create a distinctive charm. Set in a bustling, colorful New York City of the 1980s, complete with a jingly soundtrack, “Robot Dreams” provides a humorous glimpse into a bygone era of vibrant New York culture. Beyond its nostalgic elements, however, the film offers thought-provoking insights into modern-day digital alienation. Its delightful animation is replete with slight yet powerful details that sparkle with humor, creating a heartfelt homage to a simpler time in New York City life.

At its core, “Robot Dreams” is a profoundly moving tribute to the power of genuine friendships that withstand the ups and downs of life, even the distinctive experiences that evoke fond memories. This heartwarming masterpiece of animation is undoubtedly a must-see for audiences when it premieres in theaters this summer.

Final Grade: A
“Robot Dreams” is currently due to release in US theaters on May 31.

Movie Clappers

More reviews to explorer


Sugar is enjoyable throwback style mystery

Academy Award Nominee Colin Farrell returns his talents to the small screen in “Sugar” from Apple TV. Iconic screenwriter Mark Protosevich served as showrunner and wrote four episodes. Fernando Meirelles directs all episodes of the series. John Sugar (Farrell), an American private investigator, is investigating the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler).

Diarra from Detroit mixes comedy and mystery

Diarra Kilpatrick, an Emmy Award-winning actress, has partnered with the esteemed executive producer Kenya Barris to showcase her talents in the comedic mystery series “Diarra from Detroit,” exclusively available on the BET+ streaming platform. The narrative follows Diarra (portrayed by Kilpatrick), who is currently undergoing divorce proceedings with Francois, also known as Swa (played by Morris Chestnut). She relocates to her old community after receiving counsel from her confidant, Aja (played by Dominque Perry), and colleague, Mr. Tea (played by Bryan Terrel Clark).

Manhunt is an engaging true crime miniseries

Apple TV has brought to life James L. Swanson’s critically acclaimed non-fiction book “Manhunt” in the form of an enthralling TV series with the same name. The show’s plot revolves around the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the subsequent hunt for John Wilkes Booth, the culprit behind the heinous crime. The program is directed by Carl Franklin and overseen by Monica Beletsky, who serves as the showrunner, ensuring a well-crafted narrative that keeps viewers engaged from start to finish.