May 18, 2024

Pablo Berger’s animated film “Robot Dreams” (released May 9th) is one of the nominees for the Oscar for Best Animated Film. In the end, Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron won, but you always hear about Pablo Berger in rare films like the black-and-white silent film Blancanieves (2012). It’s going to happen.

Robot dreams also have their own characteristics. It is told without any dialogue at all. But it doesn’t have to be. A photo is enough to convey all the emotions.

Story: In a parallel world, New York City, where the Twin Towers still stand, no humans live there, but animals pursue their jobs, passions, and lives. One of them is a lonely dog ​​sitting in front of the TV in the evening.

Then he sees a commercial. Loneliness can be solved with robots. When the dog orders the robot, the robot arrives immediately and begins assembling it using complicated instructions and the last remaining screws. But the dog now has a friend: a robot.

They spend time together, going out, dancing, and having fun. One day they go to the beach and the robot’s energy level becomes depleted. He can no longer move.

The dog went home and tried to get the robot the next day, but summer was over and the beach was closed. There will be no reunion, at most until the beaches reopen next summer.

From comics to movies

Robot Dreams is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Sarah Varon. Pablo Berger peppers the film with repeated references to Varon’s other works, and we also learn that her dog’s last name is Varon.

This movie is very lovingly realized and has a lot of great details. How he trades his collar, his only clothing, for swimming trunks at the beach. A box containing a robot is delivered and the sound of a dog wagging its tail in joy.

The film does a good job of bringing animal habits into its anthropomorphic characters. Although they are humanized, you still have to smile at their idiosyncrasies.

There’s a lot to laugh about here, but that’s not all. Because “Robot Dreams” is a very deep movie. This work also focuses on the loneliness of modern society. The proposed solution is his SF. But how much?

The film has sad moments that are rooted not only in the protagonist’s loneliness, but also in the robot’s thoughts and dreams. Because he can fantasize. Nothing shows this best in the finale, which shows that despite all the losses, his life goes on.

humanistic movies

The best science fiction always tells us something about people and their place in society. This also works in a comic format with a dog as the main character. Although the drawing is relatively simple, it provides a projection space. And: Touch them.

Formally, it’s a playful film, subverting conventions of the medium, such as sequences inspired by The Wizard of Oz. But he’s also playful with the details. Hund’s apartment also has replicas of famous movie robots such as C-3PO and R2-D2.

Robot Dreams didn’t win an Oscar, but thanks to the nominations, the film is now showing in German cinemas. Definitely a worthwhile visit.

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