Animated Film Recreates ’80s NYC – IndieWire

Animated Film Recreates ’80s NYC – IndieWire

Pablo Berger’s “Robot Dreams,” which gets a theatrical release from Neon at an as-yet-unannounced time this year, was one of the animated delights of 2023. The Spanish/French hand-drawn dramedy (adapted from Sarah Varon’s wordless graphic novel) concerns the bittersweet friendship between lonely Dog and Robot, which he builds for company, in a version of ’80s Manhattan populated with animals and garnered awards buzz in its longshot quest for an Oscar nomination this season.

After premiering at Cannes, “Robot Dreams” earned the Annecy Contrecham Award along with The Animation Is Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. It was also selected as the runner-up for Best Animated Film by both the Los Angeles and Boston Film Critics groups.

Although the Spanish director was enamored with the graphic novel when he read it in 2010, he didn’t consider turning it into an animated feature until after making two live-action films, “Blancanieves” and “Abracadabra,” and meeting with Varon in 2018.

Afterward, Berger couldn’t get “Robot Dreams” out of his mind: the loneliness of Dog, Robot’s eternal optimism, the crowded East Village that brought back memories of when he lived there, the melancholy separation that leads to new adventures and friendships, a surprise finale that brings a wave of nostalgia. It cried out for the physical humor of Jacques Tati, the sublime emotion of Charlie Chaplin, and a meticulous ’80s world-building.

Robot Dreams movie

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The article “Animated Film Recreates ’80s NYC – IndieWire” by Bill Desowitz was published on 06/01/2024 by