<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Vincent Kesteloot. Starring the voice talent of Matthias Schweighöfer, Kaya Yanar, Dieter Hallervorden, Aylin Tezel, Cindy aus Marzahn
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
The story of Robinson Crusoe marooned on an island told from the point of view of the animals living there. The animation is unique and so is the lack of slapstick and sarcasm we find in American cutesy cartoon films, since this one is a Belgian production.
What strikes you about Robinson Crusoe (released as ‘The Wild Life’ in North America) is the style of animation they’ve used. The characters and the 3D are different from your regular Pixar and Dreamworks productions. In fact, the 3D (at least at our preview theatre with the heavy 3D glasses) is better than most of the other animated films we’ve seen so far.
Of course you have the talking animals who are, at first, afraid of this ‘sea monster’ who has invaded their island. Soon though, everything is fine in ‘paradise’. The parrot Mak is happy that a piece of that outside world he’s been dreaming of has landed in his lap for him to discover something beyond the world of his friends and their fruits.
Of course there’s an evil element that threatens the peace. Cat lovers may not be very pleased at the depiction of their feline friends. But what bogs the film down is the lack of any change of pace. Most of it is monotonous and predictable.
Also, at an hour and a half it seems a tad stretched. I don’t know whether this is because they’re planning to have a sequel and needed a sound setup. But as visually interesting as Robinson Crusoe is, it lacked direction and something to tell it apart from all the other animated films with talking animals.