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The Animation Robinson Crusoe Is A Delectable Treat

Directed by: Vincent Kasteloot, Ben Stassen

Don’t go by what you hear.Seeing is, in this case, not just believing. It is also living through an ingenious take  on William Defoe’s timeless saga of a shipwrecked explorer, seen here through the eyes of the animals who inhabited the island where Crusoe was thwacked .

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Thank God for the power of creative re-invention. The co-directors of this colourful amiable animation film turn the Defoe classic into an artful  menagerie of sinfully stress-free experiences.

What  if Crusoe’s island-bound maroon was seen from the viewpoint of the animals on the island? If George Orwell’s Animal Farm were to be supplanted with a truckload of tongue-in-cheek humour, here’s what we would get.Robinson Crusoe , titled The Wild Life In the US, is a great deal of fun to watch. The animals all have a specific space to themselves to function as independent entities , and their collective camaraderie is so heartwarming we know this is what we missed in Jungle Book: the sense of kinship in the jungle that makes outside attack difficult . Crusoe himself is imagined as a kind of bumbling nervous good Samaritan. His heart is in the right place. But he just can’t seem to get anything right, more so since the villainous cat couple Mel and May plan and plot poor Crusoe’s downfall.

And never mind if the catty couple end up with their face in the poo each time they conspire to destroy.Mel and May are for my money the sexiest avatar of evil since Manoj Bajpai and Shamita Shetty in Dharmesh Darshan’sBewafaa(don’t scratch you head , just google and see the duo’s devilish antics).

The scheming May with her hissing diabolic voice is in  total control, as she commands her procreative partner Mel to wreak havoc on the tranquil island just to get even with the hapless Crusoe.

Evil designs and unsavoury mixups…the plot is structured with feline wisdom. The crux is the friendship that grows between Crusoe and a bird Tuesday(so named by Crusoe as he found the bird on, take a guess, Tuesday). The way the two spar and steer clear of one another and then gradually become one,is a sign of compassionate writing evident everywhere in the way the animal kingdom is depicted.

Crusoe and Tuesday speak in the authoritative voices of Yuri Lowennthal and David Howard.The two actors breathe life into their characters.

The bird Tuesday longs to see the world outside the idyllic island.  By the time this adorable little cinematic confection ends, Tuesday has seen enough.

We , sadly, don’t feel the same  about the film. The bright and effervescent story ends all too quickly leaving us with a delectable peek into the animal kingdom which includes a charming and cute little bird named Kiki and a myopic goat who pretends to see everything.

Smoothly cut and shot with doses of endearing elan Robinson Crusoe is a hearty homage to the spirit of survival and friendship. Not quite what William Defoe imagined. But nonetheless sufficiently composed and cute to make us believe what we always suspected about the animal kingdom. They talk, they judge human beings and we often fall short out of greed,the same sin of excess that this film avoids to finally emerge  a heartwarming winner.

Don’t let your children miss this picturesque treat. While they enjoy the film, we don’t get a chance to be distractedeither.

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