Robinson Crusoe review by Rashid Irani: Retold for toddlers
Direction: Vincent Kesteloot
Voices: David Howard, Yuri Lowenthal
Rating: 1.5 / 5
Produced by a Belgian animation studio and surprisingly well-dubbed in English, this retelling of Daniel Defoe’s literary classic is squarely aimed at very young children.
Narrated from the perspective of the willful animals rather than the titular adventurer, Robinson Crusoe is not entirely without merit.
The menagerie of colourful creatures is rendered photo-realistically, the action fluidly orchestrated and, for a change, the 3D effects judiciously used.
The shipwrecked Crusoe’s story is related in the film by his larger-than-life parrot (voiced by Howard), who unlike his fellow critters dreams of exploring the world outside their exotic island.
Named Tuesday, the brightly plumed macaw also attempts to fend off repeated attacks by a pair of nasty wildcats and their mangy litter.
The intrepid adventures of Crusoe and his band of talking animals are sanitised for family-friendly viewing. There are no references to slave trading, cannibals, religious conversions or the rampant misuse of power.
Still, Robinson Crusoe is spirited enough to appeal to its target audience.
Watch the trailer for Robinson Crusoe