Robbie the Reindeer
is as short as many of the made-for-TV classics that have preceded it. However, so much action, zippy dialogue and witty visual puns have been packed into its 29-minute running time that you'd swear it was longer. The content of the film, like many new animations and cartoons, is geared slightly in favour of older audiences, because of its sexual innuendos and adult comedy, but the kids will love the slapstick comedy and loveable characters. Robbie's father is another stop-motion favourite, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
, and pop is keen to see his loveable--but lazy--son follow in his famous hoof prints. The adult theme continues in the shape of the storyline, which was actually inspired more by Rocky
than by Rudolph
. As in Rocky
, there's a supportive female (Donner) and a crusty trainer (Old Jingle). Together they help Robbie get in shape for the Reindeer Games, where he'll have the chance to show Santa whether he has the right stuff or not. Fans of Aardman Animations should appreciate the detailed animation and clever humour. The cream of Britain's comic crop provides the voices, including Jane Horrocks as Donner. Robbie Williams narrates the story, and Mark Knopfler provides the music. --Kathleen C Fennessy, Amazon.com
Robbie the Reindeer (voiced by Ardal O'Hanlon) arrives at the North Pole, ready to take his place as navigator on Santa's Christmas sleigh team. However, Robbie is soon plagued by doubt regarding his ability, and sets out to regain his self-respect and the admiration of his team-mates. This festive animated tale also features the voices of Jane Horrocks, Steve Coogan, Caroline Quentin and Harry Enfield, and features a script co-written by 'Blackadder' writer Richard Curtis.