A behind the scenes featurette for Aardman‘s latest stop-motion short Robin Robin has been released, which focuses on Gillian Anderson‘s (Sex Education, The X-Files) smooth and intimidating performance. Anderson portrays Cat, the villain of the animated short. Robin Robin hit Netflix this past week just in time for the holidays.
In the clip, Anderson notes her affinity for Wallace & Gromit, the flagship characters of Aardman animation. Therefore it was an easy choice for her to sign on for a project made by the studio. There were still some surprises, however, with the actress overlooking that she would need to perform a song for the film. Much to her relief, the song ended up being more talkative in nature, though the menacing quality of her voice still shines through. Ben Please and Beth Porter, the composers of the film, paired up the bass clarinet with the richness of her vocal performance.
Anderson had the following to say about the role of Cat:
“I have to say, I feel like my first instincts were potentially quite, you know, predictable just in terms of an evil pussycat voice. I feel like the character of the Cat really evolved because of the direction that I was getting. And it felt like I was being stretched in ways I hadn’t predicted. And so for instance, the first ‘hello’ is almost so unmenacing, it doesn’t really tell you that much about the psychology of the Cat. There’s something quite neutral about it, which somehow, in the end, makes it even slightly scarier and creepier, which is really interesting.”
Robin Robin also marks Aardman‘s knack for innovative animation, which the clip also highlights. The film uses felt to create the characters, a diversion from Aardman‘s typical clay style. Writer and director Mikey Please stated that the studio was looking for a style “that absolutely couldn’t be replicated by CG [computer graphics].” The animators noted the benefits and challenges to this change, with less puppets and less time dedicated to switching characters’ positions as a noted plus. However, facial expressions are much more difficult to create with these felt creatures.
Aside from Anderson, Robin Robin also stars Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Bronte Carmichael (Christopher Robin), and Amira Macey-Michael. Daniel Ojari directed the film alongside Please. Robin Robin is currently available to stream on Netflix. Check out the clip below: