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Behind the Scenes of WILD ROBOT from DreamWorks

Photo from THE WILD ROBOT’s Instagram

Behind the Scenes of WILD ROBOT from DreamWorks

By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Recently, DreamWorks Animation invited a small group of movie influencers to meet with director Chris Sanders and actress Lupita Nyong’o and see clips form their upcoming move WILD ROBOT. Marjorie Cohn, the new president of DreamWorks, said this movie is released in celebration of 30 years of DreamWorks animation. She also said the movie has everything you could want in a movie – humor, pathos, action adventure, beautiful animation, and much more. (By the way, in the 1990s, yours truly was invited by Jeffrey Katzenberg to bring in the Christian theologians who helped Jeffrey with his grand project THE PRINCE OF EGYPT.)

Director Chris Sanders gave a very emotional and powerful insight into WILD ROBOT. Chris had been to the Movieguide® Awards and has made several Movieguide® Award winning movies, such as THE BOSS BABY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, PENGUINS, and many more. 

Regarding the third movie he co-wrote and co-directed, THE CROODS, he said on the Movieguide® stage that we were the only reviewers who understood the story was a Christian pilgrimage to Heaven or the Promised Land. 

WILD ROBOT semes to be the most overt biblical values movie that Chris has made in a while. It’s a story of a highly advanced robot named Roz who’s lost on an island when a plane carrying shipments of robots was hit by a typhoon. Roz is programmed to serve and complete every task given to her. 

There are no humans on this island, so Roz asks every animal she meets from otters to squirrels to porcupines to foxes whether they ordered her and what they needed her to help them to do. Soon, she realizes she has to learn the languages of each one of these animals, which she does. 

Then, escaping an angry bear, she falls into the nest of a goose, killing the goose and destroying two eggs. She realizes the third egg contains a little gosling and makes it her task to raise the gosling, This is much harder than she can imagine, if she could imagine.

Watching other geese, she thinks she has to teach the little gosling how to swim. So, she throws it into the water, which almost fails. Thus, Roz has to figure how to train the gosling to do what it needs to do to survive. The most important task is to teach the gosling to fly so it can join the other geese on the island in their annual migration. In the process, Roz gets beaten up and starts leaking oil.

The several scenes we were shown are extremely emotional, full of great humor and also very touching. Chris Sanders says that, of course, casting the voices was everything. Lupita’s voicing of Roz gave her life. As Roz helps the gosling, she develops emotions, and, of course, Lupita voices those emotions.

Several aspects of faith were discussed. One of the most interesting is that Lupita said her strength, which became Roz’s strength, was that “Kindness can be a survival skill.” In most robot movies, kindness is not primary. Roz seems to manifest many of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, although we understand she’s just a robot.

Movieguide® looks forward to reviewing WILD ROBOT in its entirety, and if this preview presentation is any indication, we look forward to having Chris Sanders return to the Movieguide® Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala & Report to the Entertainment Industry.


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