I was initially curious about the series “Love, Death + Robots” when it was recommended to me by Netflix. As a matter of fact, all I knew about it went I started the first episode was that it was a series of anthology episodes from directors from all over the world. It was a good thing that I knew very little about the series because it made so much more impact with each installment. What amazing talent these filmmakers had!
Synopsis: Love, Death + Robots is an anthology series of animated shorts ranging from 7 to 16 minutes produced by small outfits and developed by filmmakers from different parts of the world. Most of the offerings are of the sci fi variety but each one caters to a different appeal.
First, I would like to give credit to all the filmmakers involved in this Netflix original series and I don’t think that one post would be enough to do them justice. I’m coming out to say that this review will be for the entire series, but I will do individual reviews of each short film. Believe me. They deserve it.
There were many great episodes in “Love, Death + Robots” but each viewer will have to pick their own favorite. What’s great about this series was that it pretty much gave the filmmakers free rein on what to make. As a result, there were no two ideas that were the same and it made for a very entertaining viewing experience.
From space themed episodes like Beyond the Aquila Rift and A Helping Hand; to Cold War inspired monsters in The Secret War; to ideas as farfetched as yoghurts ruling the world. Yes, yoghurts. Anything goes and the creativity that was explored in this series was pretty astounding. Word of caution for the faint of heart though- most of the episodes are dark, at times, disturbing and definitely not for the kiddie set. I guess it was because it was an animated series, filmmakers had less inhibitions and because it was not made for the mainstream, they could explore scenes like full frontal nudity and violence without fear of censorship.
Each episode had its own strength and many were even strong enough to explore as full length features. The animation was top notch and it was cool that explored different styles as well. The series also delivered on an element of mystery and suspense. It made viewers feel that there’s always a twist waiting to happen and it sits like an Easter egg waiting to be opened.
There were episodes that appealed to a wholesome sense of adventure like Topher Grace and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ice Age while there were also those that tapped into the Steven Spielberg type of storytelling with the three sassy tourist robots exploring a post apocalyptic Earth in — you got it — Three Tobots. Some reflected on one’s role in the world with Zima Blue while there were also those that just focused on straight out action with alien sized pest problems in Suits. Its a ton of fun.
I would have to say kudos to Netflix for funding this type of project to give chances for short film writers and directors to get their work out there for wide distribution. Creators Joshua Donen, David Fincher, Jennifer Miller, and Tim Miller did an excellent job running the show. Its exciting to watch these amazing ideas come to life, especially ones that push the envelope and mainstream boundaries. To say that I’m impressed would be an understatement.