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Love, Death & Robots (2019)




A collection of animated short stories that span various genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy.




Review

Love, Death & Robots, created by Tim Miller (Deadpool) for Netflix, is a collection of 18 unrelated short vignettes. All animated, but certainly not for children, and ranging between around 5 and 15 minutes in length - it's certainly a mixed bag. Each is unique - there are different writers, animation studios and voice actors - they largely look completely different - and they have individual tales to tell.

For fans of anthology films - particularly horror - there is a lot to take away from these. They're well rounded shorts and tell their stories like shorts should. But be warned, these are firmly for an adult audience. Most of them have extreme horror elements, with everything from decapitation to well, let's just say everything. As far as language goes nothing is off limits, and while they don't all contain elements of sexuality, when they do, they do. Nothing shocks me, but I was surprised at a couple of the inclusions. 

It would be wrong to say that they aren't all good, either. There is nothing to disappoint the watcher, per se. Each of the animation houses do good to outstanding work - the stories are written by some amazing talents, and the voice artists are some of the best in the business, but alas, there are way too many to mention without playing favorites. 

And we won't play favorites here, simply because with the diversity of the work, everybody with have different likes and dislikes - as I say, a mixed bag. Just as a taste, inclusions are aliens, vampires, werewolves, steampunk, far flung futures, and yogurt. They're all designed to emote - and everybody will find a different one to blub over. 

That's the good - it's a fantastic watch, and one that can be binged with ease because of the length. We watched it in two sittings - it has a total runtime of perhaps three and a half hours. It's got horror, science fiction, and fun written all over it, and it's not only one of the best anthology series we've seen in a long time, it's one of the most unique.




Of course, there are a few minor down points. But only a few. While all of the writing is superb, some of the shorts, I fancy, were better suited to the page than the screen. One in particular was shown and paced in such a way that the big reveal was signposted in near the first shot. While most of the animation hits the highs it was aiming at, hyper-realistic animation is a hard sell, and one or two times it slipped into the uncanny valley. But that's about it - as long as you're not easily offended.

And I'm not.

As long as the viewer understands that with some short stories you are only getting a snapshot of time, and that some will have no definitive resolution leaving you with only questions, then it is an excellent watch.



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