Robinson Crusoe (2016 film)

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Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe 2016 poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Gina Gallo
  • Mimi Maynard
  • Domonic Paris
  • Ben Stassen
  • Caroline Van Iseghem
Written by
  • Lee Christopher
  • Domonic Paris
  • Graham Weldon
Based onRobinson Crusoe
by Daniel Defoe
Music byRamin Djawadi
Distributed by
Release date
  • 5 February 2016 (2016-02-05) (Brussels Animation Film Festival)
  • 30 March 2016 (2016-03-30) (Belgium)
  • 20 April 2016 (2016-04-20) (France)
Running time
90 minutes
  • Belgium
  • France
  • English
  • French
  • German
Budget$13 million[2]
Box office$39.5 million[1]

Robinson Crusoe (released in North America as The Wild Life) is a 2016 Belgian-French 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film directed by Vincent Kesteloot and Ben Stassen and written by Lee Christopher, Domonic Paris and Graham Weldon. The film is loosely based on the 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, but from the point of view of the island's animals. The film was released in the United States on September 9, 2016. Despite receiving negative reviews from the critics and earning a 17% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes,[3] Robinson Crusoe was a moderate box office success, grossing $39.5 million worldwide against a budget of $13 million.[1]


Pirates have picked up a castaway named Robinson Crusoe upon finding his island. Having followed him onto the boat, a Scarlet macaw named Mak tells the true story of what really happened to a pair of mice named Rufus and Cecil.

All the animals inhabited a tiny isolated South Pacific Island. Mak and his friends, including an echidna named Epi, a veiled chameleon named Carmello, a malayan tapir named Rosie, a kingfisher named Kiki, an old goat named Scrubby, and a ground pangolin named Pango all lived the perfect lives; blue skies, beautiful turquoise water, and lots of delicious food and crunchy insects. But every day is the same and Mak is really bored. Convinced there is more than just water over the horizon, he dreams of leaving his little paradise and exploring the new world.

Meanwhile, an English mapmaker, namely Robinson Crusoe and his pet Standard Schnauzer Aynsley have booked passage on a ship to the new world to seek riches and gold whilst dealing with seasickness. During a very violent storm at night, the two are accidentally locked in the ship's hull along with a pair of embittered Persian cats, Mal and May, while the crew escapes with their lives, leaving the latter behind. During the storm, Mak and his friends of the island try to save Scrubby from falling to his death, which nearly goes bad, while trying to seek shelter in a cave on the high grounds from the storm.

Arriving on the island, the next morning, Crusoe begins to look for a way out while the animals of the island, unsure of what to make of the strangers, hide out on the beach. Mak, seeing his chance to get off the island, convinces the other animals of the island to hide while he keeps an eye on them. Unfortunately, the next day, he is attacked by Mal and May, who have survived the storm as well. Luckily, Aynsley drives them away and Crusoe takes Mak aboard the wreckage to recover from his wing injury from the attack. He renames the bird Tuesday (after their second day on the island) and Aynsley convinces him that he and Crusoe are friends.

Determined to take possession of the island and make Crusoe leave the island, Mal and May trick the animals of the island into believing Crusoe has murdered Mak. They have them attack Crusoe while they go after Mak and Aynsley in order to cover their tracks. In the ensuing chaos, Aynsley is pinned under a door as the remains of the ship begins to catch fire. Mak makes it out in time, but Aynsley dies in the explosion, which strands Mal and May on "Curse Island", a little island where all the bugs live.

After Crusoe mourns Aynsley's death, Mak leads a grieving Crusoe to the other animals, having realized the cats' deception, in an attempt to cheer him up. Slowly but surely, the animals realize that Crusoe is friendly and begin helping him adjust to life on the island by providing him with fruits for food and helping him build a tree house, a "pipeline" for the fresh water supply, and a watchtower in case of any passing ships. However, Kiki becomes increasingly annoyed by the others' willingness to adapt to Crusoe's lifestyle as the months go by. Yet, sometimes, Crusoe seems upset by the dwindling possibility of a rescue. One afternoon, Kiki, worked up, flies out near the remains of the ship; lamenting about their lives with Crusoe, until Mal and May, with multiple litters of youngsters and having survived with nothing to eat but bugs on the rock, manage to get back on the main island from the wooden plank remains of the ship and decide to put an end to Crusoe and his friends' lives and wreak havoc on their little piece of Eden.

Despite Mal and May's best efforts, the animals manage to defeat them back momentarily. Realizing the cats won't stop harassing them, at night, Mak leads them to the watchtower and, with his friends' help, traps them inside while the animals knock it down with the cats into the sea. However, their victory is short-lived when a fire set by May earlier endangers Crusoe and the animals, who was knocked unconscious in the previous fight. They manage to get him out but Crusoe becomes caught in some rigging and is rendered unconscious again by a falling wooden plank.

Complicating matters is that the fire attracts the attention of a band of pirates led by the Captain Long John Silver, who drive off the "beasts" trying to save Crusoe on the same night and "rescue" him the next morning. Crusoe manages to placate them with a fictionalized version of what happened at the expense of the captain forcing him into the crew and refusing to return him back home to England due to the fear of being hung from the gallows; despite considering Crusoe's story as nothing more than yarn.

After Mak finishes his story to Rufus and Cecil, he sees a poorly planned escape attempt by Crusoe results in a hectic chase. Mak rescues him (by tricking the pirates with a perfect voice imitation of the Captain momentarily) and the mice and make their way back to the island while the cats, who snuck onto the ship on a jerry-rigged life raft made out from the remains of the watchtower, which Crusoe later uses to row back to the island, are adopted by the pirates.

During the credits, stills of the animals' lives with Robinson Crusoe along with Rufus and Cecil are revealed as they repair the tree house while readjusting to their lives on the island and the cats adjusting to life with Long John Silver and his crew.

Voice cast[edit]

Character German English Brazilian Portuguese
Robinson Crusoe Matthias Schweighöfer Yuri Lowenthal Danton Mello
Papagei Dienstag / Mak Kaya Yanar David Howard Thornton Manolo Rey
Tapir Rosie Ilka Bessin (credited as Cindy aus Marzahn) Laila Berzins Mabel Cezar
Ziegenbock Zottel / Scrubby Dieter Hallervorden Joey Camen Rodrigo Oliveira
Stachelschwein / Epi Aylin Tezel Sandy Fox Ana Lucia Menezes
Carmello Gerald Schaale Colin Metzger Márcio Simões
Kiki Melanie Hinze Marieve Herington (credited as Lindsay Torrance) Miriam Ficher
Pango Tobias Lelle Jeff Doucette Daniel Müller
Ping / May Ghadah Al-Akel Debi Tinsley Luisa Viotti
Pong / Mal Tommy Morgenstern Jeff Doucette Claudio Galvan
Edgar / Aynsley Bert Franzke Doug Stone Marco Ribeiro
Rufus Jesco Wirthgen Joe Ochman Guto Nejaim
Cecil Jan Makino Michael Sorich Cafi Balloussier
Tom Cat - Kyle Hebert Ricardo Rossatto
Friday - Jay Jones -
Long John Silver Axel Lutter Carlos Alazraqui (credited as Dennis O'Connor) Isaac Bardavid
Sleeping Sailor - Robin Atkin Downes (credited as George Babbit) -
Sailor #1 - Joe Ochman Marcelo Sandryini
Sailor #2 - Lex Lang Hercules Franco
Bosun Jan David Ronfeldt Kirk Thornton (credited as Ron Allen) -


Box office[edit]

As of 11 September 2016 the film has grossed $8.0 million in North America and $30.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $38.4 million.[1]

In the United States, where the film is marketed as The Wild Life, it was released on 9 September 2016, alongside The Disappointments Room, Sully and When the Bough Breaks, and was projected to gross around $5 million from 2,493 theaters in its opening weekend.[4] It went on to gross $3.4 million in its opening weekend, finishing 5th at the box office.[5] In China, the film was released on 4 October 2016, and has grossed CN¥48.6 million.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Critical reaction to Robinson Crusoe was mostly negative. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 17%, based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 4.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Wild Life uses its classic source material as a half-hearted springboard into a colorfully animated but essentially empty experience that only the youngest of viewers will find at all entertaining."[7] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to reviews, the film has a score of 36 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[8]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Wild Life (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Smith, Brandon (9 September 2016). "What You Should Know Before Seeing: 'The Wild Life'". Rotoscopers. Retrieved 9 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The Wild Life (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 1 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (7 September 2016). "Clint Eastwood's 'Sully' Launches Fall Awards Season, But Can 'Bough' Break At No. 1? – B.O. Preview". Deadline. Retrieved 7 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (11 September 2016). "'Sully' Soaring, 'Bough' Breaks To Mid-Teen, 'Wild Life' Snoozing, 'Disappointments' DOA". Deadline. Retrieved 11 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "鲁滨逊漂流记(2016)". (in Chinese). Retrieved 16 October 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "The Wild Life (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 1 September 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "The Wild Life Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 September 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "CinemaScore".

External links[edit]