Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

The Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival (1987) is an animated anthology film, made up of nine segments. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987)

Original title: ロボットカーニバル (Robotto Kānibaru), English title: Robot Carnival

Series: -

Setting: various

Product type: Film, Genre: various, Style: animation

Release: 1987.07.11 VHS release

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Taste: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises

Watched: very recent (2020.05), second time, but I don't remember anything about the first time

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points)

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This is my review of Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, an animated anthology movie from 1987. It has nine segments, with different animation style, connected by the theme of robots. I didn't really like the Robot Carnival film.

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Overall review (spoiler-free) - Robot Carnival movie

I already watched the Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival movie a couple of years ago, but as I watched the Meikyuu Monogatari / Labyrinth Tales movie, and later, the Memorîzu / Memories, I thought I'd continue with this. I didn't watch the trailer, but I've seen the movie, even though I couldn't remember anything about it.

The movie has nine segments, that do not have any connection with each other, beyond the theme of robots. All of them are self-contained stories, with a distinct animation style. You can watch any of them, in any order without missing anything.

All of these short movies have good visuals and music. The stories, however, are either weak or boring.

Reading the reviews of the Robot Carnival on the internet, I see that many people love this movie. So, I suppose you'll either love it, because of the animation, or dislike it because of the lack of stories.

My experience

I did not enjoy any of the segments of the film.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay, the movie is watchable, but the stories are weak.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I didn't like the Robot Carnivale anthology film for the first time, and I still don't like it.

Chance of watching it again: Unlikely. I've had enough of this.

Rewatchability: I'm unsure. If you liked it for the first time, it's probably the visuals the caught your interest, so knowing the plot won't change your enjoyment of Robot Carnival.

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Will you enjoy this?

If you like animated short films, you might like this one.

If you like post-apocalyptic settings, you might like the Beginning / Ending segment, and possibly Deprive.

If you like futuristic movies, you might be interested in Robot Carnival, especially Deprive, and Presence.

If you like retro-futuristic, steam-tech settings, you might like Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion.

If you prefer 1980s anime, I recommend Deprive, Star Light Angel, and Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion.

If you prefer comedy, I recommend Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion, and probably Chicken Man and Red Neck.

Watching for plot points

Most of them doesn't really have a story.

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Review with no spoilers - Robot Carnival movie

As the stories are not connected, I'll review each of them separately.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Opening & Ending

Review with no spoilers

These two serve as a framing to the movie. The Opening starts the film, while the Ending finishes it.

The Opening is a very short story, about a huge vehicle approaching a village.

The Ending is about the vehicle trying to climb a hill.

There is no dialog.

It's not very interesting.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay.

Enjoyment: Weak (2- out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Franken's Gears

Review with no spoilers

It's about a man starting up a large robot.

There is no dialog. The music was good.

It's not very interesting.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's good. The story is watchable.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Deprive

Review with no spoilers

It's about a man trying to rescue a girl in a post-apocalyptic world.

There is no dialog.

The action was slightly interesting, although there was not much of a story.

The story was weak.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's good. The story is okay.

Enjoyment: Weak (2- out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Presence

Review with no spoilers

It's about a man, who builds robots.

The music is okay, although it's repetitive.

I didn't really understand the point of the story. There was no action, no plot, no interesting visuals.

I didn't like this short film.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay. The film is watchable.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Star Light Angel

Review with no spoilers

It's about two teenage girls visiting a fairground with robots.

There is no dialog, but the animated movements reflect the feelings of the characters.

The music is typical to anime stories like this.

It's a weak story.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay. The film is watchable.

Enjoyment: Weak (2- out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Cloud

Review with no spoilers

It's about a robot walking in front of clouds.

There's no dialogue. The music is good.

There's also no story. I didn't like this short film.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's okay.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I didn't enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion

Review with no spoilers

It's about two mechas fighting against each other in a retro-futuristic setting, with comedic elements.

The music is okay.

Unlike most of the shorts in this anthology, this film actually has a plot, it's just very interesting. The story is childish. However, I think it's probably one of the bests in Robot Carnival.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's good. The story is watchable.

Enjoyment: Weak (2- out of 3 points). It's okay, but didn't really enjoy this.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Chicken Man and Red Neck

Review with no spoilers

It's about a giant robot invading a city.

The music is good.

There is no dialog.

The story is weak, and it was a bit too long for my tastes. By the end, I was bored.

Rating: Weak (2- out of 3 points). Technically it's good. The story is watchable.

Enjoyment: Bad (1 out of 3 points). I didn't really enjoy this.

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Review with spoilers - Memories movie

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Opening & Ending

Review with spoilers

The beginning foreshadows what you will feel during the movie - something that was intended to entertain will destroy everything in its path. The downer ending is also fitting to this otherwise boring film.

The setting

Futuristic, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Plot summary

Opening: A huge vehicle - the titular Robot Carnival - approaches a village in the desert. When the villagers find this out, some tries to escape, some tries to hide. When it reaches the village, it destroys the buildings and kill the villagers in a spectacular fashion.

Ending: We see that the Robot Carnival used to be an entertainment for the people. Then we see the vehicle trying to climb up a hill. Something explodes, and the whole vehicle falls apart. Later, we see a wanderer find a small robot near the wreckage. He brings it back to his children to play. The robot explodes, killing everybody.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. There's a flashback in the beginning of Ending. It doesn't really have a dramatic structure.

Things I liked

  • The Robot Carnivale vehicle looked good

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Franken's Gears

Plot summary

A man tries to power up a large robot. The building starts to crumble around them. Finally the robot stands up. The robot imitates the movements of the man. When the man falls down, the robot falls down on the man, killing him.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one. Maybe "don't build robots"? Or probably the robot is an analogy for a child? So "don't have children"?

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Deprive

The setting

Futuristic world, probably not the Earth.

Plot summary

Robots invade a futuristic city, causing destruction in their path. They take a girl captive, and defeat the android robot that tries to protect her.

The story switches to a man riding a flying bike. He defeats some robots, with superhuman abilities. He reaches a fortress, and attacks the guardian robots, but he is defeated and taken captive. He finds himself tied up, and the girl from the beginning of the story is also there. The evil boss starts to torture him. The prisoner becomes the android robot from the beginning of the story, frees himself, and attacks the boss. During the fight he switches back and forth between robot and human bodies. He defeats the boss, frees the girl, and escapes with her. The girl realises that the man is the robot from the beginning.

According to WikiPedia, the invaders were alien robots, and the boss was an alien leader. The android was upgraded into a combat robot after its defeat in the beginning. I don't think there's any indication of this in the story itself.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Things I liked

  • The look of the boss. He looked like an 1980s rock star.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Presence

Setting

Futuristic setting, with a high-tech tower in the middle of a 19th century town.

Plot summary

There's a man, who has a wife and a daughter. He builds robots. One of his robots, an android girl starts talking about having feelings towards him. When she tries to hug him, he freezes and a small robot falls out of his hand. He is overcome with anger about this, hits the robot girl, then decides to destroy her.

Later, we see the man who became old, his daughter is grown up and she has her own daughter. The man has a vision about the robot girl, so he visits his shed, where the robot still lies wrecked.

Later we see the man visited by the robot girl - he either repaired her or it's a vision again. The wife of the man comes looking for the man, and she sees the man walking with the robot girl then disappear.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence, in three different timelines. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Things I liked

  • The small robots the man made.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Star Light Angel

Plot summary

Two girls visit a theme park that features robots. When one of the girls meets her boyfriend, they realise that the boy is the ex-friend of the other girl. The girl gets angry and runs away. A robot servant sees that she lost her necklace and tries to give it back. The girl sits into one of the rides, and starts flying, but she is attacked by a giant robot. The robot servant attacks the giant robot to defend the girl. As the robot gets damaged, he becomes human. The robot servant defeats the giant robot. In the ending scene we see the two girls waiting at the exit, and a human boy comes out, that looks like the robot servant looked in human form.

According to Wikipedia, when the girl sits into the ride, she enters a virtual reality, and the computer, feeling her dark feelings, summons the giant robot. The robot servant is also a normal human in robot disguise, although this is unlikely, as he wouldn't fit into the robot's suit.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Cloud

Plot summary

A boy-like robot walks in front of clouds. We sometimes see animals, humans, nuclear explosions, various spacecrafts in the clouds. There's a storm that rains on the robot. In the end we see a boy. So, it was probably a boy wearing the costume of a robot, or the robot miraculously turned into a boy, it's unclear.

According to Wikipedia, the robot is travelling through time, witnessing happenings as the universe evolves. After humanity destroys itself, the robot is visited by an angel who turns him into a human. There's nothing in the story that would indicate this interpretation. Also, it seems cruel to turn a practically immortal robot into a human in a barren wasteland, just so he could die alone.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are probably played in sequence. I don't think there's any dramatic structure.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Strange Tales of Meiji Machine Culture: Westerner's Invasion

Review with spoilers

There are no robots in this story, unless you consider mechas as robots.

The setting

The story is set in a retro-futuristic world, or an alternate Earth. It looks like 19th century Japan, but they also have giant mechas. The local mecha is made of wood and steam-powered, the invader mecha is made of bricks and electric powered. Both of them use archaic guns.

Plot summary

A foreigner invades a town in his mecha. The crew of a local mecha power up their vehicle. They start to shoot at each other. Then, after closing up, they start to wrestle. They both fall dawn. The invader mecha escapes.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Things I liked

  • The low-tech mechas were interesting.

Robotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by KadmonRobotto Kānibaru / Robot Carnival, movie (1987) - Film review by Kadmon
image © A.P.P.P.

Chicken Man and Red Neck

Plot summary

A giant robot invades a city, with smaller robot soldiers who cause havoc. A drunken man tries to escape on his motor. Then the giant robot explodes.

The message of the story

I'm not sure there's one.

The structure of the story

The scenes are played in sequence. It has the usual dramatic structure.

Things I liked

  • The various kinds of robots looked good.

 

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I've seen a couple of the works of the creators, but it's hard for me to compare them to this.

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Resources - Robot Carnival movie

IMDB: Robotto kânibaru (1987 Video): Database article.

WikiPedia: Robot Carnival: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Robot Carnival: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: Robotto kânibaru (Robot Carnival): Database article. Another entry about the film.

TV Tropes: Anime / Robot Carnival: Database article.

Reviews with no spoilers - Robot Carnival movie

Cam's Eye View: The Other Side of Animation: Robot Carnival Review: Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with minor spoilers.§

Mangekyo22 (for Anime Manga Palace): Review By Mangekyo022 - Robot Carnival (in Hungarian): Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with minor spoilers, in Hungarian.

English version by Google Translate

Niels Matthijs (Onderhond): Robot Carnival: Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with minor spoilers.

Vintagecoats: Mothballs: Android Dreams of Electric Fireworks: Review article of the Robot Carnival and the Labyrinth Tales movie, with minor spoilers.$

Reviews with spoilers - Robot Carnival movie

Classic Speedy (for Anime Superhero): Review: “Robot Carnival”: In Perfect Working Order: Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with spoilers.

Ink & Jared Nelson (for Ani-Gamers): Oldtaku no Radio #022 – Robot Carnival: Review podcast of the Robot Carnival movie, with spoilers.

Josh (for Classic Anime Museum): #25 : Robot Carnival: Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with spoilers. Includes plot summary for the segments. §

Serdar Yegulalp (for Ganriki): 'Robot Carnival': Machines Of Loving Grace: Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with spoilers.§

the article mirrored on Psycho Drive-In

Stephen (for Silver Emulsion Film Reviews): Stephen reviews: Robot Carnival (1987): Review article of the Robot Carnival movie, with spoilers.§

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Buying the product - Robot Carnival movie

 

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Have you seen the Robot Carnival film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!

 

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