Robot Carnival (1987)

Video   |    |  Animation, Comedy, Drama

Robot Carnival (1987) Poster

A collection of short stories, made by different animators with "robot" as the working title.


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4 July 2007 | Michael Kenmore
I rented this movie by accident a decade ago but one short is UNFORGETTABLE
I wasn't a die-hard anime fan back then as an 18-year old young man, but I happened upon this movie on VHS at an independent video shop after moving from another state. It was placed semi-obscurely at the bottom rack of the animation section but the strange cover artwork case of the VHS edition made an impression on me.

So I rented the videocassette to pop it into the VCR. I was mildly impressed with all of the 'weird' shorts except one short that is so lyrical and surreal it moved me like no anime ever did (except for Spirited Away years later which I admit to having seen 7 times in theatres). That short is called, if I remember correctly, "Cloud".

Independent video shop have since 'closed' (sold its business to a competitor) a few years later and I never had a chance to see the movie again since it's out of print.

Cloud segment is one of the most haunting films (short or feature-length) I've ever seen. Even though I remember *nothing* about the movie, I still recall the Cloud segment.

It's an unforgettable experience witnessing the aesthetically mind-bending short sitting in the darkened living room in the basement on the sunny afternoon day.

The black & white animation...background...strange but haunting ending. I barely remember what the story is about (must be silent) but I understood what it *is* about -- loneliness and requiem for love.

I think it must be seen on the large screen to experience the full effect of emotional tranquility. One of the best examples of surrealist & moving cinema on the meditation of loneliness and love as conveyed by sublime emotional transcendence, animated or not, and one that stamps indelibly in the memory base of the human brain when the viewer is still youthful as a child or adolescent.

Cloud short is an incredibly transcendent work of art in cinema that make for an utterly unforgettable visual experience. One that have the honor of magnificent art among the grandest 2-D dimension paintings of the 17th century Naples and Golden Age of Dutch Art in conveying profound emotions through the magic of artistic motion picture in silence.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

21 July 1987


Japanese, English

Country of Origin


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,642 17 March 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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