Roberto the Insect Architect
Welcome to the web page for the film Roberto the Insect Architect! The animated film tells the story of Roberto, a termite who likes to build with wood, not eat it. And so he sets off for the big city to pursue his dream of becoming an architect. Despite hard times and rejection from big shot architects like Hank Floyd Mite and Fleas Van Der Rohe, Roberto eventually finds a way to "build his dream."
Based on the book written and illustrated by Nina Laden, Roberto is directed by Galen Fott and Jerry Hunt. Animation is by Galen Fott at Bigfott Studios (formerly Grundoon Studios). Jerry Hunt composed the score. Sean Hayes (Jack on "Will and Grace") narrates. The film is co-produced with Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly at Weston Woods Studios. Running time is 11:37.
To purchase the film on the Scholastic Storybook Treasures DVD Katie Loves the Kittens, click here.
To purchase the film on the Scholastic Video Collection DVD Arnie the Doughnut, click here.
To purchase the film on the Scholastic Video Collection DVD Diary of a Spider, click here.
To visit Weston Woods Studios' Roberto page where you can purchase the film alone on DVD, click here.
To visit author/illustrator Nina Laden's website, click here.
To visit director/animator Galen Fott's personal website, click here.
To visit director/composer Jerry Hunt's website, click here.
To follow Sean Hayes on Twitter, click here.
AWARDS, HONORS, AND SCREENINGS
American Library Association ALSC 2006 Notable Children's Video
KIDS FIRST! Film and Video Festival - Best Short Film for Ages 5-12
Showcomotion Film Festival - Best Short Animation Audience Award
Weekend Digital Film Festival - Best Children's Film
East Lansing Children's Film Festival - Best of the Fest
WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival - Bronze Remi Award
San Francisco International Film Festival - Golden Gate Award nominee
Hiroshima International Animation Festival
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Carrousel international du film de Rimouski
San Francisco International Children's Film Festival
Chicago International Children's Film Festival
Nashville Film Festival
London Film Festival
Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival
San Diego International Children's Film Festival
Athens International Animation Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Brooklyn International Film Festival kidsfilmfest
Heart of Gold International Film Festival
Big Bear Lake International Film Festival
SouthSide Film Festival
Fall River Children's Film Festival
Kids With Cameras Film and Photo Festival
Big Muddy Film Festival
Urban Kidz Film Festival
Jackson Heights International Film Festival
Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
Northampton Independent Film Festival
Two River Film Festival
Belmont World Film Family Festival
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Wood Green International Short Film Festival
EarthDance International Environmental Film Festival
Santa Fe Family Film Festival
American Corner Craiova
Walker Art Center
Little Big Shots
Architectuur Film Festival - Rotterdam
Yale Center for British Art Children's Film Festival
Sydney Opera House
Lola Kenya Screen
The Newark Museum
Melbourne International Animation Festival
International Children’s Film Festival of Cyprus
Worldkids International Film Festival
BUFF Film Festival
Family Friendly Film Festival
Detroit Windsor International Film Festival
Family Friendly Film Festival, Manchester
Newark Black Film Festival
Australian International Animation Festival
New Zealand International Film Festival
London International Animation Festival
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Mountainfilm in Telluride
North Carolina Museum of Art
The Belcourt Theatre, Nashville
REVIEWS AND PRAISE
"Based on Nina Laden's book, the film expertly animates the mixed-media collage bits, bringing the cut papers, wood veneers, magazine images and blueprints to life. (Visually), the film is clean and easy to follow. The soundtrack script follows the book exactly, and Sean Hayes' clear narration complements the story as do the background sounds and soft-jazz music. Filled with puns and wordplay, as well as intriguing and detailed images, older students will truly enjoy the humor and cleverness that abounds. A hit for art classes, budding builders, and teachers who want to promote creativity in children." -- Angela Reynolds, School Library Journal
"Innovative animation enhances this delightful adaptation of Nina Laden's picture book about Roberto, a termite who dreams of being an architect. Bouncy, jazzy music accompanies the starry-eyed termite as he heads to the big city to pursue a job. Inventive three-dimensional collages, which combine painted, drawn, and photographed images, soar across the screen in a witty, eye-popping fashion. Narrator Sean Hayes has a blast reading the hilarious text packed with bug puns and silly wordplay. Giddily flexing his voice, Hayes plays a variety of winged characters with high-spirited glee. When triumphant Roberto saves the day by building a community for a bunch of homeless insects, goofy sound effects fill the air, and cheers ring out. This whimsical production not only works as a spirited introduction to the world of architecture but as an oddly inspiring look at pursuing one's dreams." -- Brian E Wilson, Booklist
"...vibrant collage cutout-animated adaptation...The winning combination of gorgeous artwork and very clever wordplay adds up to a delightful tale that is sure to inspire little dreamers...this is highly recommended. (3.5 out of 4 stars)" -- R. Pitman, Video Librarian
"Beginning today, the National Gallery will offer a series of short, animated films from all over the world that spotlight tiny creatures...and the American 'Roberto the Insect Architect' (which looks pretty spectacular)." -- The Washington Post
"This film is a very funny animation that made me smile. The pictures were very well drawn and everything was very clear. The speed was not too fast, I could easily follow it, and not too slow, so that it was not boring...I would like to see the film again." -- Connor Raab, age 7
"'Roberto the Insect Architect' was not good, it was amazing!...I liked the animation in this film because the insects were made to be part human and part insect, so I could relate to the characters. I thought the film was very funny because it used insect names instead of human names for all parts of the insect world...Most of all I enjoyed the way this film told the story." -- Sarah Hearn, age 8
"One of the films that appealed to most viewers was 'Roberto the Insect Architect'...I learnt that despite what people tell you, do what you want and it will bear fruit." -- Bakhita Mugoya, age 12
"This film was very interesting and it had a very good message to pass to children. The audience really liked it." -- Ashley Asiala, age 11
“This grouping of five animated shorts is incredibly strong and is anchored by two runaway hits at the front of the disc, one featuring the title character...and the other a civic-minded insect. Arnie the Doughnut and Roberto the Insect Architect are two cartoons that go a long way in reminding this dad and author just how much creative juice exists in the world of children’s entertainment.” -- “Out With the Kids” blog on the “Arnie the Doughnut” DVD release
“The animation was very cool and kind of edgy. The voices were well done and it was well received by all.” -- Virginia Film Festival
Images from the film Roberto the Insect Architect, Copyright © 2005 Jerry Hunt, Galen Fott/Grundoon, and Weston Woods Studios, Inc.
Roberto the Insect Architect book Copyright © 2000 by Nina Laden