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Roberto the Insect Architect

This 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 the Insect Architect 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 narrates. The film is co-produced with Linda Lee, Paul R. Gagne, and Melissa Reilly at Weston Woods Studios. Running time is 11:37.

Roberto the Insect Architect
Roberto the Insect Architect



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

Anima Mundi

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

Guggenheim Museum

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

Roberto the Insect Architect



"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 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

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