Ronja, the Robber's Daughter

Ronja the Robber's Daughter

Air Date: 
Friday, January 27, 2017

Studio Ghibli is famously known for their animated feature films and decades of quality work have cemented them as one of the best animation studios in the world. Their latest venture, however, takes them into the television world with Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter. This 26-episode anime series is made in partnership with Polygon Pictures for Amazon Prime Video. Gorō Miyazaki, son of acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki, is the director. While the series is primarily geared towards kids, it’s suitable for everyone of any age.


Based on the Swedish children’s fantasy book by the same name, Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter tells the story of Ronja, a 10-year-old girl who was born into a family of robbers living in an abandoned castle surrounded by woodlands. As she grows up, she must adapt to the bandit’s lifestyle and learn how to survive the dangers of the forest. Everything is new to her and much of her knowledge comes from a trial-by-fire experience as she is typically thrusted into a given situation without a moment’s notice.


As with anything bearing the Studio Ghibli name on it, the first thing you notice is the quality of the animation. Now, Ronja isn’t a full fledged Studio Ghibli production; it’s animated by Japanese 3DCG animation studio Polygon Studios and co-produced by Ghibli. The style of the series is cel-shaded computer animation. At first glance it looks a bit off as the characters appear stiff against still backgrounds. There’s not as much flowing movement as I expected, especially given past Ghibli productions. It’s also dated as it was created in October 2014 for Japanese audiences and is just now being dubbed for the English language. It’s still not bad, though.


I love the characters themselves, especially Ronja and her father, Mattis. I noticed the level of detail put into their eyes more than anything. They’re able to convey so much emotion through just their eyes alone, and it’s what sets the series apart from other animations I’ve seen. Even though the animation can appear rigid at times, the series as a whole is beautiful to look at. The backdrops have a hand drawn quality to them that would probably still look gorgeous even on their own. The score and music is absolutely fantastic as well and captures the natural beauty and innocence of the world.


What makes Ronja special is just how great the character is. Even though she’s 10 years old, she’s this strong and independent girl who believes that she can take on the outside world. In a world full of adults, she’s often the calm voice of reason among all the chaos. She’s an excellent character kids can watch and aspire to be like.


Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is a perfect television series parents can watch together with their kids. With all 26 episodes releasing on Amazon Prime at once, families are able to watch the series at their own pace whenever or wherever they like. It may not be the best thing barring the Studio Ghibli name, but it still does the studio proud.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook