The Wild Robot Review: With Spoilers and Spoiler-Free

Mei Aguon, Reporter

A Short Overview

A Rozzum-type robot (nicknamed Roz) washes up on the shore of a remote island. She is accidentally activated and then starts exploring the island and establishing a reputation with the animals that live there. (Mostly negative, at first.) How will she earn the trust of her fellow islanders? How did she end up there? Will she always truly be an outsider, and what will threaten her survival?

When I was young and consumed five books a week, audiobooks seemed weird to me. Why would I listen to a book when I could read it faster than the narrator could talk? My attention span couldn’t fathom it. 

Eight years later, I get it. How could I have been so short-sighted (pun)? Audiobooks are the best invention ever. Personally, I believe that my worsening eyesight led me to a change of heart. I find my eyes get tired trying to read tiny lines of text for hours straight. Changing the font to a dyslexic font helps, but sometimes I don’t even want to expend energy looking at things when I have spent all day doing homework. Plus, I’m constantly running around doing tasks that don’t free up my eyes. Audiobooks are like a safe, comfortable vacation for your ears. 

When I got my paycheck a few weeks ago, I bought an audiobook for a short robot-related story I thought might be interesting. I blasted through it while walking around doing housework. That audiobook is…The Wild Robot!

Out of all the books I’ve read, this one is probably the furthest from my demographic; it even has pictures. But no matter. If it has robots in it, I will review it. In fact, I wrote two reviews.

Art by Peter Brown

My Spoiler-Free Review

I really enjoyed this book. I think Roz is just the right amount of robot for children who don’t really care about robots (unlike me). I don’t think parents would be annoyed by it either. The audiobook is also really nicely narrated and has audio bites of nature sounds scattered throughout. It was sort of like watching a movie. I would define this story as less of sci-fi/survival and more like a fairytale with robots in it. It reads that way, but it reads well. The art is beautiful and geometric, also created by the author, Peter Brown. I’m planning on reading the sequel, which is called The Wild Robot Escapes, and probably some other books that are meant for people my age. Probably…




My Spoiler-Filled Review

I must be truthful, I went into this book with an entirely different idea of what it was. I thought Roz would be a silent protagonist and we would have to look on the outside to figure out what was on her mind; something like Hatchet. But she talks! And so do the animals, which made me do a double-take while listening. Roz is good-natured because she’s been programmed to assist humans, so she acts kind of like Robot Snow White in this regard, conversing (robotically) with animals in the animal language. It’s cute to listen to, though, and Roz is a very charming, motherly figure. I think we have a shortage of motherly robots in media that don’t end up being evil, so I’m not complaining. If I was a nerd, I would criticize the fact that Roz seems to have feelings very similar to a human’s, and the book doesn’t really care about her own ridiculously high level of sentience. To be fair, this book is for kids and I don’t think the author wanted to give kids an existential crisis while they read their bedtime story. 

In the best way, Roz also gets points for being motherly and gendered female while looking like an expressionless, menacing iron golem.