1980’s New York even to those who never experienced it, feels authentic here in its animated form.

That could be due to the films and TV series of the time being popular and watched around the world. The likes of Fame, When Harry Met Sally, on TV, Taxi, Cagney and Lacey, for others it was the thriving 80’s disco scene. These films, series and music sparked a curiosity of what was happening in New York. Of course, there’s a far darker side but that can be put to one side.

What director Pablo Berger with co-writer Sara Varon (adapted from her graphic novel) have done is taken that vibrancy, animated it, and populated the city with anthropomorphic animals, and robots. The animals have their lives, work leisure, and simply known as dog, cat, and so on.

Dog is lonely, living on a poor diet of tv and the microwave dinners. Seeing an ad, he orders a robot as a companion, and they click. This leads to a wonderful sequence that should ensure Earth, Wind and Fire’s ‘September’ will be the sound of the coming summer.

But a trip to the beach goes wrong and Dog has to leave robot behind. As its the closed season, several attempts to break in and get robot back fail. He gives up and waits for the beaches to open again. Meanwhile both begin to dream.

They take the viewer on fantastical and at times psychedelic flights featuring the Yellow Brick Road, dancing daisies or Dog going bowling with some very peculiar people.

The film, save for sounds and music is silent. Made in 2D animation, the backgrounds are stunning, the colours and hues leap out of the screen complementing the fairly simple renditions of the moving characters.

The pacing is leisurely, breaking down into several parts as Dog and Robot become soul-mates, enjoy high jinks, going through loss, yearning and understanding.

It is also, at times very funny through some brilliant sequences as when the lonely dog is picked on by anteaters when sledging in the Catskills.

There are a couple of other characters later on but for the most part the film rests on the dog and robot friendship. An endearing, touching relationship that is wrenched away leaving them with only their memories, followed the effect that time has on those.

This is not a deceptively simple tale; it is a simple tale. Just one that channels some of the most powerful emotions that people will ever experience over a lifetime in a way that could be described a deceptively childlike way.

Robot Dreams will be in UK cinemas from 22 March 2024.