An amazing Brazilian animation that truly exemplifies the power of imagery and music as a combination that has more than enough to portray a powerful and deep message. It shows an adventurous quest that illustrates the issues of the modern world through the eyes of a child. A cautionary tale of globalization, The Boy And The World teaches above all the dangers of the massification of the economy, of the mind, and of the soul.Written by
The development of the movie started as a documentary on Latin America. Alê Abreu said that the transformation into an animated film happened naturally and that he feels like he made two movies, with the documentary inside the animated movie. See more »
Decades behind a computer, toiling and tinkering with the programming and software has given us the near-photographic realism of CGI animation. The culmination of which is the film Inside Out (2015) which won the Best Animated Feature Oscar this past year. Yet as anyone who truly loves animation will know, it's not about who has the most detailed techniques or the most expensive equipment. With great ideas and simple yet sublime stories, something as lo-fi as Boy and the World can move its audience to the core.
The story begins with a young boy (Garcia) who lives in a rural abode near the jungle. His father (Campos), a mustached man sporting a straw hat and a flute, grabs a suitcase and heads to the city. the boy is heartbroken by his father's sudden absence and decides to head to the city to find him. On his odyssey he meets a host of colorful characters and comes face to face with the seductiveness, absurdity and danger of modern life.
The animation is reminiscent of the work of Don Hertzfeldt. Everything is cobbled together with simple geometric shapes and seemingly done in charcoal and crayon. Yet unlike Hertzfeldt's work there isn't a sense of ruing existential doom; at its heart it is innately humanistic. Its simplicity and kaleidoscopic vision immediately strikes you with a sense of childlike wonder and as things in the story become more complex it washes over you in a flood of emotion and awe. The color palette in this film is so effective in rendering the wonder of the jungle, the bustling of the city and the rainbow-tinged weaving's of the Mestizo people that parade down the streets.
It's important to note that the movie is largely non-verbal. What is uttered is dubbed in backward Portuguese and the only guiding light you're given are the visuals and the soundtrack. And what a neat soundtrack it is! Grupo Experimental de Musica (GEM), Emicida, Nana Vasconcelos and the Bushdancers all somewhat obscure Brazilian bands that help the story gently flow through you. Not since the early work of Hayao Miyazaki has there been a more genuine work of youthful artistic expression and such a full spectrum of unfettered emotion.
A movie so deceptively simple and yet so emotionally complex comes around only once every few years, and an animation of this caliber comes round perhaps once in a generation. Some may not be hard won by it's environmental overtones and be contrarian to its thoughts on consumerism yet there's no denying that a story this human deserves attention and praise. Blink and you'll miss this little gem but if you can find it in theaters or (hopefully soon) on Netflix, I highly recommend it.
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