The Boy and the World (2013) Poster

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9/10
Quite special
runamokprods24 February 2015
Sweet, beautiful, wordless animated film, telling the charming, endearing and sometimes sad story of a young boy from the country going in search of his father who has moved to the city to earn money for the family.

The film seems an attempt to see through a child's eyes, and it succeeds, leading to images that are surreal, wondrous and odd, and that don't always make literal sense. Imagine how the high tech modern world would seem to a small boy of say 5, wandering in alone from the countryside. The film captures that feeling

Done in a simple, colorful, handmade style that's the opposite of most computer animation we see these days, recalling artists like Joan Miro, there's a heartfelt quality that goes with the handcrafted nature of its slightly surreal and beautiful images. Truly universal, there's not a single word of real dialogue, just some occasional gibberish-speak. There's also great Brazilian music that changes personality with the boy's adventures, along with a nice lesson for kids about the loss of the beauty of nature in the industrial world. Quite special.
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10/10
One of My Best Discoveries of Late
flamboyanza8 May 2015
The Boy and The World has been one of my best discoveries in recent times. A movie that tells its story not through words but music, colours and the eyes of a young boy with a sense of wonder and innocence. The two dimensional animation did nothing if not alleviate the visual thrill that the movie was. A boy's imaginations were carefully captured that went apace with his emotions.

The story is about our young boy who sets out to seek his father who had to leave to work in the city. But on his journey, the boy finds many more facets of life that he had never experienced. He sees life as it could never have been in his imaginations. It is his survival through all the changes, which he never welcomed or run away from, that meets him in his lifelong quest for his father. It maybe a poignant piece for many viewers, but it is the 'hope' of the better world, which is born anew every time it is vanquished, made the movie marvellous.

Ale Abreu has not only produced a masterpiece, but also, I am sure, has given us that long overdue movie which vibrates in me as a symphony of life.
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Quite possibly one of the best animated films ever made
Red_Identity18 December 2015
It's such a lovely film. Both visually and emotionally rich, one of the most colorful and imaginative animated films I've ever seen. Nearly dialogue-free, one of those films that best portrays the power of the relationship between image and sound. Quite literally perfect, not a thing I would change about it. I don't think it's a stretch to call it perhaps one of the best animated films ever made, surely one of the best I've ever seen. I really hope it gets seen by more people because it would be a shame if it went unnoticed as a whole, truly. Just wonderful in every way. The score deserves even more mentions as well, together with its sound editing.
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9/10
The Full Spectrum of Human Emotion
bkrauser-81-3110648 March 2016
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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9/10
Eco-kitsch or a masterpiece
SunParakeet6 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
(No plot spoilers, but thematic spoilers.)

Yes, this film is, though you may not suspect it at first, about our broken relationship with nature. The city is the bad place, technology is bad, and nature is good and pure. And you can be sure that this message is not handled with any subtlety - at all.

But, I loved this film. And not just because of its magnificent images or because of its brilliantly cute character design.

The message of the film may be an old one and one we have heard many times before. But the way it is shown is unique and utterly impressive. I sat in the cinema today and cried, which I did not do for a very long time. Yes, it is very emotional and extremely passionate, and also relentlessly honest. I was ashamed and deeply sad when I left the theater. And because of its honesty I love it. And because there is truth in this message, there is no way around it. We hurt and destroy our world. And how can we bear seeing this cute boy watching all these grown-ups acting like this, destroying this wonderful, wonderful nature? We can't. And there is a reason why we can't. I think it is because we know that it is wrong.

Well, you'll have to experience it for yourself. Please do. I can promise you that you have never seen anything like it before.
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9/10
Strikingly Colorful and Quite Gorgeous, Boy & the World Spins a Simple, Effective Yarn
drqshadow-reviews23 July 2016
Wonderfully playful animation from Brazil in which a small boy experiences the dueling wonders and terrors of big city life for the first time. The artwork, clearly on showcase opposite a rather modest storyline, varies from light and expressive to rich and densely textured. It can be a real wonder to behold, especially during moments when the child's imagination takes over and the mechanical guts of an industrial zone become huge, towering, ignorant beasts. Virtually language-free (characters speak a made-up dialect once or twice), it's more universal for that decision and really doesn't need the crutch. Though it gets heavy-handed with environmental messaging late in the journey, the film rebounds nicely with an unexpected twist and brings a little mist to the eye for the final scene. An ambitious, often stunning peek at modern life, as seen through the disbelieving eyes we all shared at one time or another, and well worthy of the Oscar attention it received.
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10/10
A Beautiful Experience Like No Other
captainbacon29 February 2016
Boy & The World is a film about a young boy who goes on a journey to find his father in the big city. Along the way, he sees many things, and meets many people. This is the most basic description of what I consider to be one of the best animated films ever made. Let's dig in.

First of all, for a film marketed towards children, it can be quite challenging in different ways. One way is in what it is as a film. The fact that it has absolutely no dialogue and is driven by music and visuals alone is very daring. Another way is in some of the subjects it tackles. This includes things such as the negative influence of industry, the oppression of art and creativity, and the underwhelming reality of adulthood.

I mentioned that the film ditches all talking, instead going for visual and musical storytelling. So does it achieve this goal? Yes. Oh my god yes. Every image that this film throws at you is absolutely gorgeous and full of things to look at. The music is absolutely beautiful, and I'm not lying when I say that I found myself getting chills well an often due to the music. These two factors are what propels the movie and turns it into the great experience it is.

Now let's talk about the overall effect. It was unbelievably effective for me. This is the only film that ever made me weep. I urge any movie fan, or any fan of animated films, to watch this. It is a brilliant experience, and it touches on every emotion I can think of. Happiness, sadness, humor, love, and many more that aren't coming to mind. Go. GO. WATCH IT NOW.
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7/10
Through the eyes of a child
ferguson-611 February 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. It may not be Pixar, but this wonderful film from Ale Abreu is absolutely worthy of its Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, though it's heavier on message than story. It's a wonderful reminder that one of the best features of animation is that the look can be unconventional and still be effective.

The stick figure boy is on a mission to re-connect with his father, who left the family's country home to find work in the big city. For Abreu's film, the boy's real purpose is to be our tour guide through this exploration of the state of the "civilized" world. It's an adventure that provides the boy (and us) insight into cities, the sea, the countryside and agricultural life. It's also an examination of the loss of childhood innocence as we are exposed to reality.

A rare hand-drawn presentation is also mixed-media, as it utilizes a few real news clips to emphasize the cluttered, damaged world. It's a different approach in making the arguments regarding climate change, carbon footprints and socioeconomic imbalance. The hand-drawn core here is more complex than what we initially believe. Colors explode onto the screen, and the visuals often carry multiple meanings in depicting the intended message.

Dialogue is minimal and often garbled in a manner that reminds of any adult in the Charlie Brown comics … but we are never confused on what is being conveyed. In addition to the visuals, sound effects play a huge role, as does the music from composers Ruben Feffer and Gustavo Kuriat, and Brazilian jazz favorite Nana Vasconcelos. It's a unique approach to reminding us that our harsh treatment of the planet could play like a horror story or dangerous adventure to the innocent eyes of a child.
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10/10
An animation masterpiece!
guisreis26 January 2016
This is an amazing animation film! There are many reasons to say that and I will list just a few of them: 1) the film is really touching, captivating, and clever 2) it was able to, more then just telling a story, showing the feelings and impressions of a child, 3) animation is extremely beautiful and innovative at once, as it mixes different techniques and clearly deviates from the styles commonly used (it is also impressive how, with simple lines, we can recognize facial expressions), 4) editing and animating is impressive, showing details and angles which surprise spectator (I loved the scenes of movement showing its impact on environment and what the character sees or thinks and not the boy or the train), 5) it is a brutal representation of social problems and inequalities and the outcomes of capitalism, 6) the metaphors for regional or class contrasts are great, 7) the fantastic use of music throughout the movie is really important for the story, 8) the graphic representation of each part of cotton production is awesome, 9) the journey of the leading character seeking his father and making a living is an unconventional road movie that shows an awesome variety of places (countryside, crowded big city, factory, slum, beach...), particularly if you consider the stylised kind of draw, 10) the not obvious alternations between reality and imagination, past and present, is quite sophisticated, 11) the film mocks about all the vices of advertising and television, 12) there is no need of dialogs or texts and it motivates a joke that is repeated along the film: the advertisements have meaningless texts and the dialogs, although in Portuguese, are backwards, not being understandable for both Brazilians or non-Portuguese speakers, 13) important sociological processes are competently shown in the film, such as migrations between city and countryside, and the effects of both Fordism and automation. To resume: just watch it, and will never forget.
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8/10
The sad reality
Pau-palero971 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Don't let the colorful animation of Boy and the World to distract you from its deep obscure meaning. From the beginning, I thought this was going to be another animated movie for kids but boy was I wrong. Boy in the World is about a Brazilian boy whose life is destroyed. His dad leaves to go find work and the boy want to go find him but instead he finds a terrible world where he is lost. The boy is more of a symbol in the movie, he represents the people of Brazil and how they have suffered because of modernization and capitalism. We can see how the other characters of the movie lose their humanity when they become factory workers or film workers. They are nothing to their country but a source of money. They work all day and they live in terrible conditions. We see a contrast of color and sound in some scenes specifically the ones were the people were being oppressed which give it a darker connotation. But the most effective scenes where not the animation one but when they show small clips of the real world and how bad things really are. A break from the fantasy and a crash into reality.

The movie is a critique of the world we live in and how some people are lost to this society. People are stripped of their lives and are forced to become nothing but and income to those in charge and those in charge clearly don't care about them. The fact that the boy's dad is never found shows just how lost people really get in this world sometimes. I found the movie to be extremely effective at getting its message across. I couldn't stop thinking about this movie for a week after I watched it, it will really make you consider and look with a critical eye what is going on in the world now days. We can let other people be stripped of their humanity there must be something we can do.
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9/10
A genuine masterpiece
AntonNP18 July 2016
This movie is a genuine masterpiece, humane and complex. It's a story of wonder and discovery; the plot simply resolves around this idea. The movie offers the viewer a chance to see the world and explore its immensity together with the little protagonist, and it's simply an offer you can't refuse when each scene is so delicate and so full of life, and draws you in so intensely.

Searching for his father, the titular boy runs from the countryside to the modern city, seeing and meeting an array of characters, all of which portray different states and facets of life, no matter the fact that they not once dialogue – the movie has virtually no spoken lines, but all emotion is generated by the actions and the (very Brazillian) rhythm of the instruments. You can feel the bright joy of the singers, the exhaustion of the rural workers as they go on with their labor routine, the boy's curiosity, and courage to enter each different environment.

Speaking of environment, each is unique, and is as alive as the characters that inhabit them. The boy's home brings a sense of comfort,the cotton plantations are mostly composed of repetitive patterns of trees and carts. The busy city is cramped with ads and cars and machines of all kids.

So although being, in general, lighthearted, the tone is quite emotive; after all, it represents the spectrum of human emotion.

The animation is scribble-like, resembling crayon drawings done by a child, but the fluidity and kaleidoscope of thus fitting perfectly well its theme.

It's the kind of art that I'd recommend anyone to see at least once, for it has much to offer in its pseudo-simplicity. It's a portrait of life, through the eyes of an exploring child.
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4/10
Not Just Naive, but also Intolerably Boring
DareDevilKid26 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 1.9/5 stars

The arrival of a new animated feature from American distributor GKids is usually a good sign. The company has given us international treasures and erstwhile Oscar nominees such as "The Secret of Kells", "Ernest and Celestine", "Chico and Rita" and "A Cat in Paris", which probably would have languished in obscurity were it not were their initiative to ensure that these masterpieces reach a wider American audience.

Its latest release is the Oscar-nominated Brazilian film "Boy & the World", and while the movie is definitely an example of the adventurous, idiosyncratic, art-house animated style the company has come to represent over the years, it comes nowhere close to achieving the heights of the aforementioned titles. Without using any intelligible or even decipherable dialogue (which would have been fine had the narrative not being so tedious and soporific; this is certainly no "Shaun the Sheep"), the animated offering lackadaisically tells the story of a young boy living in an impoverished countryside whose father moves to the city in search of work. Later, the boy follows him, and has a series of encounters that expose him to the woes of the modern world: urbanization, economic exploitation, environmental degradation, and so on. However, the narrative never attempts to offer alternative to what it alludes to being evils that urgently need to be eradicated from our lifestyles.

Director Alê Abreu uses a unique visual style that combines childlike, almost stick-figure people with an increasingly frenzied decoupage to represent the overstimulated world he's swallowed up in. It's rather like a very talented grade-schooler's refrigerator- door drawings expressing life. Unfortunately, the simplistic moral message of the movie and its insistence on remaining nonverbal make "Boy & the World" feel like something that would have been more tolerable as a 15- minute short than an 80-minute feature, which makes us wonder why on earth did this travesty bag an Oscar nomination over other much more deserving animated features this year. Was it just because of the distributor's reputation...?
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10/10
An amazing world's comparation.
elizeuelias6 December 2020
This movie is amazing. On the visual elements, especially the use of the negative space, it's delightful. Very colorful and brilliant. And the history is catchy, you really can understanding the world by a adult vision and a child vision.
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10/10
Wonderful
tati-santi20 June 2020
A wonderful animation with a touching story. Everyone should watch.
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8/10
Fantastic animated story
paulwattriley19 June 2020
This is a well executed animated movie that delivers the message and captures the imagination of the viewer.
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7/10
A long-winded but visually appealing portrayal of a rural child's world as he encounters the city
ReviewingHistory17 June 2020
Boy and the World is best-enjoyed if seen for its visually-appealing and special imagery. The story line is simple and, in a way, universal: a young boy searching and longing for his father. Such a plot is juxtaposed with social commentary on automation, mass economy, advertising culture, and on dangers of a globalized market on the environment. It runs as neither a happy nor sad film, but in the interstitial spaces of change, loss, and ultimately, hope.

While pleasant to watch, the film came across as taking too long to make its main points: it felt it could have been more effective if shortened to 50 minutes or so. In addition, while interesting in its use of gibberish for language, the power of language seemed like wasted and lost. On that note, I am confident that words in this mostly silent but musical film would add for a powerful and memorable effect: would bring us closer to the heart and soul of characters, and their hopes.

Yet all in all, Boy and the World offers a pleasant weekend afternoon conveying both child and adult themes at once. It is best appreciated if watched by both an adult and a child, so the mixing between vivid visuals and critical message are discussed, and explored. The age group of 8-12 seems optimal for this film, with an accompanying teacher or adult to guide a discussion afterwards.
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8/10
Very abstract parable
briancham199431 May 2020
This is not a typical animated film. It has a unique visual and narrative style to represent ideas in an abstract way. Symbols of modern civilisation are garbled and remixed to reveal their "true form". The protestors are colourful and lively, the police are grey and oppressive, the manufacturers are otherworldly, and so on. The boy searches for his father but it seems to be a search for something greater.
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9/10
An ambitious, often stunning peek at modern life
eminkl18 April 2020
Wonderfully playful animation from Brazil in which a small boy experiences the dueling wonders and terrors of big city life for the first time. The artwork, clearly on showcase opposite a rather modest storyline, varies from light and expressive to rich and densely textured. It can be a real wonder to behold, especially during moments when the child's imagination takes over and the mechanical guts of an industrial zone become huge, towering, ignorant beasts. Virtually language-free (characters speak a made-up dialect once or twice), it's more universal for that decision and really doesn't need the crutch. Though it gets heavy-handed with environmental messaging late in the journey, the film rebounds nicely with an unexpected twist and brings a little mist to the eye for the final scene. An ambitious, often stunning peek at modern life, as seen through the disbelieving eyes we all shared at one time or another, and well worthy of the Oscar attention it received.
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10/10
The best film I've seen in a long time
bellasings-4791718 February 2020
Boy & the World is an experience unlike any other. It's as if you are viewing the world through the eyes of a child once again. Although not a single word it uttered, I was moved to tears many times while watching this gem of a film. The emotions feel real & raw & invoke a sense of awe about the world. The attention to detail is so impressive that I feel I could watch it 100 times & still notice something new. A powerful film for anyone with a heart that still beats.
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10/10
The most astonishing expirience visually as it is deep.
Animany9417 October 2019
You won't most likely find a movie quite like this one out there. The animation is like nothing you'll see elsewhere and the music that accompanies the constant flow of astonishing imagery is so infectious.

And all is used to convey a message of this little boy's search for his father while he on the way discovers the harsh reality of such grave topics like the consequences of globalization, the harsh working conditions of many people in the industries, destruction of forests, you name it.

Not in a very long time have I witnessed an animated movie which dared take such risks. This is a must watch, not only for the message but for the expirience of this spectacularly vibrant animation which in itself takes you on a journey of emotions constantly exploding onto the screen.
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10/10
Made me feel something
freewill78518 March 2019
It is beautifully made. I can't explain how extraordinary it is. The director uses traditional technique mixed with different styles and the outcome? Visually expressive and the meaning it holds is touching.
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9/10
Beautiful.
invisibleunicornninja18 December 2018
This is just a wonderfully animated story and while at times it gets a bit boringish I believe that it should be watched by everyone.
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7/10
unique animation
SnoopyStyle28 December 2017
The boy is sadden when his father leaves on the train to find work in the big city. He goes off into the big world in search for his father.

This is a Brazilian animation nominated for an Oscar in 2015. The animation style is colorful stick figures. It has a very unique look. It doubles down by having limited rudimentary dialogue done in gibberish. I do wonder if this would function better as a short, maybe half hour. The theme does get deeper as it delves into globalization and modernization. It's a slow turn into this darker material that is most disconcerting. There is a reveal at the end about the boy and the father which is probably confused especially without dialogue. It could have been done straight forward.
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10/10
A colorful animated adventure.
lukasvangestel8 December 2017
Boy and the World may seem as a simple animated movie, but it doesn't take long to discover it's a colorful, stylish, complex, handcrafted Brazilian animated adventure. The movie is without dialog, but it doesn't need any words to tell it's beautiful story of a boy traveling to the city to find his father and reunite his family. Boy and the world manages to capture the wonder and uncertainty of childhood while dealing with heavy themes as industrialisation, urbanisation and social inequality. I urge everybody to watch it! This is a must-see for children and adults.
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Heart-warming yet confrontational story about an innocent boy in a not so innocent world.
annejimkes6 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The simplistic and almost childish animation style of this film still manages to convince an adult viewer to believe in the existence of and get involved in the world that it is depicting. How is this made possible? The world we see on the screen is given life by the colorful and creative use of sound and music. Despite the fact that the little amount of dialogue in the movie is unintelligible, it does not mean that it bears no significance. The utterances of reversed Portuguese can still be interpreted in combination with the images and what we know of the story. Interestingly enough, these pieces of dialogue were not recorded in normal order and then reversed. In that case it would not sound as natural as it does now. This approach to the lack of real dialogue is supported by an interview with the director Alê Abreu in the Brazilian magazine Revista da Cultura. In this interview he explains that The Boy and the World actually emerged from the idea of an animated documentary called Canto Latino about the formation of Latin America until the period of dictatorships. This documentary would use music, such as the songs of protest from the 1960s and '70s, to guide the story. Instead, Abreu was inspired to make an animated fiction film which still used the principle of music as a guiding force behind the story. However, another motivation for the original use of dialogue is that the film is following the boy's perspective which causes the dialogue and other linguistic utterances to be a scrambled mass of (familiar) sounds. The boy experiences the world as a child who does not yet understand the harsh reality which his parents are well aware of. The intention to show the movie and the world through the boy's eyes is explicitly brought to the attention of the audience through the title of one of the film's theme songs Aos olhos de uma criança (In the eyes of a child) sung by the rapper Emicida. The entire story is connected by one single leitmotif in the score which is first played as source music by the father and then repeated to remind the spectator of the boy's goal during his adventure. This song also connects sound to image and creates an organic unity between the two sides of the medium. Whenever someone plays the song, colored bubbles appear and float into the sky. This visualization of music supports the story by forming a metaphor for the battle between the civilians and the military. One of the characteristics of the soundtrack, which attracted me to the discussion of this particular film, is the mixture of sound effects and musical elements. Some clear examples of this mixture of sound effects and music are the sounds of various animals, such as chickens, a butterfly, and a horse, but also the sounds of traffic which are mixed with the percussion and special sound installations, or even the sound of picking a flower which is replaced by the pluck of a violin string. This unexpected use of musical instruments gives more color and character to the images on the screen and also emphasizes the child's perspective on the world. The soundtrack was constructed with contributions from Naná Vasconcelos, Emicida, Barbatuques, and GEM (Grupo Experimental de Música). Especially Naná Vascocelos, Barbatuques, and GEM played an important role in the creation of music that could be either part of the score or part of the Foley, SFX, and ambiance, and even function as a musical kind of wallah, which adds a threatening undertone to the scenes of the military in the big city. All three bring their own style and expertise to the mix which creates an extremely original and creative sound. Naná Vasconcelos is a vocal artist and percussionist who even uses pots and pans to find the perfect sound for a scene. Both Barbatuques and GEM are groups of musically talented people. However, there is a big difference between the methods of both groups. While the Barbatuques musicians use body percussion and create rhythms with voice effects and different kinds of claps, snaps, and feet stamps, the GEM musicians use fantastical instruments and sound installations which are invented and created by themselves to create a perfectly customized and original sound. Thanks to the wide range bastidores (backstage) material displayed on the film's website, it is possible to see short clips of the production process of all these different artists and their individual music styles.
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