Boy & The World Blu-ray Review
BOY & THE WORLD is a visually stunning animated film from Brazil. It was up for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature field at the 2016 Oscars. If you recall the opening ceremony from the Summer Olympics in Brazil this year, you will be familiar with some of the themes this country holds dear. I readily admit that this movie can be quite obtuse at times, but it is still worth the watch.
The movie features very little dialogue. When there is dialogue, it is spoken in backwards Portuguese. If you are looking for a film like “Frozen” or “Kung Fu Panda”, then this isn’t the movie for you. There isn’t a singing snow queen or a wise cracking panda. There are no laughs to be found at all. The story is a series of images that evokes feelings and tries to educate in a way. Yes, you could say it does get a bit preachy in what it is saying, but that’s all right with all the visual explosion that comes over you.
Cucu (Vinicius Garcia) is a boy who lives in small rural village with his mother (Lu Horta) and father (Marco Aureilo Campos). Cucu has an especially strong bond with his father. His father has a warm spirit and he likes to play his flute to the delight of his son. The family has hit rough times, so his father has to go to the city to find work. It is quite a powerful scene seeing the train pick up the father and have it snake away as the son watches in grief.
Cucu then goes on a magical journey and he is guided by an old man (Ale Abreu) and a young man (Felipe Zelse) and a trusty dog (Cassius Romero). The old man works at a cotton plantation. It is a back breaking work. Abreu does nice work here as you see the plantation from all angles. The foreman at this job wants nothing but able bodied people. If you are too short, you will be gone. If you are too feeble, you are discarded. Abreu may be making commentary here on how poorly older people get treated in the workforce and how quickly they can be disposed of.
The young man that Cucu travels with on a bike focuses more on the urban landscape. The city is full of traffic and smog. It is crowded and overbearing. The factory where the cotton comes to spits out product at a fast pace. Profits are the name of the game. Commercialization gets examined through the television and the commercials that are seen. You also see a future world with flying cars. The imagination is set free with these startling images.
With all the chaos of the urban background, Abreu likes to pull back and show people dancing, playing instruments and singing outside. You are reminded of Carnival in Brazil with the revelry and the good times that are had by all. This is done on two or three occasions. Abreu is possibly saying here that the simple things can be better than the material things that people crave and fight for.
The colors are magical in this movie. It is full of life. Abreu uses quite a few things in the tool box with water colors, colored pencils and simple drawings. He likes the white backgrounds, so it doesn’t feel cluttered at times. Music does play a key part in the proceedings and we hear it wafting throughout. There are sounds made by human body parts that have gotten popular in recent times in films like “Rio 2”.
The film touches on issues with rural and urban areas. It practically bangs you over the head with them. Commercialization, logging, pollution and how we treat the planet are key issues for Abreu. He presents it in an interesting way through the eyes of young child. He does have one misstep when he puts in a live action shot of trees being cut down. It doesn’t really fit with the rest of the film and it sticks out.
BOY & THE WORLD is a brightly colored animated feature that will make you think and thrill you with the visuals.
Video: The colors burst through the screen.
Audio: There is little dialogue in the movie, so sound isn’t important in that aspect. But the sounds of the city and country come through clearly.
The Making of Boy & the World (25:58): The director and his collaborators briefly go over the story. The director shows his early drawings. You also see how various images get done. The music and the dialogue also get discussed.
Music Video “Aos Ochos De Uma Crianca” by Emicida (3:51)