Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Boy and the World

The Boy and the World
Voices of: Marco Aurélio Campos, Vinicius Garcia and Lu Horta

Rated: PG for thematic material and images.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: December 25, 2015 Released by: Espaço Filmes

An inventive Brazilian hand-drawn animated feature has had its release delayed due to a number of factors and may have trouble finding a theatric audience. Even in alternative art-house venues as some scenes may be too unsettling for smaller fry who'll be lost when it comes to motifs about modern globalization and capitalistic consumerism. The few words heard are of the gibberish kind, as well as the writing, just enough for some to get the significance of an ever-present clutter.

Still, seeing The Boy and the World from its easygoing stick-figured protagonist cherub Cuca can be rewarding on a number of levels as next year's Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics approaches. From the closing credits quite a number of technical collaborators have made something unusually stimulating - visually and aurally. Especially in using flavorful native rhythms from cymbals and drums to flutes and maracas that can elucidate a dislocating bustle.

Director Ale Abreu curiously navigates the adobe rural and metropolis with collaging, crayons and watercolors to illuminate a constancy of wonderment and interpretation that is a game-like pursuit with charming contrariety albeit amidst depravity. A modicum of hope is offered finally without the kind of denouement offered in many big studio productions as Cuca's desperate dad looks to provide for his family when farming isn't making ends meet.

Going over land and sea into industrialization the process of producing clothing from cotton becomes interwoven into the discordantly distressing, a trenchant adult reality. In one instance suggestive of what was happening on a planet surface in a wondrous Wall-E. Another scene captures the clash in aviary form of freedom and oppression (an emblem of which exemplifying a most notorious sect of the 20th Century).

From the studio that produced the grandiloquent Song of the Sea, here's an interesting, unsubtle invitation in the filmmaker's second cinematic incarnation to allow a simple tale awash in child-like experience to awe in its unique melodic bewilderment.

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The Boy and the World        B                     B 

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