The vibrantly musical world of Alê Abreu’s Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo)

(image via First Showing (c) GKIDS)
(image via First Showing (c) GKIDS)


“Cuca’s cozy rural life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting him to embark on a quest to reunite his family. The young boy’s journey unfolds like a tapestry, the animation taking on greater complexity as his small world expands. Entering civilization, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines, with barrios of decoupage streets and shop windows and flashing neon advertisements that illuminate the night. The story depicts a clash between village and city, hand crafted and mechanized, rich and poor – and throughout the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a song.” (official synopsis via Indiewire)

It’s a rare thing indeed to come across a film, any film animated or not, that completely floors you with its beauty, its emotionally heartfelt message and its deep abiding sense of authentic humanity.

But Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) from talented Brazilian director Alê Abreu manages to deliver all that in spades, and with a dialogue-free running time that relies on emotion and a vibrant musical soundtrack of samba and Brazilian hip-hop to provide a rich narrative backdrop.

And that is an impression gleaned from simply watching the richly-detailed, poignant yet joyful trailer alone.

The good news, according to Variety is that it is every bit as wonderful as the trailer suggests:

“A simple, universal parable played out in boldly imaginative (though not particularly high-tech) design terms, Brazilian animator Ale Abreu’s second feature, The Boy and the World, is an enchanting visual treat. Though programmed mainly in family-film sections at the Seattle Film Festival and other events, the dialogue-free pic may be a bit abstract for children, and its primary appeal will likely be as a major event for adventuresome adult animation fans.”

Dark and bleak as the adventure might be at times, this looks like it will be a rewarding journey for anyone fortunate enough to see it.

Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) opens 11 December 2015 in USA (after premiering in Brazil in January 2014).


Related Post