Verdict: A revelation of childlike wonder that goes beyond words.
The Boy and the World, originally titled O Menino e o Mundo, is a creatively animated film from Brazil. Directed, written, and hand-drawn by Alê Abreu, it was nominated for Best Animated Feature for the 88th Academy Awards and has won over 40 film festival awards.
What's The Boy and the World About:
Cuca (Vinicius Garcia) is a young boy who lives with his father (Marco Aurélio Campo) and mother (Lu Horta) on a farm in a mystical universe where he plays with plants and animals. One day, his father leaves to find better work opportunities in the city. Saddened by the loss of his father, he goes on a quest to find him and discovers the great big world.
Even with almost no dialogues and the few that are there being in an imaginary language, The Boy and the World manages to convey emotions through colors and music. Happiness is represented with bright vivid colors and sadness is drab, darker shades. Telling the story in this unique way creates a deeper connection than most films can manage, let alone an animated film. The animation is also quite different. Most modern animated films try to be realistic in some way, but The Boy and the World is what would happen if a child's crayon scribbles came to life and it creates a much richer connection for that very reason. After all, what could have been a better medium to show the world through a young boy's eyes than crayon?
The biggest success of The Boy and the World is capturing everything that makes childhood special, especially the feeling of wonder. Whether it's being enraptured by the tiniest images and sounds to creating imaginative little games, the film is a perfect walk down the memory lane of childhood.
What Could Have Been Better:
There are times it is not clear what is happening as the scenes are quite abstract. Thankfully, the main story is quite simple so even as the meaning of some scenes might not be clear, it does not distract you from the film. It takes a few minutes to get used to the mystical world of the film but once you do, it will hold your attention until the end.
Why You Should Watch It:
It's not often that you can see such artistic films in theatres and this is one film that's unlike any other. The Boy and the World is a film that kids can enjoy without thinking and will make adults feel.
Note: This film has a limited release and is currently only releasing in Mumbai and Bangalore.