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DocumentaryFeature Film

‘Between Frames’ Documentary Spotlights A Century of Brazilian Animation

When you think of countries that are known for their animation, Brazil is probably not among the first that comes to mind. However, the country has nearly a century-long history of producing animation, and while historically most of the animation they’ve made hasn’t been seen outside of its borders, there have been notable contributions to the art form throughout the country’s history. With the animation industry growing quickly in Brazil—they are ranked #7 for countries that visit Cartoon Brew most often—it is a great time to explore the country’s animation legacy.

A new documentary called Between Frames: The Art of Brazilian Animation (Portuguese language trailer above) is scheduled to make its North American debut at the Palm Beach International Film Festival this Sunday, April 6th. Directed by Eduardo Calvet and produced by Canal Brasil, the doc establishes the 1917 release of cartoonist Álvaro Marins’ short film The Kaiser as the birth of Brazilian animation and follows the progress of Brazilian animation in film, television, and advertising up through the modern era. The documentary has been screened in several Brazilian film festivals, under its original title Luz, Anima, Ação, and earned recognition for best picture and best director at the 7th Festival de Cinema Curta Cabo Frio.

Alongside interviews with Brazilian animation talent from across the diaspora like Blue Sky director Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age 2), Between Frames will feature the result of a special animation project honoring Marins’ pioneering short, which is now lost. Eight animators have each recreated a scene from The Kaiser using their own personal styles. The homage is showcased in the trailer below (in Portuguese) and features animation artists Fábio Yamaji, Rosana Urbes (The Little Match Girl, Lilo & Stitch, Mulan) and Marcos Magalhães, whose film Doctor, My Son is an Animator was featured on Cartoon Brew last week.

Learn more about Between Frames: The Art of Brazilian Animation on its
Facebook or YouTube pages.

  • Taco

    A nice little nod to Richard Williams with the Between Frames publicity poster image. I just hope that this also has it’s own identity and actually focuses on the Art of Brazilian Animation, and that it isn’t just another video-doc hyping the already recognized throngs of multiple generations of aspiring artists who love comics, animation & the visual image as a story. Make it about Brazil, I want to know about those people & their history, thoughts & ideas that I didn’t already know about.

    • henrycorps

      I had the privilege to watch the film in its premiere in Rio.
      I was amazed to see how rich the history of animation is in Brazil, and I can’t imagine how exciting would be for people who never heard about brazilian animation. I think you won’t regret.

      • Taco

        Cool, that’s good to know. Thanks Henry, I will definitely check it out.

  • James Madison

    It’s always good to see other cultures and countries perspective when it comes to animation (all things really).

  • Phillip

    Brazilian animation is almost unknown, even inside its borders! So this documentary is a true historic register of what was done in the last century! Really interesting, for sure! The movie has a Facebook page: and a channel in vimeo: I really think there will be an English version of its promotional material soon. The international carreer is just beginning!