Indie distributor GKIDS continues its remarkable streak of bringing worthy international foreign animated features to American audiences: its next release will be the Brazilian film Boy and the World, which is now set to open in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, December 11th, before expanding nationwide in January 2016.

Yesterday, GKIDS released a new trailer for the film that shows off the film’s dazzling universe:

The wordless musical directed by Ale Abreu has won over 40 international festival awards, including (full disclosure) the feature film prize at Anim’est 2014 where I was one of the jury members.

One of 16 films submitted for Oscar consideration, Boy and the World is angling to become the first Brazilian (not to mention South American) film nominated for an animated feature Academy Award. And if any South American film has a shot, this is it. It’s a one-of-a-kind statement that takes full advantage of the art form to create a world which can only exist in animation.

Here’s the official synopsis from GKIDS:

Cuca lives a life of quiet wonder, exploring all that the countryside has to offer. But his cozy 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 and variety as his small world expands. Simple line drawings of the village give way to broad brushstrokes forming giant bushels of cotton lining country roads and sweeps of pastel churned into roaring waves. Approaching the city, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines, whirling carnival colors and exploding fireworks fill the sky above decoupage favelas, while flashing neon advertisements and garish shop windows illuminate the night. Entirely wordless, the narrative describes a clash between poor and rich, countryside and city, indigenous and imperial, handcrafted and mechanized – and throughout the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a song. Accompanying the stunning visuals is a rich soundscape of pan-flute, samba, and Brazilian hip-hop, creating the powerful visceral experience of a passage through life.

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