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.