Alê Abreu

FILM SYNOPSIS: Despite his family’s poverty, young Cuca lives a satisfying life, full of wonder at his rural surroundings, until his father goes on a train trip and disappears. While searching for his father, Cuca meets a wide variety of people as he journeys from a farming camp to the ocean and a large factory and then back to the big city.

A colored pencil drawn animated feature clocking in at just 80 minutes, “Boy and the World,” like “Inside Out,” carries some adult themes in an animated package. Following a young boy as he adventures into the city, looking for his lost father, the entire film has no real dialogue (it does have some garbles of dialogue, but it’s either in another language with no subtitles or it simply means nothing). The music is what drives the entire film, with a samba beat and tune that acts as the theme, coming up so many times by the end of the film that you’ll have had just about enough by the time the credits roll. The details of the drawings get more intricate the further the boy gets into the city, with trains and armies looking like computer generated graphics and magazine cut outs littering the frame. The film delves into adult themes like the depleting of forests, the industrialization of jobs where machines replace human workers, it even delves into poverty and loneliness. But it all looks brilliant and stands out from its competition.

What’s its competition? If you look at the accolades that “Boy and the World” has already achieved, you’d think it were the front-runner, but “Inside Out” is the juggernaut in this category, appearing absolutely unstoppable. And even then, Charlie Kaufman’s “Anomalisa” is likely the runner-up, with the Academy holding Kaufman in high regard. So if “Boy and the World” fell anywhere on the scale, it’d be in the middle to bottom. The Academy loves Studio Ghibli films as well as Nick Park clay-mation, so really “Boy and the World” is the odd duck out.

Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Alê Abreu.

“Boy and the World” (2015) Trailer:

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// Produced by Tita Tessler and Fernanda Carvalho // Directed by Alê Abreu //
// Dated Viewed: Thursday, February 25th, 2016 // LAEMMLE’S AHRYA FINE ARTS THEATER //  4 films – 4 days //

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