Monday, October 16, 2017

O Menino e o Mundo/The Boy and the World (2013)

Cuca is a young boy.  He lives on what appears to be a farm with various animals to play with.  Also present are his parents.  One day, his father leaves on a train to find work, which understandably upsets Cuca.  He eventually tries to see where his father went only to end up being rescued by an old man.  The man picks cotton for a living, but is eventually sent home when he’s too sick to work.  Cuca then travels some more and sees people working in a factory.  Cuca gets to see the city and all its many residents, but seems to stick to one resident in particular.  Cuca has an epic adventure, witnessing parades and even a battle between musically generated birds.

When I first started watching the movie, I was a little worried because I couldn’t see the captions.  I knew the language wasn’t English, but I wasn’t sure if the captions weren’t working of if I couldn’t see them against the white background.  It turned out that what little dialogue the movie had was reversed Portuguese.  Instead, the movie relies on it’s distinctive animation style to tell the story.  There is a little bit of live action towards the end of the movie, which fortunately isn’t that distracting.

There’s also a lively soundtrack with many of the notes being represented by little dots of color.  (This is how we end up with a fight between the two birds.)  With most movies, the music is in the background.  Here, it’s almost like a companion for Cuca, who uses a particular tune to remember his father as much as he uses a picture of him and his parents.

During the opening credits, I saw Gkids.  I almost shut it off until I realized that children’s movies aren’t off limits.  I’ve enjoyed lots of animated movies that were probably meant for children.  The movie has a PG rating in the United States, but there’s very little that would be inappropriate for children.  I think the worst of it might be the son being separated from his father for most of the movie.  Cuca has a sense of adventure and wonder, but there are times when despair shows through.  Things are simple at home, but become more complicated when more people are around.  It’s easy to become lost in a crowd.

I’m glad I stuck around to watch the end.  I would say that overall, it’s an upbeat movie.  It has its moments of distress, but what good story doesn’t?  What kind of movie would we have had if Cuca had just stayed on the farm?  If anything, it probably would have been a short one.  The fun of the movie comes in seeing Cuca react to and deal with his new environments.



No comments :