O Menino E O Mundo(2013) – A Musical Bildungsroman

the_boy_and_the_world_-_p_-_2014.jpg_0Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013) directed by Brazilian animator Alê Abreu tells the bittersweet story of a little boy who goes in search of his missing father from the idyllic village of naive, simplistic childhood to bustling towns of growth, progress and knowledge. The music elevates the whole narrative to a whole new level, with its instrumental and folk touches.  The drawings are mostly minimalist, created so as to look like a child’s drawings splattered with a wild but intelligent sense of colour.

The maturation of the child, as he sets out in futile search for his missing father, is shown obliquely. The changes in selfhood are mirrored in the change of perspective. At first, the screen is white, and slowly it becomes an explosion of overlapping colours, and the edges of one thing merging with the other. The child, towards the end, learns the fragmented perspective, separating distinct phenomena for themselves, dissociating parts from the whole.  The colours soon mellow and become a dichromatic black and brown, and shapes become angular and unfriendly, parallel with the boy’s widening knowledge and experience of the world.

One of my favourite scenes is the boy witnessing a revolution that turns bloody and in the blood flowing down the streets rather than mere red he sees a medley of colours. The imagination is laudable and the juxtapositions the images make are simplistic and heartening.

CLOWNIN’ Score: 4/5

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