Boy and the World comes all the way from Brazil, and opens with dizzying, hypnotic patterns that undulate before our eyes. We sink in them to follow a small boy making his way in a strange, but familiar world that soon grows in scale and complexity.
Opting for the simplicity and universality of the cartoon, our protagonist is very simply drawn. A large rounded head, a couple of lines suggesting a body and limbs. His eyes, two vertical stripes. I do not get the feeling that this is a story about a very specific boy, but one that could easily be about any boy in the world. We start off in a lush garden but it isn't very long before the tone changes from a celebration of discovery to become a lament.
There is a boy and a train and a journey. It takes the boy far from home, to a new modern world where man cedes to machine. The colours are not as stark or bright here, but the complexity of the drawings grows until there are so many pieces and details in the world surrounding our character as to overwhelm him. The world is big and easy to get lost in. But it is here that we also find the most beautifully drawn scenes. Like a man who secretly weaves beautiful tapestries and makes music out of trash, and a beautiful phoenix given life by the colourful song of tireless singers.
My favourite scene goes like this: man and boy climb through the slums, up endless stairs, step by step, set to Brazilian hip hop, with the windows from the favelas setting the mountain alight, glittering like a Christmas tree.
At the end of this film I feel an overpowering sense of loss. A black eagle guns down a phoenix, formed out the many-coloured voices of singing people. They travel on with no destination in sight, maybe forever.