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Western Animation / The Boy and the World

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Boy and the World, or O Menino e o Mundo, is a 2013 Brazilian animated film directed by Alê Abreu. The film follows the adventures of a boy, Cuca, exploring the world. It was a 2015 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature. It explores childhood innocence, Fascism, war between artistic civilians and a totalitarian regime, and just how beautiful and emotional an animated feature can be. It was released in the USA by GKIDS.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Long Stairway: In the city, Cuca and his rainbow hat man friend walk up many of these.
  • Adult Fear: Many of the scenes of Cuca in the city evoke this, as he is exposed to many non-child friendly things, including bars and prostitution. Interestingly it's directed so these moments will likely go over child viewers' heads.
  • ...And That Little Boy Was Me: One interpretation of the film.
  • Big Brother Mentor: The rainbow hat man.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Cuca capturing the music bubble, the colorful musical parade, the bird motifs, a lot of the film uses this trope.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: In contrast with the strikingly minimalist portions of the film.
  • Hope Spot: Cuca finally catches up with the train that took his father away, and it looks like the latter man is getting off.. but then the other train-riders appear, and they are all identical copies of each other, right down to the flute in their front shirt pocket.
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  • Incurable Cough of Death: The harvester that Cuca befriends has one of these that he attempts to suppress.
  • Leitmotif: The melodies played by the bird-masked musician, the government's brass melody, and the song the civilians sing.
  • No Bikes in the Apocalypse: Though YMMV if the film is set in a post-apocalyptic world, this trope is absolutely averted. The rainbow hat man rides one.
  • Scenery Porn: The entire film.
  • Speaking Simlish: The dialogue and visible signage is this both to emphasize the childlike view of the world and to avoid putting the story in a particular location.
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