A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Observant/older kids will learn about the differences between country life and city life, as well as the perils of deforestation and the difficulties that laborers face when looking for work.
Poignant messages about family and the desire to be close to those you love, the tension between industrialization and environmentalism, and the struggle to work and thrive in a busy city. Additional themes include courage and perseverance.
Positive Role Models
The boy's father sacrifices proximity to his family to work and provide for his wife and son. The boy is driven and on a mission to find his father and figure out the world. The parents are loving and kind. A couple of strangers help or look out for the boy.
Violence & Scariness
Mild peril as the boy almost gets hurt on a couple of occasions -- like when he's nearly hit by shipping containers. The family's separation could be stressful for younger/more sensitive kids, and scenes set in the big city may feel overhwelming.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Boy and the World is a Brazilian animated adventure with virtually no dialogue -- but you don't need words to follow this beautiful story of a young country boy searching for his father in the big city so his family can be reunited. There's no overly questionable content (though the boy does face some mild peril, and the family's separation could certainly be upsetting for younger/more sensitive kids), but there are some mature themes and overtones that are likely to go over little kids' head -- i.e. the tension between city life and country life (and the sometimes overwhelming nature of being in a big city), the struggle to make a living in an increasingly industrial world, environmental perils, etc. On the other hand, kids will definitely relate to the desire for a family reunion and having all loved ones nearby. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Brazilian animator Ale Abreu's hand-drawn animated tale is a beautiful, original story that's socially relevant but also sweetly entertaining for families. At first it might seem disconcerting that no one is speaking an understandable language, but dialogue is unnecessary. Audiences can easily fill in what everyone is saying/meaning, and Boy and the World's visuals and evocative score make up for the lack of language. As the boy travels in pursuit of his father, he realizes just how different the rest of the world is from his perceived paradise of a quiet farm town.
Abreu's hand-drawn style has a child-like quality that should entice younger viewers. The vivid palette, combined with the soaring Brazilian music, make the boy's journey a powerful one, because all he wants is his father back home. This is the kind of story begging to be analyzed for its multiple layers, so parents and kids (depending on their ages) can have several different conversations about all of the film's themes and imagery. But the boy's desire for his father is ultimately most compelling -- and how his journey takes him to places where he sees the extremes in which people can live is eye opening ... not just for the boy, but for viewers, too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.