Parents' Guide to

Boy and the World

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Poignant hand-drawn story promotes family, environmentalism.

Movie PG 2015 83 minutes
Boy and the World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 7+

Film takes a few sentimental turns

A film that captures the whimsy of youth but also the terror of being left behind by your parents and the naive desire to want to take on the world to see your parents again. The film takes the viewer on an elaborate ride. I did not find this story as compelling as many of the reviews state, but I do think that the film reaches peak sentimentality near the end. To go around the entire world in order to find what your spirit has been searching for resides in your home emphasizes the romanticization of the provincial. The film invests heavily to tug on your heart strings near the end and in general pulls it all off.
age 4+

Perfect movie

This is one of my top 10 favorite movies and am so glad we choose it for our last movie night. My 2 and 4 year old loved it and asked to watch it again the next day. It wont be for every family. It has no dialogue but doesn’t need any with an incredible soundtrack and stunning art work. The themes of capitalism, culture, environmentalism, poverty, exploitation, family and friendship are beautifully told. These themes give movie night a lot to dig into to for sure. There are some slightly scary scenes that depict war and revolution and culminates as two birds fighting- I think the colorful bird represents the culture of the boy’s family and the other black bird represents the modern world and consumerism. The battle is intense and leaves the land dark and ruined. Also the boy’s father leaves in the beginning and doesn’t come back- the movie is a story of him trying to find his father and could be intense for sensitive children. The boy meets friends along the way who are kind to him but experiences many sad and beautiful things in the world. So again, not for every family but we all really enjoyed it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (1 ):

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.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate