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film review

The wonder of life’s shortest season, childhood, is explored in Boy and the World, a magical and often bleak parable about societal clashes.Courtesy of GKids

The wonder of life's shortest season, childhood, is explored in Boy and the World, a magical and often bleak parable about societal clashes.

Crayoned with a kid's bold, imaginative eye and strange elegance, the handcrafted animated feature from the Brazilian filmmaker Ale Abreu follows a farm boy in search of a departed father, a journey that is rife with colourful music and mechanized, harsh urban realities.

Factories and slums are grim; elsewhere the child is captivated by campfires, kaleidoscopes and fireworks – things to gaze upon that are always open to interpretation.

A short scene using stock-film images of the Earth's ugly harvesting abruptly disrupts the dreamlike animation, but the rudeness is no doubt the point.

And while the senses of young audiences will be dazzled but not overloaded, the abstract style and pointed sociopolitical observations might find more appreciation from grown-up art-house fans and those ever young.