Birdboy: The Forgotten Children | Chicago Reader

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children

Written and directed by Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez, this 2015 Spanish animation takes place on a once-idyllic island now leveled by nuclear war and divided between adorable woodland creatures and haggard rats that sift through the garbage. The title character—with his giant head, obsidian eyes, tiny beak, and little Reservoir Dogs suit and tie—steers clear of the canine cops, who still remember his drug-dealing father, Birdman. The 2-D art is often gorgeous, not least in Birdboy's nightmares, where black birds of prey swoop down on him from a blood-red sky. The drawing style bears no resemblance to Japanese anime, yet the narrative tone is remarkably similar, with cute and sinister elements held in suspension by a deadpan cool. In Spanish with subtitles.

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