Birdboy: The Forgotten Children
birdboy: the forgotten children | birdboy | Psiconautas | los niños olvidados | pedro rivero | Alberto Vázquez | alberto vazquez | joe deasy | andrea alzuri | eva ojanguren | josu cubero | animation | drama | sci-fi | sci fi | spain | japan | Félix Arcarazo
Film: Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas, los niños olvidados)
Director: Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez
Writer: Joe Deasy, Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez
Starring: Andrea Alzuri, Eva Ojanguren and Josu Cubero
This animated film starts with chanting about the new laws. This all takes place on an island. The island was industrial until the world ended. This happened from a bomb being dropped. All of the characters are animals and things became even worse when demon like birds attacked. The island is now impoverished for the most part and no one is really living life.
We see two rats, a father and his son. They are picking through the garbage in the dump looking for copper to trade in order to eat.
The fishing trade around the island has also died out. There was a lighthouse that helped the fisherman, but it is no longer being used. It was run by Birdman. He has a son, Birdboy. Birdman is voiced by Félix Arcarazo. The police thought that Birdman was bringing drugs to the island and selling them to children. He was shot and killed for this.
Birdboy wakes up in his nest. He pops a pill and then flies away. He goes out to the lighthouse and enters. A bunch of the demon birds come after him.
There is then a mouse waking up in her bed. She is named Dinky and voiced by Andrea Alzuri. Her alarm clock is also a mouse and it talks to her. He is named Señor Reloggio and voiced by Josu Varela. Diny pushes him off the nightstand and he asks her not to. He breaks and it hurts it. We see her shower and get ready for school. During this she takes a jar full of something called ‘Happy Pills’. We then meet her mother and stepfather. She is a mouse as well and her stepfather is a man in a mouse costume. She also has a little brother who is a dog, but dressed a luchadore wrestler. She is scolded for her attitude and grades as well as accused of being on drugs. She leaves, but doesn’t go to school as she is supposed to.
We then see a little fox being bullied by some dogs. The fox is Zorrito and voiced by Josu Cubero. The bullying stops when a rabbit shows up. She is Sandra and voiced by Eva Ojanguren. Sandra is known to be crazy, because she hears voices that are portrayed as black tiny rabbits wanting her to do horrible things. This is all broken up by two dogs who are police officers. The older one is the one that killed Birdman. They are hunting for Birdboy currently.
Dinky is then walking through a forest and drops a note. She puts the happy pills on top of it. We see that it is for Birdboy. She goes up into a tree house to meet up with Sandra and Zorrito. They are trying to flee from the island and are pooling their money for a boat. They still need more and look at a map. They decide to see if there’s money in a house they haven’t gone to yet.
We then see a pig that is trying to be a fisherman, but it isn’t going well. He is named Zacarías and voiced by Jon Goiri. He has a boat and a parrot. He is signaled to come to the dock by Birdboy so he does. He gives him a little pouch that has drugs in it. Birdboy uses it on the dock and has an experience that brings some of the demon birds to him. There is supposed to be a demon within Birdboy that he uses drugs to keep in check.
Zacarías lives at the house that the three teens are coming to. He lives there with his mother and talking piggy bank. He has been saving up money and has to pay for medicine for his sick mother. She also has a spider that bosses around her son.
Can the three teenagers get away from this island and live a better life? Why is life so bleak on the island? Why do the police want to kill Birdboy? Can this island be saved or is everything too far gone? Who are the Forgotten Children?
This is an interesting film to me. I saw the trailer a couple of times when I was checking out other films in the theater. I looked it up and saw that it is considered a horror film. Now I wouldn’t call it that in the traditional sense. It is more horror in the sense of how they are living their lives and things that are going on. I will say though that the Forgotten Children in this film were creepy. They are a bunch of scavenger rats living in the dump. The film is animated so it allows the film to do things that a normal one cannot. It is also a big allegory covering a lot of issues. Birdboy is dealing with an inner demon, which can be seen as us doing what is right when there is the opportunity to do horrible things. Birdboy is also trying to fix the environment, but the police are out to stop him. This could be seen as the government not believing we are hurting the environment and trying to stop those that are. Dinky wanting to escape her island to live a better life is a misconception that people need to move away. In reality it is how you’re living your life can make a difference. My favorite though was Zacarías’ mother and the spider. She is addicted to prescription drugs and the addiction is in the form of a spider. It is things like this that I really enjoyed about the film and the way it is told. I enjoyed how it ended as well.
The acting for this film is interesting to cover for a film like this. It is animated so I can’t really speak about that too much. There were some really good voices and I felt they did a good job in conveying their emotion that way. Varela’s robotic voice was my favorite. I thought Alzuri, Ojanguren and Cubero were all solid as well. Aracarzo was good in the small amount of time he had in the film.
I really enjoyed the type of animation this film was. It had a good look to it and seeing this as an adult cartoon it was solid in that realm as well. The editing of the film was good in that we get pieces of climax in the beginning of the film and then it starts to tell the story. It did build tension to the climax, but the payoff was lacking slightly. It wasn’t overly exciting, but this film is more about the social message it is getting across. It does have a low running time which was good. The score didn’t really stand out to me, but it also didn’t hurt it in my opinion either.
Now with that said, this film isn’t for everyone. This is an animated film from Spain and Japan. I had to see it with subtitles as all of the actors speak Spanish. If that isn’t an issue, this is a haunting tale that is eerily close to life. This is an allegory for many issues that are real. The film doesn’t have an exciting payoff, but I didn’t expect that. It does have a low running time. If you’re into art house type films, then I’d recommend giving this a viewing. I do think you’ll find it interesting.
My Rating: 8 out of 10