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Gkids to let Spain's Birdboy: the Forgotten Children animated feature fly

05.12.2017

Back in my day, movie studios weren't afraid to inject a little fear into the hearts and minds of young viewers with films like THE SECRET OF NIHM, WATERSHIP DOWN, FIRE AND ICE, and THE LAST UNICORN. These days, youngsters are getting little more than mind-numbing fodder with animations like Dreamwork's BOSS BABY, THE EMOJI MOVIE (eye roll), and NORM OF THE NORTH. In the interest of being fair though, there are animated films that have truly rained emotional blows down upon audiences both young and old like KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, INSIDE OUT, and Mamoru Hosoda's THE BOY AND THE BEAST. In looking at the balance, I suppose it's not as bad as I initially thought, but I must admit that I long for the sensation of being truly terrified by themes or scenes in animated features. Call me me disturbed if you like, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one.

It's with all of that rambling in mind that I'm happy to report that New York's Gkids label has acquired the North American distribution rights to BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN. Directed by both Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero, the upcoming animated feature is based on the 2011 graphic novel and short film created by Vazquez himself. In recent news related to the project, Vazquez picked up the award for best animated feature for BIRDBOY at the Spanish Academy Goya Awards, which is essentially the country's Oscar equivalent.

In regard to the film's plot, BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN is set on an island in a post-apocalyptic world where Dinky, a young teen mouse, hatches a plan to escape to the big city. Birdboy, a shy teen bird tormented by psychotic nightmares of demons, shuts himself up in a nearby lighthouse. Jumping from black or sometimes gross-out humor to school bullying, violent police, dirt poverty, an odd-ball talking clock, Dinky’s gross adoptive father, and demons imagined or real, BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN paints a hugely cross-grained portrait of a world devastated by the actions of adults.

Whoa. That sounds pretty intense to me, and I don't appear to be the only one who thinks so. When asked about the recent pickup, Dave Jesteadt, president of Gkids stated, “From the first moment we screened the film we knew we had to be involved. With iconic characters and a storyline that explores universal themes of hope, despair, salvation, and loss with humor and grace, ‘Birdboy’ pushes the boundaries of animated storytelling in exciting new directions."

For those of you not familiar with Gkids, the studio has been responsible for distributing some hard-hitting, top-quality animated films in recent years with features like THE SECRET OF KELLS, MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI, ERNEST & CELESTINE, A CAT IN PARIS, as well as several Studio Ghibli animations. 

I don't need to do much more research on this film to know that I'm already on-board. The imagery of BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN looks disturbingly surreal, almost like a Tim Burton animation filled with distorted critters, all searching for hope and love in a ruined world. You know, the kind of story that helps you sleep soundly at night. What? I'm fine. You're the one who has problems.

 We can expect to hear more details about the release of BIRDBOY: THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN soon, but for now, why not take in an animated classic from the list of films that I'd mentioned earlier? 

Extra Tidbit: The world needs more animated horror-like films like CORALINE, MONSTER HOUSE, and PARANORMAN!
Source: Variety

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