Home entertainment company Shout! Factory and GKids have been quite busy as of late, prepping a hanful of new home releases. From Japan to France and even to Spain, the two companies have been bringing some rather interesting independent releases from around the world. Their next release, Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children, is set to be released March 13 in stores and online. Originally released theatrically in Spain in 2015, it made its American debut this past December. It goes without saying that this Spanish import is definitely not for children, despite being released in part via GKids. It is also a production that will appeal to a very specific audience as is evidenced through its story. That story will be discussed shortly. The artwork will also appeal to a very specific audience, meaning it plays its own important part to the movie’s presentation that deserves discussion. That being the case, it will be discussed later. The bonus material rounds out the most notable of the movie’s elements. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children. All things considered, they make this presentation one that is certain to appeal to its target audiences.
Shout! Factory and GKids’ forth coming animated feature Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is an interesting new work that is certain to appeal to its very specific audience base. That is evident in part through the movie’s rather dark story, which centers on a group of young animals on an island that is working to get off of the island. The youths are trying to get off of the island because life on the island had gotten so bad ever since a massive explosion destroyed so much life on the island. Bird Boy, the movie’s title figure ends up playing directly into this dark, almost Tim Burton-esque story in a very big way in the story’s final act. How he plays into the story won’t be given away here for those who have not yet seen this movie. It definitely is a powerful role to say the very least. As director Alberto Vasquez notes in his bonus interview, it is a story that will resonate with older teenagers more so than any other audience group. This and other discussions will be discussed later as the bonus material is examined. Over the course of the youths’ journey, there are interactions with a heroin addicted mouse and his friends, a group of bullies, and police dogs hell-bent on killing Bird Boy among much more. Considering the interactions and characters that the kids meet, it goes without saying that this story is not one for younger audiences. There is even a very brief scene during Dinki’s flashback that shows what looks like her having sex with Bird Boy. Audiences even hear her saying to him as she is on top of him, “not like that” in a certain tone that clearly hints at what’s going on. Again, it’s one more example of why this story is not one for younger audiences, despite being released in part via GKids. That having been noted, the story’s overtly dark vibe makes it one that will appeal to a very fixed audience, even with the happy ending portrayed in the movie’s end credits. The story, with its foreboding vibes, is only one part of what makes this worth the watch among its target audiences. Its animation will appeal to said audiences just as much as the story.
The animation style exhibited in Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is a style that will easily appeal to anime fans. This is important to note considering the fact that the movie is a Spanish, not Japanese, import. At the same time that it boasts that blatantly anime style look, the animation style used in the graphic novel on which this movie is based is just as obvious. Considering this, the combination of those two styles gives the movie a look that actually has its own identity. While the old adage states to never judge a book by its cover, that almost storybook style animation here in itself gives audiences a strong first impression with its light penciling and rich colors — colors that serve to enhance the bleak, post-apocalyptic feel of the world created in the story. It’s another nice change from the constant barrage of CG movies and TV shows that pollute theaters and airwaves today. Considering this, it becomes clear why the movie’s animation style is just as important to its presentation as its story. It still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements. The bonus material included in the movie is the last of its most important elements.
The bonus material featured in the forthcoming home release of Birdboy: The Forgotten Children includes interviews with co-directors Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero as well as two bonus shorts, one of which — Birdboy — is extremely important in the bigger picture of the full-length presentation. The Birdboy short is so important because it sets the stage for the full-length feature. It does this by presenting the story of the tragic explosion that essentially destroyed so much life on the island. It is just as unsettling as the story at the center of the bigger movie. The interviews with Vazquez and Rivero are important features because of the background that they provide for the story. It is through Vazquez’s interview that audiences learn that Birdboy is based on a graphic novel that he himself created. He also explains the story’s relation to the adolescent experience today. Given, it seems like a bit of stretch even as he makes his case, but it is still an interesting explanation. Rivero admits in his interview that he is actually colorblind, but still has quite the interesting insight into the movie’s animation style. It’s just one of the interesting discussions that he offers in his interview. Between that, the rest of his insights and those offered by Vazquez alongside the bonus Birdboy short, the bonus material shows clearly its importance to the overall presentation of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children. The bonus Decorado short stands alone as its own artsy bonus short and honestly could have been kept or left. Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus material included in the upcoming home release of Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is proof yet again of the importance of bonus material in any movie or television show’s home release. It can add so much to or detract from either presentation. In the case of this movie, it adds plenty to the movie’s presentation. When it is set alongside the movie’s story and animation, the whole of the elements makes the movie in whole a presentation that again, will certainly appeal to its key audiences.
Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children is an interesting new offering from Shout! Factory and GKids. The roughly 76-minute (1 hour 16 minute) program is so interesting in that it is a work aimed at a very specific audience. Needless to say that target audience will openly accept the movie. That is due in part to the movie’s story. While rather bleak, it does have some amount of hope. That balance of bleak and bright makes it perfect for its target audience. Its animation style gives it its own identity, making it that much more appealing to its target audience. The bonus material included in the movie’s upcoming home release adds its own touch to the movie’s presentation, too. Each element is clearly important in its own right to the movie’s presentation, as has been noted here. All things considered, they make Bird Boy: The Forgotten Children a work that is certain to appeal to its target audiences. It will be available in stores and online March 13, 2018 and can be pre-ordered online now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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