Blu-ray Review: Birdboy: The Forgotten Children

We live in an amazing time for CGI animation. There’s so many programs for your computer that can let you create an animated short or even a feature if you have enough portable harddrives hooked to your laptop. But with animation being such a fertile artform, it’s a tough cinematic sell if you’re not making a Pixar epic or the next installment of Ice Age. Your neighborhood Cineplex isn’t eager to book an animated film that isn’t going to spend $75 million in commercials on Nick Jr. But there are quite a few amazing films and ways to find them include physical media so you can share them with pals who want to see something that isn’t being turned into a ride at a theme park. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children is brilliant tale of talking animals stuck on a ravaged island dealing with drugs, demons and fascism.

The island was originally based around fishing. Birdman was the lighthouse keeper who would make sure the boats got back safely. The simple life got messed up when a factory popped up on the island and lured the animals from the sea and onto the assembly line. Nobody minded the change until one day when the factory exploded and messed aa lot of the island. Birdman gets shot down by the cops under suspicion of smuggling drugs. But he was really carrying mysterious glowing acorns. To make matters worse, his son Birdboy possessed by a demon during the blast. He has to take drugs to keep the demon down. And it’s a big demon when it takes control of Birdboy. Birdboy and his little friends do their best to figure out why the acorns glow.

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children goes beyond the usual animated film about talking animals. There’s nothing extremely cute or musical about these critters. They are captivating in their design and attitude. You feel for Birdboy as he struggles with the death of his father and the demon inside. The emergence of the demon is threatening even in an island life that’s messed up. Birdboy is one of those reasons you need to find animated films that aren’t lunchbox ready.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The resolution brings out the detail in the characters and the backgrounds. The audio is DTS-MA 5.1 in both English and Spanish. Both versions sound fine although for some reason the English version sounds like the opening part of the video game Fallout 3. The subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.

DVD has everything found on the Blu-ray.

Interview with the Filmmakers (12:42) talks about adapting the film from the original graphic novel. The filmmakers speak Spanish so the talk is subtitled.

Birdboy Original Short Film (13:07) has elements of the feature film.

Decorado Short Film by Alberto Vazquez (11:13) is a strange black and white cartoon with characters that look like they were in Birdboy. It’s charmingly bizarre.

US Trailers (4:48) has the dubbed version.

Shout! Factory and GKIDS present Birdboy: The Forgotten Children. Directed by: Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero. Screenplay by: Alberto Vázquez & Pedro Rivero. Voiced by: Yuri Lowenthal, Kyle McCarley, Jake Paque and Cindy Robinson. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 76 minutes. Released: March 13, 2018.

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