Writing about animation provides me the opportunity to probe the minds of brave filmmakers working against stereotype and industry. That struggle found an apotheosis in the surreal fever dream of Birdboy, whose Spanish directors I interviewed ahead of their awards season tour.
“Everything is Related:” An Interview With ‘Birdboy’ Directors Pedro Rivero And Alberto Vazquez
A surreal fever dream of pollution and addiction, Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero’s arresting Spanish animated feature film, Birdboy: The Forgotten Children, is unlike every other animated feature currently under consideration for an Oscar.
Adapted from Vazquez’s graphic novel, Psiconautas, as well as its 2011 short film adaptation — and nodding in the direction of auteurs as different as Hayao Miyazaki and David Lynch — Birdboy is as lived through an anthropomorphized dystopia seemingly without mercy or redemption. It sticks out alongside Disney’s feel-good blockbuster Coco and even the independent ambition of GKIDS’ own The Breadwinner like a (quite) sore existentialist.