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TIFF Review: Tito and the Birds

Like his father before him, a young boy believes that understanding bird songs is the key for curing the world from an epidemic of fear.

A near fatal accident with a machine designed to interpret bird songs causes a scientist to leave his young son and wife.   When an epidemic of fear spreads over the world, the boy attempts to complete the invention conceived by his father with the help of two loyal friends.

By combining oil painting, digital drawing, and graphic animation, the stunning and constantly moving visuals have a textured and vibrant quality.  The camera moves as if the whole movie is one continuous shot going from one scene to the next.  An interesting transition technique is having the swirling paintbrush strokes cover over the previous scene.

The optimism and determination of the children protagonists serves a counterweight to the darkness that surrounds them.  The story is constantly moving forward with characters literally and figuratively being turned into petrified rocks.  Following in the traditional of faerie tales, co-directors Gustavo Steinberg, Gabriel Bitar and André Catoto are not afraid of delving into scary moments and also have a lesson that can be shared amongst audience members not matter their age.

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Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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