By Marti Dols Roca.
The Incredible Story Of Stone Boy follows Marina and her cousins in a quest to help a young man who having lost his will for living has been turned into a marble statue unable to see, hear, smell, touch or taste (or move or do anything at all basically). With the collaboration of the Wind of the West (a talking cloud with a Southern accent), Marina and company visit the land of the senses and face a series of challenges to bring back the joy of living to their stoned (had to…will come back to that) friend.
The story teaches a lesson about family unit, friendship and positive attitude towards life in general. As a metaphor to portray the difficulty of getting into teenage years but being able to find a way to enjoy them instead of just getting stoned and moody (told ya…) I have to say it works; and I’m being completely honest right now. I really think the parallelism and the fable articulated around it is quite a beautiful way of delivering the message intended.
That being said, I find two main problems with The Stone Boy: first off, the animation by itself is quite basic and not really able to compete against other similar products which look way cooler (using the audience language). It’s true that the visuals, the colours and the aesthetics are somehow appealing mixing child-like motives with Latin-American mythological imagery; however, that is not enough to keep a child’s attention (at all) when you have Peppa Pig (or whatever) one TV station away.
The other flaw I’d point out is the following: the way I see it, this is a movie addressed to little children (pre-school and not much above) with a message that talks about a life stage quite far away from the potential audience one. On the other hand, maybe it’s a good way to start preparing them (so a few years after they will be like: now I get it) or making it easier for them to understand why their older brother has suddenly turned into a block (last one, I swear).
In any case, it’s also worth mentioning that the story and the way it’s articulated makes sense, it’s sweet and it’s as real as a children story has to be. Visuals and cool stuff aside, I’d like to see many Pixar/Disney products sharing those traits…
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