“The secret of the Perlims”, a colorful metaphor for contemporary Brazil

The Secret of the Perlims **

by Ale Abreu

Brazilian animated film, 1 h 16

From 6 years old

In 2014, Alê Abreu bluffed the world of animation cinema with The boy and the world, a splendid visual symphony and animated allegory on the chaotic history of Brazil. The filmmaker had, that year, won the Prize for the best feature film and the public at the Annecy Festival.
Eight years later, he returns with a new tale about his country, colorful in its form, dark in its subject.

In the Magic Forest, between the trees and the lianas of this luxuriant and variegated nature, two silhouettes thread their way, those of anthropomorphic animals, one close to the bear, the other to the fox. They are Claé and Bruô, two young secret agents from rival kingdoms, those of the Sun and the Moon. Their mission? Find the Perlims, beings of light capable of saving the forest from the Giants who threaten to drown it under water.

The allusion to hydroelectric dams and the deforestation of the Amazon is clear here, in what promises to be a metaphor for the scourges that are ravaging the largest country in Latin America.

Technical and visual tour de force

As in The boy and the world, Alê Abreu recounts his country’s transition to “adulthood” through the eyes of juvenile creatures, the Magic Forest embodying the vital impetus of childhood in the face of human cynicism and madness. The ace, The Secret of the Perlims suffers from a first part that is too talkative, as if its director did not trust enough what his splendid images say.

Because it is the great quality of this animated film to let Alê Abreu’s talent as a colorist explode. Exploring the chromatic range in its bright tones, royal blue, fuchsia red, brilliant green, this color finder offers a stunningly beautiful ink drawing.

Benefiting from an animation of great fluidity, similar to that of the Disney of the years 1960-1970, The Secret of the Perlims worth the detour for this technical and visual tour de force, whose outcome, less loquacious and explicit, allows to express all the vigor.


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