AINBO: Spirit of the Amazon
Ainbo Spirit Of The Amazon is a 2021 computer-animated movie produced by Tunche Films and Cool Beans. Ainbo is co-directed by José Zelada and Richard Claus, with story by Zelada.
Ainbo is set in the deepest jungle of the Amazon, Candámo where a tribe has co-existed with the forest until a “sickness” threatens their very existence. There’s a curse, a forest demon who shall not be named, and a young girl determined to save her people even if they have forgotten or stopped believing in their old legends…
In case you were beginning to think Pixar, Disney, Dreamworks et al had the monopoly on good animation movies. Ainbo is a refreshing burst of forest green colour and animation that seems a heartbeat away from the characters bursting into song had it been a more traditional animation, but this is not a musical.
Ainbo is set in indigenous Amazon and follows lores and legends true to the people of there, with the Zelada family (writer and co-producers) having spent time up in a small village in the Amazon basin and grown up listening to stories about the Amazon just like how the lead character listened to stories and legends..
Kids will definitely find it enjoyable.
And as a primarily kids flick, it will raise some goosebumps when the forest demon slash smoke monster Yacuruna makes an appearance, even I felt a bit of a shiver, it gets a shade intense.
Thematically I feel it holds back which results in a somewhat muddled plot where I could tell they were trying to get a larger message across but couldn’t quite figure it out how to balance between environmental issues juxtapositioned with encroaching “civilization” land degradation alongside fading legends of forest demons, spirit guides and a turtle who carries the world on her shoulder.
While it explores some interesting Amazon legends within a picturesque background, the animation isn’t extraordinary, it still feels somewhat generic to the industry, a girl on a quest to save her village/people, reminiscent of a budget version of Moana meets Raya and the last dragon…
And the two supporting characters hilarious and all but I still kept thinking hmmm Timon and Pumba did this better….
I think it’s a fair flick, I love its authenticity and feel especially considering its not from those big studios who simply appropriate legends and spin them into a big budget box office hit.. Ainbo is the story of people trying to preserve their legends..
Have you watched it, have the kids watched it? Would you watch it with the young?