Directors Gustavo Steinberg, André Catoto, and Gabriel Bitar deliver an interesting and original animated adventure with “Tito and the Birds” that’s based around very relevant social and political themes. Audiences will find some fascinating messages to be mined from “Tito and the Birds,” as the writers explore the idea of prejudice and hate the potential for disease and misery to be exploited by fascism and greed.
Tito is a young boy who lives in the ghettos and idolizes his father, Dr. Rufus, who’s experimenting with a machine that can communicate pigeons. After accidentally endangering Tito’s life, he leaves home at the demand of Tito’s mother. Years later a mysterious plague called “The Outbreak” begins spreading throughout the city. When Tito realizes that the key to fixing the baffling outbreak is the pigeons, Tito teams with his best friends to finish the gadget, and cure the disease. But they have to evade a crooked fear mongering politician, and his horde of biohazard soldiers to do so.
“Tito and the Birds” is a very out of the ordinary animated adventure that builds on interesting, human characters we can empathize with often. Tito and his pals are flawed, but they aim to do the right thing, especially when they recognize the politician that is destroying their city and exploiting the sickness his friends are enduring has to be stopped. The writers convey ideas about xenophobia and classism, as well as respecting nature, and its innate ability to work with other species as a means of preserving the environment.
If we ask too much of the world, it may just crumble in on us, failing to respect it will be our own undoing. That said, “Tito and the Birds” is a memorable bit of art house fare with some very good animation, a gritty style, and a message that rings loudly especially in this day and age.
The release from Shout! Factory contains both the original Portuguese language version of the film with English subtitles, and the English language dub. As well, there is an interview with directors Steinberg and Bitar as a bonus feature, as well as the original theatrical trailer for “Tito and the Birds.”