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Adventures of Chico1938

  • 2.3
Billed as "A Tale of the Strangest Friendship Ever Known!" this was the sole long-form work created by brothers Horace and Stacy Woodard, who'd already won two Academy Awards® for their short nature documentaries. The narrative/nonfiction hybrid lets us spend time with Chico, a ten-year-old lad (or thereabouts) living with his father in the arid landscape and social isolation of their rural home in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. While human visitors are rare, Chico finds amusement and companionship (one wild bird being his particular "friend") in the area's rich animal life. We see armadillos, wild boar, deer, rattlesnakes, raccoons and more. All fear their most dreaded predator, the puma, though even that formidable foe proves fallible when he angers Chico's father by terrorizing their trip of goats. The Woodards reportedly comprised the entirety of their crew while shooting this unique short feature (which made its way slowly around the world upon completion). It debuted in Denmark in 1940 and Sweden six years later, the former with some success, it seems, as it was re-released there in 1955. The large population of Mexican émigrés and their descendants made it a popular theatrical attraction for years in the U.S. Southwest, with the arrival of television further expanding its audience. Nonetheless, today ADVENTURES OF CHICO is a rarity familiar to very few. - Dennis Harvey

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