Psiconautas finds beauty in unusual places: decimation, addiction, and poverty, to name a few. In a word, the art is stunning. It feels like a throwback in its hand-drawn aesthetic, and yet feels modern in subject matter and futuristic in its setting.
Taking place on an island populated by talking animals, Psiconautas immediately throws us into multiple animals’ stories with hardly any explanation and leaves it to us to reconcile the strange things we’re witnessing. Like why a mouse’s stepfather is a human dressing up as a mouse, why her “fake brother” is a bulldog wearing a luchador mask, and why her bird boyfriend is possessed by horrific crows.
Psiconautas is completely captivating and keeps the viewer eagerly searching for answers to those questions and more. The answers that are provided make things even more confusing, but in a good way. All of it has meaning, all of it is a blurry reflection of our society, from our proclivity to make trash to our struggles with addiction to police brutality. I left the theatre wanting to immediately watch Psiconautas again to see what other threads could be tied together.
Psiconautas is beautiful, haunting and fascinating. I highly recommend it for adults, but make no mistake, this movie is not for young kids. With that said, a childhood encounter with a horror movie seems to have led Tom Hanks to stardom, so maybe there’s something to that method!
If nothing else, you should see this movie so we can compare notes in the comment section. Psiconautas has won a plethora of awards so far, so hopefully it gets a wide release based on that, because this film deserves to be seen.