This deeply moving animation film was something close to ten years in the making, and my does it show, in the careful craftsmanship of the animations, and in the meticulous layering of every image. The animations themselves are made up from a combination of two dimensional, remastered childrens' drawings of their own experiences and of digitally animated main characters- allowing them to function within a world they created for themselves. These characters all experience very different, but similarly moving and traumatic effects of the conflicts and displacement in Columbia: the film brings the four together in a union of the four stories.
The beautiful ‘Little Voices’, real children who were interviewed to tell their own stories and asked to illustrate their tales, bring a new and overwhelmingly innocent attitude to the events in Columbia. The pure truth of the voiceovers telling of life before, during and after their experiences is enough to move you to tears. The film is a masterpiece, if not of technicality of truth and emotion, and is not created only by Carillo and Andrade but by the raw innocence of the children’s opinions and their breathing life into their own drawings.
As an animation it is also very interesting; using a simulation of a ‘camera’ which moves and pans out as though it is filming a real sequence and the immobile backdrop of landscapes and secondary characters taken directly from the childrens' own artwork. We are drawn into the world of Pequeñas Voces as though it is a reality; we forget it is an animated movie almost entirely. The film, altogether, was beautiful.
The most incredible aspect was the attitude the children have, harboring no resentment and no bitterness, happy with their lot, despite the trauma it had presented them with. The optimism of their view of life is quite contagious, the beauty of the film resounds for some time after leaving the cinema.