The Invisible City on Netflix: what is this fantastic series from the director of Rio?

After having directed the two parts of “Rio”, Carlos Saldanha moves away from animation for the needs of “The Invisible City”: a fantastic series around the legends of Brazilian folklore, created by him and available on Netflix.


A police officer investigating a murder finds himself caught in a battle between the invisible world and an underground realm populated by mythical creatures.

“The Invisible City”, created by Carlos Saldanha – Available on Netflix from February 5, 2021 – Episodes seen: 2 of 7


If the name of Carlos Saldanha is familiar to you, it is because you watched the two opus of Rio, animated films that he directed for the Blue Sky studio, to which we owe in particular The Age of ice. From 2013, the Brazilian intended to switch to live shots with the adaptation of the graphic novel “Rust”, but the project has still not seen the light of day and it is the following year, thanks to “Pas de deux”, his segment of the sketchy film Rio, I Love You (unpublished in our theaters), which he directed for the first time actors of flesh and blood. After a return to synthetic images thanks to Ferdinand, he returns to live action with La Cité invisible, a series of which he is not “than” the creator and executive producer, the staging of the seven episodes of season 1 being provided by Luis Carone and Julia Pacheco Jordao.

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Even if he is not behind the camera, we find in the show some of Carlos Saldanha’s obsessions, whether it is his love of Brazil or the ecological messages that we already find in Rio. “The city has grown and the forest has shrunk”, explains an old man to the children to whom he has just told of his meeting with a creature dating from his youth and which serves as the opening scene for the first episode. An effective and intriguing introduction, which lays the foundations for this story in which a police officer investigates a murder and finds himself confronted with various strange manifestations (a pink dolphin washed up on the beach when there is not one alone in this part of the country) in an area where nature is threatened by the project of a real estate developer. Could there be a link with the death of his wife, which occurred a month earlier? And that the myths of his country are true?

The invisible city on netflix: what is this fantastic series from the director of rio?


For anyone who has read the synopsis, the answer to the second question is obvious. But the story gradually lifts the veil on the characters (and in particular this small secret group which seems endowed with powers) by being effective in relatively short episodes (the longest lasts 40 minutes) and which get to the point. The first two are even an introduction before the hero is, literally, plunged into another world for an irreversible journey which, we are promised, will change him forever. Physically and psychologically, since his vision of the legends of his country will never be the same again. And this is one of the great strengths of this Invisible City: its way of revisiting Brazilian folklore within a story where police and ecology come together in a great fantastic impetus, with special effects used sparingly. At the beginning at least.

Because things could change later as the gap between the real and the supernatural should narrow and the masks, logically, fall. For the moment, we have met the Curupira (protector of the jungle who attacks those who want to harm him) while a song mentioned the Cuca, the local equivalent of the monster responsible for punishing children who are not wise. Can we expect to see it appear by the end of season 1, when we are told the presence of demons? What discoveries await the hero in his quest? Will he learn that his wife was also one of these creatures? And how long will it take you to rush on the internet to learn about the folklore evoked in La Cité Invisible? Responses since February 5. On Netflix and / or online.

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