It is Manoel de Oliveira's first feature-length film. Mostly children, from Oliveira's hometown, Porto, play in its story. Aniki-Bóbó is a rhyme from a children's game, akin to Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. The film was not very well received, but with time it gained recognition and was finally accepted as one of the most important Portuguese films of its time. In several respects, this film seems to anticipate Italian neorealism. No other feature film was directed by Oliveira in the next 21 years.