Disney’s CGI subsidiary studio Pixar is the infamous king whenever it comes to the animation world. And there is no denying in the fact that over the years, Pixar has hand us down some of the most amazing and brilliant animated flicks like Ratatouille, Up, Toy Story or Inside out. Normally the content of these animated flicks is light enough to appeal to a younger audience, but the latest Pixar short film, Borrowed Time, is breaking all the stereotypes and is the darkest creation of Pixar so far. And it would be right to say it has touched the human emotions to core. Where at one point, we all have hard time accepting our past, the short beautifully teaches not to give up, no matter how heavy your heart is with grief or regret.
Pixar animators Lou Hamou-Lhadj and Andrew Coats dropped a new short film Borrowed Time, which went up on Vimeo last week and reached over 5.7 million views and is firmly not for kids. The plot follows an ageing sheriff in a dusty western landscape as he revisits the cliff and relives the awful tragedy that still haunts him from his past.
He reminisces memories of his father that revolves around painful emotions of death, loss and grief. And with each flashback and memory, he comes closer to his self-destruction and emotional breakdown. This 6 min 45 seconds short gets dark in no time.
According to the film’s animators “A goal for us was to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre and one for children specifically “, animator Hamou-Lhadj said.“We really wanted to make something that was a little bit more adult in the thematic choices and show that animation could be a medium to tell any sort of story.”
This short was actually a side project of the two animators and has toured various film festivals. As the story builds the sheriff and his father gets involved in wagon chase with bandits, leaving the father hanging over the side of the cliff.
Then comes the shocking and most devastating twist revealing that he was the one who accidentally pulled the trigger of the gun when he was trying to pull his father up the cliff, causing the death of his father.
The short posses Pixar’s similar detailed look, with wondrously expressive characters, heighten emotions and tremendous attention to authentic and genuine surroundings. The short depiction is heartbreaking and powerful.
The tragedy which happened years ago consumed the sheriff in no time. The sheriff overwhelmed with guilt and grief tries to end his own life by jumping from the same cliff where his father died.
At that very moment Sheriff comes across the old watch that belonged to his father, which flew out of his pocket when he accidentally pulled the trigger of the gun.
Just seeing the watch and the photo of him and his father on the watch cause him an emotional breakdown. The raw emotions full of guilt and remorse that were buried deep inside his heart for so many years came flowing through his eyes in form of tears. It somehow convinced him to keep going.
The short ends with a beautiful sunset scene. The story indicates that no matter how difficult and painful is our past, it is necessary to come to terms with it and to forgive ourselves.