Pixar Animation Studios is no stranger to introducing dark and heart-wrenching themes in their work. The toys holding hands and ready to consign themselves to a fiery fate in a smelting furnace in Toy Story? Bingbong’s sacrifice and goodbye to Joy in Inside Out? Ellie Fredericksen’s life montage up to that painful single balloon at her wake in Up?
Yeah, I’m not crying; you’re crying.
Now we have this short that’s winding its fingers ’round social media’s heartstrings and giving them a strong breath-taking tug. Created by Pixar animators Lou Hamou-Lhadj and Andrew Coats as a side project, this 6:45 video is nothing short of a masterpiece. This video has moved audiences at film festivals and can now be viewed on Vimeo for a limited time.
“A goal for us was to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically,” Hamou-Lhadj shares. “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.”
Within the first few seconds of the short, the viewer is just pulled into the shared experience of this sheriff standing among the remains of what looks like a stage coach accident at the edge of a dusty cliff. The theme of “Borrowed Time” revolves around this place, as well as one particular item that may as well be Chekov’s Gun. (I’ll give you a hint — it’s a pocket watch. Because it’s ‘borowed time’? Get it? ‘Time’? Okay.)
Watch the video below. Bring tissues.