Clever and amusing little short with quality animation
At the minute I do not think there is a Pixar film that uses depression, suicide and ponderings on the afterlife so, until there is, then short film Life is Beautiful is probably as close as you're going to get. Pretty much played for its comic tone, we see a very short man reaching a point in his life where he really cannot carry on with the indignities heaped upon him and decides to end it all. This brings about a quite dramatic change where it turns out that perhaps there is something to be said for his size after all.
We open with a short montage that reminded me of the "a lifetime in 10 minutes" start of the film Up, but in this case it is showing us that Anton has been a marginalized outsider due to his height for his entire life. This continues into the short until the suicide. From here, although it remains comic, we have a spirit race of some sort which then turns into a clear representation of rebirth or reincarnation, where Anton shows that actually his size can be a benefit. As a narrative it is an odd one for sure and I'm not entirely what to take away from it apart from the fact that it was amusing, but not really hilarious.
The quality of the animation helps carry this tone because it is bright, colourful and well animated in the style that many will be accustomed to from Pixar. The rise of technology is impressive and it is encouraging to see that small independent filmmakers and students often can produce animation akin to the big studios – however what is more impressive is that people can use it well, ie not just produce a showreel for how good they are at computers but rather tell a story or show interesting ideas. This is the case here as I liked the content even if I felt it could have been funnier or smarter, since it did fall a little short in both (pun was unintentional there, I promise). Visually impressive but also the sound design is very good too with nice little touches throughout.
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