Every once in a while, a film comes along that really shakes you at your emotional core. Rarer still is the animated film that achieves such a feat in our increasingly desensitized world. Then along came Borrowed Time, an animated short film from a pair of Pixar animators that eschews the notion that animation is for kids by crafting a bleak tale of personal, intimate devastation set against a stark Wild Western backdrop.
Even if you’ve been following more avant-garde animation for a while now, you might still be surprised by the events of Borrowed Time. I obviously won’t get into the plot points here, so if you have a few minutes to spare and want to share your thoughts and feelings in the comments, feel free to do so! my only contribution is that one particular message that comes across in the film is a bit heavy-handed, which detracts from the overall piece, but only slightly.
Borrowed Time is an animated short film, directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj, and produced by Amanda Deering Jones, with music by Academy Award-winner Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain).
Here’s the official synopsis for Borrowed Time:
A weathered Sheriff returns to the remains of an accident he has spent a lifetime trying to forget. With each step forward, the memories come flooding back. Faced with his mistake once again, he must find the strength to carry on.
Here’s what Hamou-Lhadj had to say about their project:
“A goal for us was to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre and one for children specifically. 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.”