There was a time when animated films were reserved only for light-hearted films aimed at kids. Often with music thrown in for good affect and featuring animals or things you couldn’t do in mainstream cinema. Then Pixar came in and upped the ante in not only the quality of their films, but also in how they added emotion and depth into the genre. Films like Toy Story 3 and Inside Out tackled huge difficult moments that would not typically be associated with animated films. Indeed those first 5 minutes of Up probably provided more emotion than any Hollywood films has conjured in its entirety since.
And it looks like the studio has done it again with another short, but brilliantly executed animated short titled Borrowed Time. What separates this film further from your typical animation is the seriousness of the subject matter on offer here. There is a lot of short films that have this level of depth, but most tend to intersperse it with light-hearted moments, whereas this one is pretty much a very somber affair from start to finish.
It’s also different in that it’s something which could’ve easily been filmed easily from a live-action perspective, but that probably makes it even more shocking that it’s been delivered through the medium of animation.
Borrowed Time is directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj and tells the story of an old weathered sheriff who is haunted by one tragic moment. And that is one pretty tragic meeting.
So, it was short, but still quite difficult to get through. It’s a different film than what you would expect, but the creators have also released a featurette explaining their inspirations and why they made it in the first place. It could be the start of something bigger, in which case I am looking forward to seeing a story like this made into a full-length film. Not sure my emotions could handle too much of this though.
The short film has actually made its appearance at several film festivals already this year and is likely to be up for the Best Animated Short Oscar at the Academy Awards next year. Pixar normally releases these shorts as something that gets paired with and shown before a full-length Pixar film. Given the darker subject matter of this one though, I don’t expect Borrowed Time to be released the standard way. I could be wrong though and just in case, I suggest taking a tissue with you the next time you go watch a Pixar movie. You never know what you might get before the film has even started.
Last Updated: October 21, 2016