Life Is Beautiful – Ben Brand

For me, this beautiful animated short was full of surprises! It kept me engaged for the entire duration even without any dialogue. The music paired with the underlying sense of humour behind it really drew me in. I highly recommend this!

The Story:
First of all, this story grasps us with one very distinct character. Straight away, we can see that his unique feature is his height. His incredibly short height compared to other characters and his surroundings. This is an interesting trait, as it is one that many people can feel relevant to.

His inability to reach the fish tank allows the audience to find the character cute, approachable and enjoyable to spend time with.

The Surprises!

This short kept me on my toes through the use of anticipations and comedic suprises. As the audience thinks we know what’s about the happen, the story twists and turns. For example, the protagonist is standing at the top of a building, looking down. Ironically, contrasting between his normal point of view, he then jumps off the building!


The lack of build up to such a drastic decision shakes all of us that are watching it. HOWEVER, the director then uses the protagonist’s short height as an obstacle to even his decision to die. The protagonist’s light weight allows him to be thrown off his trajectory path and land at the side. This gives a slightly less gruesome landing and gives hope to the audience that maybe, he was saved!


That is when we get struck with another surprise. The protagonist, is in fact, dead. We realise this as his ghost-form rises up from his human body.

As the ghost form approaches a faraway light, we assume that he is going to heaven.
Then suddenly, there is a race! We are kept on our toes because we have no idea why they are racing!

Only at the end do we realise, the ghosts are racing to get into the egg, hence, second life.

Technicalities

This was a beautiful piece of animation portraying a hilarious, yet heartfelt and relatable story.
The creators have used various tools to achieve this!


One that I may take away include:
– Telling a story through stills: photo frames. We already know the life of the family in the beginning because the camera guides us through a chronological story of the family. The last photo being the one most relevant, as it shows our protagonist, being short.


– Beautiful lighting. Lighting was consistent and appropriate throughout the entire short.


– Sound effects. The choice of sound effects were very suitable. The frequency of the light footsteps highlights the fact that our protagonist is short and makes him seem really cute!


– Music. The music lead our mood, and hence allowed us to follow the director’s guide on his surprises! It allowed us to be surprised. It allowed us to enjoy. It helped with the anticipation.

Conclusion:

This was a very enjoyable and entertaining piece to watch! It is full of eye candy and aesthetics that I aim to achieve in creations of my own.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
Until next time,
Katie

References:

CAVIAR (2013). Life is Beautiful (3D Animation Short Film). Available at: https://vimeo.com/76127035 [Accessed 1 Oct. 2019].

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