If Anything Happens I Love You (2020, Short)
Dirs: Will McCormack & Michael Govier
Who are these figures we’re watching?
Parents, grieving the loss of their young daughter, struggle to stay connected with each other, watched over by the shadows of their former selves.
What happened to their daughter?
It feels like a spoiler to say too much, but the Netflix description (that you can hardly avoid when selecting to play this) tells you everything anyway, it’s enough to say she was killed.
How is it animated?
The style is very hand-drawn, quite simple, makes use of shapes and shades with very little colour which is saved for specific things that link to the daughter. The style in which they’re animated looks a little rougher at times, more refined at others. All of this is intended and done for effect.
Why will it have such impact?
The themes it deals with are largely universal, and the specific cause of death is all too frequently occurring. It’s the kind of thing that many documentaries have been made about, but sometimes, something short and simple can approach from another angle and really get a point across powerfully in a way that will linger in your memory. This animated short does exactly that, and it’s why I think it will most likely win the ‘Best Animated Short’ Academy Award this weekend.
Where can I watch this?
This year, Netflix has picked up multiple Oscar-nominated short films, which have been difficult to find in the past, so this is easily available to watch on the streaming service alongside many other nominees.
With many touchingly beautiful moments, this is a powerful depiction of grief and an interesting way of exploring the topic of the way in which parents have lost their young children in horrific acts. This seems to be the frontrunner for the ‘Best Animated Short’ Oscar at the Academy Awards on Sunday, it seems like a good blend of style and substance that may stick with voters who want to award something that’s meaningful.