Twee, cutesy CG animated shorts are a dime a dozen (your mileage may vary), but presenting familiar stories in the context of those underseen and underserved can be a shot in the arm. Case in point, the Kickstarter-funded In A Heartbeat which has, at the time of the publishing of this article, racked up over 17 million views in a matter of days, and not without good reason.
Take a look:
The fear of your secret crush becoming embarassingly public is no doubt familiar to most, but that fear being compounded by spiteful or even violent rejection and the potential of being forcibly outed is an experience seldom dramatized. There's shades of it here in the whispers of these little boys' peers, but ultimately, In A Heartbeat is the kind of warm tale of understanding that some kids out there might need.
The short was directed by Beth David and Esteban Bravo, Computer Animation majors at Ringling College of Art & Design. It was their thesis project, something we don't normally feature here on BMD, but it's created waves for a reason. Hopefully the big guns will begin to recognize just how much of a market there is for these stories and begin to follow suit.
Kudos, Beth + Esteban.