What They Say:
Grieving parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child in the aftermath of a tragic school shooting.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The timing of “If Anything Happens I Love You” is more than a little unsettling. As I write this review there have been more mass shootings in three months than there have been in three years. The world is angry. People are scared. Political discourse about violent events get tossed between CNN and Fox News as if the opinions on who’s to blame for the world is an argument to be one like on “Siskel & Ebert.” Then a short film like “If Anything Happens I Love You” comes along to remind us of the true victims of gun violence: Those who are left to grieve. Despite the subject of the film, we never see the horrific event that the film is about. Instead, we follow the parents who lost a daughter in the shooting. The parents who now sit across the dinner table from one another, not speaking a word
Though words are not spoken we see shadows of their inner thoughts, and the shadows speak volumes about what the two are feeling. What’s most impressive is how effective the story is without feeling. Whenever you make something that involves school shootings, its difficult to present without someone feeling like you’re pushing an agenda on them. Therefore, the filmmakers were wise to have the actual shooting itself not only take up the least amount of time in this (short) film, but also happen off-camera so that the attention is always where it needs to be: On the characters themselves and how they feel about the results of the tragedy.
“If Anything Happens I Love You” is proof that shorts can contain as much of an emotional punch as any feature-length film (and this one proves that Pixar doesn’t have a monopoly on tearjerker animation). The best part of all of this is – unlike many shorts I review – this one is easy to find; Netflix picked it up for distribution, which means millions will easily be able to discover it.
Streamed By: Netflix
This short has been nominated for Best Animated Short at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards!