When people think of Pixar, they usually think of family-friendly cartoons like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc and Toy Story.

Well, two animators from the world’s most successful digital animation studio want to change your opinion on just what stories digital animations can tell.

“Borrowed Time” , video shown above, is an animated short film, directed by Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj¬†from Pixar, and produced by Amanda Deering Jones. Music is by Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla.

Not only is the animation absolutely beautiful, with some of the finest cloth and hair I’ve seen produced digitally, but the subject matter is definitely not what you would consider “appropriate for children”.

Disney films have often introduced children to important concepts like death and loss (just think of Bambi, Up and the Lion King). But Borrowed Time is a step up. Bloody death, guilt, regret and even suicidal thoughts play a major part in this short story. It’s quite gut-wrenching, especially as it juxtaposes these themes against the very typical Pixar cartoon style.

According to the creators, this was a deliberate creative choice.

They wanted to show how animation could be used to tell all sorts of human stories. In this video below, they talk about what inspired them to produce the film.


At one point, Lou Hamou-Lhadl states that:

Our goal was to contest the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically

Andrew Coats then also notes the benefit of doing it in the short-film format:

Making a short film you can try a lot of different things, you can tell a lot of different stories. You can take risks because there is no monetary gain in it. So it seemed like the right time to try something different.

Let me know in the comments if this film gave you the feels as much as it did for me.

Did you know that scientific evidence shows your creativity decreases over time

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of Ideatovalue.com and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.