Young love

The moment of complication:

(#1)

Young Sherwin — secretly, painfully, caught up in first love — is betrayed by his own heart, which, alarmingly, leaps from his body to pursue his beloved.

The crisis: the two tussle over the heart, leaving it, literally, broken.

And the resolution: in the end the halves of the heart are reunited, the now-healed heart returns to Sherwin’s body, and then two hearts beat as one.

(#2)

A sweet and charming story, turning the metaphors of heart’s desire, heartbreak, and heart’s ease into visual reality. Doing all this wordlessly, in about 4 minutes, with two middle-school boys as the protagonists.

From the NYT on the animated short “In a Heartbeat” — on-line on the 4th under the head “YouTube Falls Hard for ‘In a Heartbeat,’ a Boy-Meets-Boy Story”, in print on the 5th under the head “Hearts Meet. YouTube Swoons. An animated short about a middle-school crush, created by two college students, has attracted millions of views.” by Christie Caron. Excerpts from the story:

It’s hard to forget your first childhood crush — and the anxiety that accompanied it. (Do you like me? Circle yes or no.) That heart-pounding, sweaty-palmed infatuation is nothing new in children’s animation, but two students decided to tell the tale in a different way, creating an animated short film that is drawing the interest of big production studios.

Here, the enamored characters are both middle-school boys. And their dovelike innocence is charming a huge audience on YouTube. Posted on Monday [July 31st], the four-minute film has already been viewed more than 14 million times.

… [The animation by Beth David and Esteban Bravo] tells the story of Sherwin, a redhead who has a crush on Jonathan, described on the film’s Tumblr page as “the most popular boy in school.” Sherwin is afraid to show his emotions, but no matter — his heart volunteers for the mission, literally jumping out of his chest and bounding toward the boy who caught his eye. The heart wants what the heart wants.

(#3) Esteban Bravo and Beth David

… This certainly isn’t the first children’s story to include gay and lesbian characters. There’s Ruby and Sapphire on Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe,” [on this blog here] for example, and LeFou in Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Nick Davis, an associate professor of English at Northwestern University who has written about sexuality and gender in film, said it was gratifying to see such a variety.

“I do some programming for the [LGBT] film festival in Chicago and we’re increasingly struck by how the short films submitted are animated, and sci-fi, and fantasy, and horror,” he said. “And it almost seems like there’s no genre where [LGBT themes] don’t show up anymore.”

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