“If Anything Happens I Love You,” a new Netflix short film

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Photo courtesy to Netflix

If anything happens I love you depicts the truly moving aftermath of a tragic school shooting and shows deeply human emotions in a journey through a young girl’s death.

The reality that most students in America faced before COVID-19 was the constant fear of a shooting in their school. Written by Micheal Govier and Will McCormack, Netflix’s If Anything Happens I Love You is a 2D animated short film depicting the tragic aftermath of a young girl being killed in a school shooting. On average before COVID-19, America was experiencing at least one mass shooting a day, eliciting anxiety and uncertainty in its students. The new Netflix film centers around a student’s parents and their grieving process after her heartbreaking death.

The simply drawn characters and soft musical background cultivate the same emotional atmosphere as Pixar’s UP; however, the subject matter draws attention to the tragic reality most families and communities have faced following school shootings. The film begins with the mother and father sat at different ends of the table, while their arguing shadows are cast on the wall as a metaphor for their inner thoughts and emotions.

The film is refreshingly human and spotlights the fear that both parents and students have in regards to school safety. Without any statistics, official laws, or political stances, the highlight of the animation is the real emotions that occur after a school shootings rather than calling the viewer to action, or centering around the politicized gun rights movement.

In addition to the beautiful artwork, the short animation also has a simple soundtrack composed of three different songs that all played at just the right times and perfectly set the mood of each scene. Beautiful Dreamer, performed by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, opens the film with simplistic piano chords, conveying a hopeful yet melancholy atmosphere.

After Beautiful Dreamer comes to a touching close while the mother sits by the laundry and holds her daughter’s shirt, a series of events causes a soccer ball to roll into the daughters room and knock into a record player, which starts King Princess’ 1950. The sound draws the mother into her daughter’s room where the father joins her, and they reflect on the events that led to where they are now.

Eventually, the parents are pulled back into their grief as they remember the first day of school for their daughter. The screen turns black as gunshots are heard and the music is completely cut out and replaced by the sound of soft rain. The daughter’s shadow appears and pulls her parents separating figures back together and the film ends with a loving embrace between the two grieving adults.

Micheal Govier and Will McCormack brought stunning artwork, powerful music, and a moving message all together in If Anything Happens I Love You. Govier and McCormack created a compelling narrative that depicts personal loss and grief that too many parents in America have experienced. If Anything Happens I Love You pulls roughly on the audience’s heartstrings while painfully reminding them of the harsh reality of our nation.