In a Heartbeat by Ringling College of Art and Design students, Beth David and Esteban Bravo is a short that people have and will be talking about for a while. This unique short beautifully demonstrates just how awkward and scary a first crush can be, especially when you’re a member of the LGBT community. The animation quality that David and Bravo provide is something that could rival Dreamworks or Pixar. The world they create is stunningly charming and realistic. They also use light brilliantly to portray emotions such as fear, embarrassment, and love.
The short itself is free from any dialogue, accompanied only by a whimsical score. Instead, everything is shown quite literally. An awkward young schoolboy is taken by surprise when his heart literally beats out of his chest. He goes to series lengths to try to stop it from reaching his classmate, a cool and confident boy, a stark opposite to our protagonist. His heart is much stronger than he is and manages to tackle the boy in the hallway, creating a mortifying scene in front of classmates who might not understand or be approving of the boy’s sexuality. This causes his heart to literally break in two. Embarrassed, he retreats with half of his heart.
Thankfully, the other boy has a kind heart. He goes to return the half of the heart left with him, making our protagonist’s heart whole again. Though it doesn’t show if a relationship will develop between the two, this caring act of compassion is enough to instill belief in humanity again.