Written and Directed by Michael Govier and Will McCormack, If Anything Happens I Love You (2020) is an American 2D animated short film which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The 12-minute short film released on Netflix, centres on two parents who lost their daughter to gun shooting at school. Although they are drifting apart, their shadows communicate their unsaid feelings to one another throughout the film.
In the opening scene, we see a mother and father are shown sitting at opposing ends of the dining room table. They just sit and eat silently, not trying to make eye contact or speak further. There is absolute silence in the room, and the only sound you can hear is the sound of the cutlery.
We see their shadow fight and shout at one other unleashing their pain and agony of losing their dear daughter. However, in reality, they both try to cope with the pain in their own ways.
Except for the items that belong to the daughter, the entire short film is in black and white. This reminds us that the only colours left in the parents’ lives are the ones associated with their only daughter. There isn’t even a single line of dialogue in the entire 12 minutes of this silent film. One can relate to the saying which goes like ‘silence speaks louder than words.’ From the very first scene to the very last one, you feel a storm of emotions the parents go through.
The film then takes you to the day when the parents were dropping their daughter off at school. Later, only gunshots and the screams of children can be heard. When that happens, the girl texts her parents to say, “If anything happens, I love you.”
The film was successful in making a huge impact on its viewers in such a short time. It makes you feel the agony of many parents who have lost a loved one due to school shootings. This short film will undoubtedly leave you in tears because it has nothing to say but much to feel.