Pop Culture

New Pixar short 'Borrowed Time' is incredible ... and not for kids

We normally think of Woody from "Toy Story" if we think about Pixar cowboys: a sunny hero with a strong moral outlook and a knack for saving the day. But a new Pixar short, "Borrowed Time," features an Old West sheriff whose heartbreaking adventure is definitely not for little kids.

It is, however, classic Pixar which means it's a high-quality short that should be watched by an audience prepared for some tough subject matter.

Borrowed Time / vimeo
A scene from "Borrowed Time"

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The film, which went up on Vimeo last week and has since been viewed over 5.7 million times, features a lawman out in cowboy country reflecting back on the moment that changed his life as a boy — and focuses on whether he can get past an almost overwhelming sense of guilt.

As the tale spins out, there's action and beautiful scenery — but also a death and a not inconsiderable amount of blood, which may surprise viewers. But Pixar hasn't shied away from blood before: a small bloody scratch in "Up" caused a bit of a brouhaha when the film was released in 2009, and Dory got a nosebleed in 2003's "Finding Nemo."

Borrowed Time / vimeo
Dad and son in "Borrowed Time"

"A goal for us was to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically," animator Hamou-Lhadj (who directed it with Andrew Coats) told The Independent. "We really wanted to make something that was a little bit more adult in the thematic choices, and show that animation could be a medium to tell any sort of story."

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Still, recognizing that Pixar's artistry can extend into more adult work is heartening, especially since the short is also thoughtful and redemptive and worth a look. Don't miss it!

(Update: As we've learned, this is not actually a Pixar-produced short, though the filmmakers work for Pixar. As a rep told us, the short was produced entirely on their own time as part of a special co-op program at the studio.)

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