People criticize movies for their length all the time. "The film was too long. I loved it but it would have been even better had it been trimmed." I am of the belief that if I am enjoying a film, I don't want it to end. In essence film length doesn't really matter. Short films are a good example of this because the best of them are able to be incredible effective in such a short amount of time.
Kubrick said some of the most spectacular examples of film are in TV commercials. In an interview for Full Metal Jacket, he pointed to the Michelob commercials. "Forget what they're doing- selling beer- and it's visual poetry. Incredible eight frame cuts. And you realize in thirty seconds they've created an impression of something rather complex. If you could ever tell a story, something with some content, using that kind of visual poetry, you could handle vastly more complex material."
It is this very notion- communicating ideas through pure visuals in a small time frame- that fuels the work of Don Hertzfeldt. His shorts prior to this stretched animation to creative highs. Rejected was a compilation of rejected animated skits from The Family Learning Channel. A corporation the commissioned him to do promo segments for them. For 10 minutes, the short goes through an array of moods and shows Don bending,twisting and inverting the art of animation. Conceptualizing It's stuff you could only get away with through that format.
His other work such as Lily and Jim, The Meaning of Life, and Billy's Balloon were preludes to what was to come with It's Such A Beautiful Day. The amount if ideas and emotions Hertzfeldt was unable to unpack in an hour affected me greatly.
World of Tomorrow takes this idea to astonishing new heights. In just sixteen minutes, Hertzfeldt creates an entire universe. Introducing me to ideas, concepts and feelings I am happy to now have lingering in my memory. Above all, his avoidance of obvious narratives allow his work to achieve a truthfulness not common in many features. To accomplish this type of visual poetry within a feature film is one thing. To achieve it in 16 minutes is an unfathomable amount of determination and vision.
Don created this animation all by himself on a computer. Imagine what he can do with a team of people working for him.
Trailer for World of Tomorrow