I have no problem throwing about hyperbolic claims when it comes to World of Tomorrow, the new animated short by Don Hertzfeldt that premiered at Sundance and won the Grand Jury Prize in the shorts competition. The trailer, above, announces that the 17-minute-long film will be available on demand on March 31st. I look forward to writing more about the film then, as I would hate to spoil its contents before you have a chance to watch with fresh eyes.
It uses a fictional future to talk about the real anxieties of the presentI still want to say some nice things about World of Tomorrow, because I sincerely believe someone who finds themselves on The Verge will connect with it. The story follows a young girl named Emily who comes in contact with, as Russ Fischer aptly describes it on SlashFilm, a "distant genetic descendent," who explains the major changes in technology that will transpire over the centuries, and more interestingly, the cosmic impact they will make on humanity.
Like so many of the best works of science fiction, the short uses a fictional future to talk about the real anxieties of the present, and World of Tomorrow mines those anxieties: mortality, love, genetic mutation, and memory loss are just a few.
I've loved Hertzfeldt's work from his early "My spoon is too big" days to his recent Simpsons intro sequence, which lightly touches on the themes in World of Tomorrow. The childlike simplicity of his art and love for body humor conceals the grand and sometimes existentially chilling questions Hertzfeldt raises. Watching the World of Tomorrow is like enjoying a Saturday morning cartoon, only to realize too late that you've stepped into the abyss. His work is hilarious until it's horrific.