Pacemaker Image


By Alan Ng | August 8, 2023

Writer-director Christopher Lennertz and co-director Brian Vincent Rhodes’ animated short, Pacemaker, is that timely reminder that we’re all looking for love in all its glorious forms.

Cody’s (Alex Newell) Grandad (Philip Lawrence) is about to head into surgery for a much-needed pacemaker. To cheer him up, Cody grabs a scrapbook he’s worked on spotlighting the “Rules of Life” that Grandad had instilled in him, like family, sportsmanship, trust, and love.

Initially, the book was entitled, “Lessons on Life for Becca.” Now, Cody has changed the title from “Becca” to “Cody” to reflect his true self. Just before surgery, Grandad is excited to see Becca, and he reminds Grandad it’s Cody now. When they turn to the “Love” page, Grandad sees a photo of Cody and his girlfriend and turns away sadly as he heads down for surgery.

“…changed the title from ‘Becca’ to ‘Cody’ to reflect his true self.”

Pacemaker is a musical animated short written by Grammy winner Christopher Lennertz. It’s inspired by his raising a trans son. When Grandad realizes he disappointed Cody, Lennertz sends Grandad into the musical number, Rhythm of My Heart, recounting how Grandad fell in love with Cody’s Abuella and touching on how love can be found in unexpected ways.

The short spotlights love in the context of an LGBTQIA+ family and community. The animation is beautiful and vibrant. The animators are well on their way to rivaling Disney. Rhythm of My Heart is top-notch and belted wonderfully by Alex Newell.

My walkway from Pacemaker is that no matter what craziness is happening world around us, deep down, everyone wants to be loved, and it’s up to us to give it unconditionally.

Pacemaker made its U.S. premiere at the 2023 OUTFEST LA.

Pacemaker (2023)

Directed: Christopher Lennertz, Brian Vincent Rhodes

Written: Christopher Lennertz

Starring: Philip Lawrence, Alex Newell, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Pacemaker Image

"…we're all looking for love in all its glorious forms."

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  1. Pacemaker: Philip Lawrence and Alex Newell Sync Up For Christopher Lennertz’s Trans Positive Animated Short, Now Playing At Cinelounge Sunset! | Soundtracks, Scores and More! says:

    […] Lakeshore Records will release the single, “Rhythm Of My Heart” performed by seven-time Grammy® winner Philip Lawrence and Grammy® nominee Alex Newell (“Glee”, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist“) the accompany the theatrical release of Pacemaker, written and co-directed by Grammy®-winning composer Christopher Lennertz!  The upbeat song, also by Lennertz, is “top-notch and belted wonderfully by Alex Newell.” (Film Threat) […]

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