Nothing brings more joy to my heart (and the heart of the Film Threat office) than to see small studios take on the big boys. Yes, Pixar. I’m talking about you. The contender today is Santiago Aguilera and Gabriel Monreal’s animated short, The Boy and the Mountain.
Aguilera and Monreal tell the story of a young boy, Hernán (Signalie Villalba), who daydreams when he should be paying attention in school. His concerned father takes him to the principal, and Hernán is asked what he wants to do for a living. Does he want to be a doctor, a lawyer, or what? Hernán is faced with a choice of taking the safe route in life or following his dream — conquering mountains as a mountain climber.
“…faced with a choice of taking the safe route in life or following his dream — conquering mountains…”
The Boy and the Mountain is the true story of Hernán Leal. By day, he’s a successful businessman and motivational speaker from Chile, and by night he’s an accomplished mountain climber, having climbed the highest peaks around the world. Aguilera and Monreal’s 11-minute animated short leads to Hernán’s ascent of Mount Everest. The short also encourages young people that a dream is not a dream unless there is a risk of failure.
The animation throughout is gorgeous. The human characters rival the quality of Blue Sky animation, though inching closer to Pixar, but it’s the rendering of nature and mountain climbing that is top-notch. The mountain climbing scenes, along with complex weather effects, look like a painting. I forgot I was watching animation at times. The fact that it is inspiring and beautiful are more than enough reasons to see The Boy and the Mountain.
"…rival[s] the quality of Blue Sky animation, though inching closer to Pixar..."