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A heartwarming animation about a teenage boy who develops a same-sex romance with his fellow schoolmate has been viewed millions of times in just a few days.
Short film “In a Heartbeat”, in the style of Pixar’s popular animations, was made by two American college students who raised the money via an internet appeal.
More than $14,000 was pledged to fund the project, which creators Beth David and Esteban Bravo said dealt with “a real and personal topic in a very sweet and light-hearted way”.
The pair of computer animation students said they hoped the four-minute story will help tackle the lack of LGBTQ characters and story lines in media and animated films, especially in children’s programmes.
Ms David, who studies at Florida’s Ringling School of Art and Design, told NBC News: “The original pitch was a story between a boy and a girl.
“But it wasn’t until we made it about a same-gender crush that the idea really started to take form and resonate with Esteban and I.
“We realised that we had something that could potentially be really special to us.”
In the film, a closeted schoolboy is outed by his own heart, which is personified and and pops out of his body to pursue another male students.
The finished film has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube, garnering hundreds of positive comments – although the video also attracted some homophobic backlash.
But internet users hit back at the abuse, with one viewer commenting: “Can y’all believe we’re in a time where adults shame kids for being in love with who they want to be”.
Another fan of the film said: “These talented people need to make some movies.”
Esteban Bravo told NBC: “There have been a few nods to the LGBTQ community in recent children’s programming… but it’s very rare that an LGBTQ character is given the spotlight.
“Especially in a medium like animation that is predominantly geared towards children and family.
“With [“In a Heartbeat”], we wanted to challenge the preconceived notion that LGBTQ content is not appropriate or suitable for younger audiences.
“It’s an innocent and lighthearted story about a boy and his crush that we hope will resonate with younger people regardless of their background.”
London News & Search