YouTube Falls Hard for ‘In a Heartbeat,’ a Boy-Meets-Boy StoryYouTube Falls Hard for ‘In a Heartbeat,’ a Boy-Meets-Boy Storyby Christina Caron of The New York Times August 4, 2017
It’s hard to forget your first childhood crush — and the anxiety that accompanied it. That heart-pounding, sweaty-palmed infatuation is nothing new in children’s animation, but two students decided to tell the tale in a different way, creating an animated short film that is drawing the interest of big production studios.
Here, the enamored characters are both middle-school boys. And their dovelike innocence is charming a huge audience on YouTube. Posted on Monday, the four-minute film
has already been viewed more than 14 million times. Celebrities have taken note. Ashton Kutcher posted an article about it on Facebook
. The filmmakers, Beth David, 21, and Esteban Bravo, 24, made the short for their senior thesis while at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.
Their animation tells the story of Sherwin, a redhead who has a crush on Jonathan, described on the film’s Tumblr page as “the most popular boy in school.” Sherwin is afraid to show his emotions, but no matter — his heart volunteers for the mission, literally jumping out of his chest and bounding toward the boy who caught his eye. The heart wants what the heart wants, a tale very personal to viewers. One secret of its charm is its simplicity, as the story is told without words — just music and animation.