Film animation has come a hell of long way since Emile Cohl’s 1908 Fantasmagorie, a short widely believed to be the first ever animated cartoon. Made up of 700 drawings it features a stick man interacting with a number of different objects and plays out like a stream of unfiltered consciousness. Despite its simplicity it remains a wonderful piece of work that reminds us how the boundaries of animation are only ever as limited as our own imagination.
Over 100 years on and anyone familiar with two-time Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt’s singular style know that even in an age dominated by CGI, spending 62 minutes in the company of his stick man Bill offers one of the most moving and profound experiences cinema has to offer. Those yet to see his 2012 debut, It's Such a Beautiful Day, now have the chance after the animator-writer-director took to Twitter last night and announced it was available to watch for free on Vimeo.
Hertzfeldt tweeted: “While we're all locked indoors wondering how bad things will get, "it's such a beautiful day" will be available to stream around the world for free. use the coupon at the following link if you need something new to fall asleep to.”
It’s Such a Beautiful Day stitches together three shorts into a single whole, combining Everything Will Be Okay, I Am So Proud of You and It’s Such a Beautiful Day. Hertzfeldt narrates the existential thoughts of Bill as he deals with life, death, depression, mental illness and the at times overwhelming nature of the world around him. It will make you laugh, cry and reflect on your own place in the universe. That it manages to do all this with the use of such simple form is a testament not only to Hertzfeldt’s talent, but to the transformative power of animation. Trust us, it really is that good.
To watch it's A Such a Beautiful Day head over to Vimeo and either log in or make a free account and click 'Rent'. If the discount coupon doesn't automatically appear in the checkout you can enter in the code 'IAMSTUCKINSIDE' manually. If you want to buy rather than rent it is available for only £7.20.
And if you enjoy the film we suggest you check out some of Hertzfeldt's other work such as The Meaning of Life, Rejected (a wonderful fuck you to the world of brand advertising), World of Tomorrow and World of Tomorrow - Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts.