Since Pixar's very first feature film was released in 1995, the computer animation studio behind Toy Story has been knocking out hit after hit after hit. But before the likes of Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and The Incredibles broke box office records, the tiny animation department of what was once LucasFilm started out making simple but striking short films to showcase what they could do. And it looks like this small team of New York animation students might be following in their footsteps.
The seven-minute short that the students created for their thesis tells the story of a young man’s wedding proposal, which is put in jeopardy when he drops his engagement ring into the ocean. As he is forced to dive into unknown waters to salvage his plan, he meets a few new faces — some more friendly than others. With the beautiful backdrop of the sea, Taking The Plunge is vaguely reminiscent of Pixar's own Finding Nemo, yet still stands as a completely original creation with some outstanding imagery and super memorable moments.
The film was thought up, written, animated and produced by a team of just four seniors studying Computer Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York. They spent ten months working on the project and the results speak for themselves. With a relatable storyline, solid narrative, loveable characters and perfectly timed humor, Taking The Plunge has all of the things you might expect from a Pixar box office smash — and it manages to do so without a single line of dialogue.
Watch the full film below:
Am I the only one who wanted the clip to keep on going?! I could really see this as the intro to a full-length feature. Sadly, it doesn't look like that will be happening any time soon, but the clip is already so highly effective on its own that perhaps it really does say it all already. Cinematographer Nick Manfredi told me that while there are no plans to make Taking The Plunge any longer, he wouldn't rule out featuring the characters in a different film in the future. Even more excitingly, he also revealed that some brand new shorts are already underway!
Full credit to the whole team (Thaddaeus Andreades, Nicholas Manfredi, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero and Marie Raoult) for creating such a special short, and to Jermone Leroy for providing the music. To see what actually went into making the film, check out this brilliant behind-the-scenes clip put together for the SVA Admissions page: