World of the Future: The Benefits of Animation

World of the Future: The Benefits of Animation

The film “World of the Future” is animated in a style that looks as though a small child could have drawn all of the images. The two main characters are stick figures, the robots are literally just balls of scribble and many times the background is made up of just simple shapes and dots. Even though this film is visually very simple, it is still able to effectively present a story that involves very complex themes and get the audience to become at least a little bit emotionally invested in this experience. The simple child-like animation connects the viewers with Emily who is a happy, innocent little girl. We see the horrors of a future where people transfer their memories to clones from the viewpoint of a child which helps lighten the mood of the film. Using animation, masses of dead bodies can be shown floating around in space and then hurtling down to Earth in a way that is not completely visually disturbing while still getting the point across that things are not going well in the future. The playful animation along with the contrast between the sad Emily clone and the happy, excited Emily prime adds plenty of comic relief to this otherwise very depressing film. The funny and light-hearted animation with the serious adult topics is similar to having a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine down. The comedy and animation make it easier to take and think about the serious and depressing topics this film explores. Hertzfeldt succeeded in making a film that touched on a nice variety of science fiction topics in a funny and creative way while lasting only 17 minutes long.

What are the disadvantages to this style of animation? Does the film take these serious topics too lightly?


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