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Canvas: A Netflix Pantomime of Love, Loss and Hope


Trauma, pain, misery, and hopelessness. These things are enough to make a living person dead and lifeless. They break us into pieces and never let us heal from wounds, that have made their homes deep into our hearts. When a person is traumatized by a personal loss he has suffered, it takes away everything from him and throws it in places he will never be able to recover it from. But till the time you’re alive, there’s hope that you can walk into those places, pick up your pieces, and live life, for you have it just once. One such short film based on this truth is ‘Canvas’ distributed by Netflix.

Netflix is one of the leading online streaming platforms and that too for a reason. It is a plethora of content suitable for all age groups and genres. At one point it is a platform that takes you through the unconventional topics, on the other it lets you sit back and enjoy the hackneyed, that is sometimes the only thing that makes you happy. Apart from the individualistic projects the online platform is known for holding, it never fails to bring stories that are heartwarming and sweet, that will leave you teary-eyed.

‘Canvas’ is a 9-minute pantomime that premiered on 11 December 2020. Directed by the former Pixar animator Frank E. Abney III, the animated short film is all about love, loss, and hope. The team has been working on this project for about six years in their off-hours while working on the big projects, side by side. On speaking about his short film, Abney says that the idea and concept of this film crossed his mind six years ago.

At that time, he was having a rough patch creatively and was trying to find his place in the entertainment industry. That time, he spent his time with his family. He used to watch his niece and kids being carefree all the time. He feels that kids navigate the world without any burden on their shoulders, that the adults are bound to carry. That particular innocent thing about them inspired him to come up with a project, that would depict the same. He weaved a story that portrayed the personal losses he has suffered in his life and the reactions associated with his family members.

Abney lost his father when he was five and he has seen his family suffering and being affected by his loss. He has seen his mother working head and supporting her children as a single mother, both financially and emotionally. He always wondered that is there some piece of her mother that she lost in the process of losing his father?

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A still from the film

Canvas is one such film that deals with the concept of losing a piece of yourself with the loss you suffer in your personal life. It portrays the story of a grandfather who is traumatized by the loss in his life, and with it, he loses his creative ability of art. It takes us through a series of events where her granddaughter helps him to get over the creative block his grandfather is suffering, and somewhere or the other, lost his happiness and hope amidst it.

Without a simple word being spoken, Canvas succeeds as beautifully portraying the emotions it beholds, through the visuals. The 9-minute short film is available to be streamed on Netflix. Spare a moment, and witness the emotional ride of events it will take you to.

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