Short Film: ‘When the Day Breaks’ is a Gracefully Animated Slice of Surrealist Life

Why Watch? In focusing on short films from Cannes, we land on this fantastic wonder from Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby that features a humanized menagerie going through their daily routine when tragedy strikes.

Without dialogue, it seeks to share a man’s (well, really a chicken’s) life as well as a stirringly profound moment in it. The story is a triumph, but most striking is the animation itself, which flutters with a rare energy, flowing between the fantastic (a pig happily skinning potatoes) to the almost-photo-real (a lemon rolling into a gutter, the reflection off a toaster). When the Day Breaks is peerlessly detailed in its cinematography, using hand-drawn and painted elements on top of photocopies to share a wholly realized world.

What Will It Cost? About 9 minutes.

Keep Watching Short Films

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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