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It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a compelling twist on the animated genre

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It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a compelling animated masterpiece by Dan Hertzfelt that follows a man named Bill through life.

Hertzfelt is able to bring every difficult thing that Bill faces in this movie to life and make the viewer uncomfortable, scared, and in awe of the mysteries of life and day-to-day monotonous activities. The strange, simple, surreal movie is embedded with beautiful and disturbing outlooks that truly make you think. 

The movie begins with Bill having simple interactions with a narrator describing the scenes and his thoughts. Throughout the movie, Bill’s thoughts become more and more distorted. It goes through Bill’s past and present afflictions and simple everyday actions.

Many of the animations are simple, yet beautiful and a bit creepy. The narration never goes any deeper than Bill’s thoughts and actions. Never going into detail. Never explaining.

He becomes sick, and with every animation, Bill’s view of his world becomes distorted and unsettling. The scary imagery used for these scenes immerses the viewer into Bill’s world, making you feel just as uncomfortable as Bill.  

The other main characters introduced are his mother and his ex-girlfriend. Bill relies mainly on these characters to take care of him and give him support, but he never gives them anything in return. At one point, he distrusts his mother so much that when she walks up behind him with a pair of scissors to cut some thread off his shirt, he smacks it out of her hands. His poor mother says,  “How could you think I’d ever want to hurt you?” and crumples into a ball. His only thought is that she looks old.

As time goes on, he has fictitious memories of his family’s past showing how he is slowly losing his grip on reality. Even his own memories seem out of place and a bit odd.

It’s at this point that Bill dreams he is in the hospital dying. As he is dying in his dream, the narrator utters these words:

“Bill finally finds himself staring his death in the face surrounded by people he no longer recognizes and feels no closer attachment to than the thousands of relatives who’d come before. And as the sun continues to set, he finally comes to realize the dumb irony in how he’d been waiting for this moment his entire life, this stupid, awkward moment of death that had invaded and distracted so many days with stress and wasted time. If only he could travel back and impart some wisdom to his younger self. If only he could at least tell the young people in this room. He lifts an arm to speak but inexplicably says, ‘It smells like dust and moonlight.’ “

After this dream, he simply continues on with his day, but everything seems a bit more distorted from before. It’s even a bit happy, but not genuinely happy, as if it was forced. As if his dream impacted him and how he views the world. 

As the movie goes on, Bill and the narrator lose grip on what is really happening and fabricating memories. Gradually, the movie becomes more and more distorted, but slowly less creepy. As it reaches its conclusion, it’s almost as if to calm the viewer down from the rollercoaster of before.   

The concept of the movie has and will continue to move me: a sick man losing his grasp on reality as he pushes away the people who really love him. The simple and deep style gives the whole movie an indescribable feeling that you must watch to understand. Dan Hertzfelt is truly a creative genius.

What I’ve learned is that every day, we should live life not wasting or fearing it, but rather entering every day saying, it’s such a beautiful day.

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It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a compelling twist on the animated genre