by Lauren Allred
It’s a universal mystery and wonder that the world continues to rotate despite the star rattling creations of remarkable people. Shelter is this star rattling short film. Now its style of art is that of an anime, the message and music will sting your senses and leave your heart in hideous scars because of how much a six minute clip can make you feel. Anime is not at all my style, but I gave it a chance which lead to giving up living for an hour or so rewatching it to put the pieces together due to so much detail and meaning placed innately with its perfect timing with Porter Robinsons song, Shelter. Few shows are as detailed in its entire series as this short film. The beautiful thing about a Short Film is that it opens to the audience a story they can continue to create. As viewers, we become master storytellers influenced by the ideas of others. But I remind you, no thought is truly original.
Shelter, tells the story of an older teenage girl who lives in a utopia. A world where she builds its layout and then lives inside it. She is alone, and you see she has not had a message in 7 years. She is the only one and everyday she builds world’s and tears them down and rebuilds. At the beginning we come to an understanding that she realizes her lonely state and tells the story through memory. She builds and one of the layouts she creates was inspired from her subconscious, plucking a nostalgic string. She starts to remember herself before her utopia. She just sees glimpses of faces and the oblivion of childhood packaged with the love of life, that lensed her true surroundings. She comes across a layout of a world she did not create. She recognizes herself at a younger age, playing. The face most recognized is that of her young father. You can see how much he loves her, as he plays with her. You see they live in a dystopian world where a planet is pulling closer to Earth, dooming their world . Despite that, you see her father’s blueprints of a ship. He continues to play with her, allowing her to have love and childhood to grow in. Giving everything he has for his daughter. As the music becomes stronger, you can see what her father had programmed, and it is meant for one. I assume he did not have enough time to help save himself, due to his efforts of trying to save is child from a dying world. He plugs her into this ship(keep in mind she is still a little child, that allows her to feel and live, but her mind is in a world where she creates and runs and plays and grows. You see her father smiling as he watches the ship leave whilst the planet overcomes his. She comes to an understanding that she will always be lonely, but because of the memories, she can continue to grow and allow them to live in her. She gets a message for the first time in seven years. It is a letter from her father. To, Rin. Her father programmed a world, waiting for a time she was ready to know why he did it, where she could understand why he did so, he programmed a message to send explaining his love and hope. Though he is presumably dead, he programmed a beautiful utopia for her to grow in while the ship travels on.
I give this short film top ratings for its beautiful story, animation, music, and meaning. That when things we love leave, they do so in a tangible way, but in a more profound understanding they don’t. Living on in memories that we cherish and honor. Because of that we can create and run and play and grow. Feast your senses on this beautiful, virtual world and inference what you will. Meanwhile, I shall swaddle myself in a blanket and stare through wet eyes in wonder, as I watch Shelter on loop.