Steve Cutts’ short animal film ‘Happiness’ is the wake up call we all need. In 4 minutes, he makes us question what happiness really means to us on an individual level and how we’re cashing in on it’s skewed socially dictated version. Is happiness something you can buy off the shelf? And what price do we pay at the end of the day to achieve a version of happiness that might not even be our own to begin with? ‘Happiness’ is brilliantly executed and certainly thought-provoking, we can only hope that his message stays with us even after his film ends.
Watch award winning animator Steve Cutts’ short film here:
Here are 8 subtle things you might have overlooked in this fast paced and all too real animation:
1. All aboard the NOWHERE express: in the rat race that life has become, Cutts makes us question if we even know where we’re all headed.
2. In what looks like a poster that is a play on Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan, it states “Get to work quicker…than the rest”. We’re all taught the same thing, there is only one way to get ahead in life and that is to you crush your competition. But do we even know what we’re competing for? Cutts seems to think it’s ‘Happiness’ and at the end of his animation short he shows us what price we’re willing to pay for it.
3. The ad “Shake that depression! With new Kispo Flakes” seems apt for times when quick fixes are offered to those with mental health concerns. Who hasn’t heard the phrase ‘exercising will make everything better/think happy thoughts’ e.t.c
4. The billboard for “Trump: The Musical”. The poster for this musical, which ought to be rife with political incorrectness and insensitivity, would no doubt sell-out in Cutts’ imaginary world.
5. Driving towards happiness in a luxury car?
6. “Hapiness Hapiness” reminds us of a very popular American coffeehouse chain that too has received much hate for it’s cup designs during holiday season. The ‘Missing Big Toe – Last Seen On Foot – Sorely Missed’ poster can also be spotted more than once in the animation short.
7. “Happimeds” courtesy “Graxon Smithe Klump”. Does this remind anyone of the antidepressant Paxil/Seroxat by GlaxoSmithKline? Ofcourse it doesn’t.
8. And lastly, the advertisement for ‘SOMA’ that pops up multiple times throughout the animation, referring to the opiate like drug in Aldous Huxley’s 1931 dystopian novel ‘Brave New World’. In the novel, the government issued drug Soma makes people so happy that they cannot comprehend reality.
In this animation, the devil is certainly in the details. If we’ve missed out on your favourite bits, do share them with us in the comments below. In the meantime, happy consuming (pun intended).