Lead article image

Screengrab via Borrowed Time/Vimeo

Pixar animators spent 5 years making this devastatingly beautiful short film in their spare time

Stop what you're doing and watch this.


Austin Powell


Posted on Oct 14, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 7:22 pm CDT

Pixar animators Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj’s brilliant short film has been racking up accolades on the festival circuit, and now you can watch it on Vimeo

Borrowed Time captures a lonely sheriff as he stares down the barrel of a painful memory from his past. The film has a plaintive score by composer Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, Babel).   


“The goal for us was to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically,” Hamou-Lhadj says in an accompanying featurette. “ We really wanted to make something that was a little bit more adult in the thematic choices and show that animation could be a medium to tell any sort of story.”

To that end, Borrowed Time accomplishes more in six minutes than most movies do in two hours. (Editor’s note: The directors have turned the video on private. Below, we’ve embedded the trailer.)

Borrowed Time is a fitting title, given the circumstances Coats and  Hamou-Lhadj made the film under. It was by possible through Pixar’s Co-op program, an internal professional development program that allows employees to use Pixar resources in their free time. The film took over five years to make.

“There were a lot of technical hurdles,” Coats told Carton Brew. “There’s a team of people who are usually on one of our movies that we really didn’t have available to help on our team. So we had to build everything.”

Share this article
*First Published: Oct 14, 2016, 5:12 pm CDT