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This Inspirational Oscar-Nominated Animated Short Is Already Beloved by TikTok

A still from the oscar nominated animated short film The Boy The Mole The Fox and The Horse.

Lately while scrolling through my TikTok FYP, I’ve been consistently seeing clips from an animated short film called The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse. The film is apparently based on a children’s book that I never read, so I was unprepared for the emotional journey I was about to embark on with my first watch.

The aesthetics of the film are drop-dead gorgeous and the voice acting is soft, yet evocative. Moreover, the dialogue, oh god, it breaks my heart and puts it together all at once. The story is ultimately a greater exploration of what it means to depend on others with a vulnerable heart, and what it means to become who you need to be in order to be happy. A very tall order, achievable only through the magic of animation and childlike fables.

So I was delighted to hear that this short film was nominated for the 2023 Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Normally, when these sorts of things take off on social media, I find they’re just kind of derivative and unworthy of praise, but The Boy is more than worthy of this sort of attention. People are being drawn to it because it’s atypically full of heart and love, considering the current market, and I think we all kind of need that right now. I know this is ultimately a story for kids, but when I saw this scene in particular I was reduced to a puddle:

You can currently watch The Boy on Apple TV+—which yes, picking and choosing streaming apps is annoying, but this film is worth it. The team has worked on it for years, through quarantine even, and it makes me feel really warm that it’s getting so much acclaim.

(Featured Image: Apple TV+, BBC One)

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Madeline (she/her) is a writer and dog mom. She aims to use her writing to positively represent mixed-race people like herself, and is currently working on a novel. However, when she isn't writing, she's either battling insomnia or taking too many naps. You can read her stuff at