Is If Anything Happens I Love You a true story? Let’s get the Netflix animation explained as audiences react on Twitter.

Netflix has surely reduced audiences to tears a number of times this year, whether they were watching I’m Thinking of Ending Things, The Queen’s Gambit or any number of hard-hitting efforts they’ve unveiled in 2020.

Then again, these aforementioned titles took a fair amount of time to earn such a heartfelt reaction.

With If Anything Happens I Love You, on the other hand, it took mere minutes.

Directed by Michael Glovier and Will McCormack, this animated short clocks in at 12 minutes in length yet packs a mighty punch with its tale of parents in mourning.

We open on a couple sitting at opposite ends of the dining table, uncomfortably far apart from one another. Images of them yelling hover above them.

Although they’re quiet and subdued on the outside, they are perhaps yelling at one another on the inside; maybe these images of them confronting one another inform us of their pasts? Did such an argument precede this opening scene?

As the short continues, the truth behind this tale of ghostly shadows and loss becomes clear…

still from “If Anything Happens I Love You” trailer, Gilbert Films et al., YouTube

Is If Anything Happens I Love You a true story?

  • No, If Anything Happens I Love You is not a true story. However, it is a response to school shootings in general, which are unfortunately a tragic reality.

The film presents us with parents who have lost their daughter due to a school shooting. When the record player in her old room turns on, they reflect on the life of their beloved 10-year-old to the soundtrack of ‘1950’ by King Princess.

Although we never see the action take place, we hear the gunshots and sirens.

The final text she sent is revealed: “If anything happens, I love you.”

Despite If anything happens I Love You not being a true story in the strictest sense, Decider notes that the text – and therefore title – echoes the texts sent by students to their loved ones at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018 during a real school shooting.

Addressing the importance and reasons for making the film, Will McCormack explained while in conversation with Animation Scoop: “We wanted to create an elegy for these parents who have dealt with that grief that no one should have to go through.”

Michael Glovier added: “You’re watching a grieving process. I do think there’s hope within it because you’re seeing the human spirit and how much the human spirit can endure and go forward. That is a huge testament to all of us and also to survivors – and also the ones who were lost.”

Laura Dern offers her thoughts

The film was executive produced by Oscar-winning actress Laura Dern (Marriage Story)and she spoke about the project’s power with Variety:

“The fact hat it spoke so beautifully to the issue at hand was miraculous in a dialogue-less way and to be able to reach everyone was something we found so moving.”

She added: “Separate from that, they were able to capture the theme of grief in a way that transcended animation and transcended film which is so rare to experience. No one wants to talk about it and it’s wild that it’s this thing we don’t speak of.”

Audiences react on Twitter

Since the short arrived on Netflix, audiences have taken the time to write their thoughts on Twitter.

Check out a selection of tweets:

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