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Western Animation / Borrowed Time

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Borrowed Time is a 2016 animated short film directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj.

It begins with a sheriff in a Western setting walking up to the edge of the cliff, his face suffused with grief. The reason for his grief is shown in a series of flashbacks, which show the sheriff as a boy riding in a wagon train with his father, until tragedy intervenes.

Although Coats and Hamou-Lhadj were both staff animators at Pixar, and the short reflects Pixar animation quality and style, it is not an official Pixar short, having been released independently by Quorum Films.

A rare example of the Animation Age Ghetto being averted in an American film.

Not to be confused with the 1985 adventure game.


Tropes Contained in this Work

  • Age Cut: From the man's older, grief-stricken face to his face as a boy riding alongside his father.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Sheriff shakes himself out of his Heroic BSoD and finds his father's watch, but he's still grieving and forlorn, especially since he was directly responsible for his father's death.
  • Darker and Edgier: Maybe this trope doesn't strictly apply as this is not actually a Pixar short, but if one does consider it a Pixar product, then this is quite a bit darker than anything the studio has ever made before.
  • Deconstruction: Of the Western shoot-out and the grizzled, stony cowboy. As a young man, his inexperience with a shotgun led to him accidentally filling his father with buckshot, and today he's not so stony so much as depressed.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: All we see of the father's death is a splatter of blood on his son's face as he accidentally pulls the trigger.
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  • How We Got Here: The short tells the story of an aged Sheriff about to jump to his death and the burden he's lived with for so long which convinced him to. Thankfully, he doesn't go through with it.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The man is about to step off the cliff when he catches a glimpse of his father's watch, which has been lying there ever since his death. He just barely manages to avoid going over.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: The father winds up dangling off a cliff after the wagon crashes.
  • Manly Tears: The sheriff weeps as he remembers the death of his father.
  • Missing Mom: Only a father and son in the wagon.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Not quite. There are three lines of dialogue in the scene where the father is hanging off the cliff.
  • Oh, Crap!: The father clearly gets a second of this as he sees his son's hand sliding to the trigger.
  • Scenery Porn: Some jaw-dropping computer animation of a desert valley.
  • Self-Made Orphan: By accident. The son is trying to pull up his father from a cliff, who is holding onto the other end of a gun. His hand slips.
  • Tragic Keepsake: In the beginning of the short, the sheriff's father gives him his own golden watch and hat. The sheriff keeps the hat and finds the watch again. The short ends with the sound of the watch ticking, indicating that the man has carried on.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Where did the bandit go? Did the father shoot him?
  • The Wild West: Wagons, sheriffs, stunning mesa views, bandits, stuff like that.


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