A little boy goes out on a rowboat one night with his father and grandfather. It's evidently some sort of rite-of-passage, as they make a great show out of giving him a workman's cap just like theirs, while he tries to imitate them. A gigantic moon rises. Then the tone goes from realistic to whimsical when the dad pulls out a wooden ladder that the boy uses to climb to the moon!!
Originally released at film festivals in 2011. Received wide distribution in 2012 when it played in theaters ahead of Pixar feature Brave.
- An Aesop: Your solution to a problem can be different from others', but that doesn't mean it's wrong.
- Art Shift: 2-D animation inspired by Hayao Miyazaki over the closing credits.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Very subtly and perhaps coincidentally, but the little boy has perfectly round eyes and large, dark pupils, making the sclera of his eyes resemble crescent moons, complete with shadow.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: No big deal when the moon's gravity pulls the boy off the ladder and up to the lunar service. He can even shout back and forth with his dad and grandpa back on Earth.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: The big, burly father, skinny grandfather, and tiny little boy.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The boy starts work in the family business.
- Hammerspace: The father pulls out a very long ladder from the obviously very shallow cargo space at the bottom of a rowboat. Of course, it may be a magic ladder, since it can reach to the moon.
- Nameless Narrative: Promotional material refers to the three characters simply as Bambino (boy), Papa, and Nonno (grandpa).
- Painting the Frost on Windows: Why does the moon appear so bright when it's full? Because it's covered by shooting stars that land. Why does it wane to a crescent? Because three Italian workmen climb up there and clear the shooting stars off.
- Repeat After Me: While waiting for the moon to rise, the boy copies his father rubbing his nose and his grandfather scratching his ear.
- Shatterpoint Tap: Demonstrated by the boy. As the father and grandfather dither about what to do with the gigantic star that has just landed on the moon, the boy pulls out his hammer and gives it one tap on the top, which causes it to shatter into many smaller stars.
- Silence Is Golden: Like almost every Pixar theatrical short, no dialogue. This one has the characters Speaking Simlish.
- So Proud of You: No words are exchanged, but this is clearly how the father and grandfather feel about the boy figuring out how to shatter the large star, all by himself.
- Speaking Simlish: All of the "dialogue" is gibberish, though the characters' actions and body language make them easy to understand.
- Take a Third Option: The little boy does this three times when presented with two options by his father and grandfather. All are symbolic of him coming of age and becoming his own person.
- When the grandfather gives the boy a hat, the father wants him to wear it pulled low on his head, while the grandfather wants him to wear it pulled up. Later, the boy flips his hat backwards.
- When sweeping the stars off the moon, the father and grandfather try to get him to choose between a pushbroom or a besom broom. At the end of the short, he chooses a rake.
- When a huge star crashes into the moon so hard that its get stuck in the surface, the father tries to pull it out with his bare hands while the grandfather tries to dislodge it with a broom handle. While they are arguing, the boy climbs onto the star and strikes its weak point with a hammer, shattering it into hundreds of smaller stars.
- Visual Pun: The boy is amused to see that the grandpa has a mop that looks just like his long beard, while the father has a push broom that looks just like his bushy mustache.
- Weird Moon: For starters, the moon is staggeringly huge when it rises. Then it appears to be only a ladder climb away (which may be why it's so huge!).