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Western Animation / Sound of Sunshine - Sound of Rain

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Sound of Sunshine - Sound of Rain is a 1983 animated short film (14 minutes) directed by Caroline Heyward.

It's based on a 1970 children's book by Florence Parry Heide. A young boy wakes up and greets the morning. He is blind, so he has a careful routine in which he reaches over to the chair by his bed to find the clothes his mother has prepared for them, then he counts the steps to the window and then to the kitchen where his mom makes him breakfast.

His sister takes him to the park where he enjoys the fresh air and eats some ice cream. It just so happens that the boy is Black. When his sister comes back and takes him to a produce store, an ugly incident ensues.

Lisa Bonet, who became famous not long after this when she was a regular on The Cosby Show, voices the boy's older sister.


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Tropes:

  • An Aesop: The boy tells his sister about Abram, the friend he made in the park, and how Abram said colors don't matter. The sister, who is highly upset after the encounter with the storekeeper, asks if Abram is black or white. When the boy says he doesn't know, the sister cries and hugs him and says "I wish everyone could see the world like you do."
  • Animated Adaptation: A children's book made into an animated short.
  • The Faceless: None of the faces of the other characters are shown, which is appropriate since the boy is blind and can't see them.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: What plays like a portrait of the world of a blind young boy takes a hard turn into an exploration of racism, as the boy accidentally knocks over a stack of apples, and gets screamed at by a racist shopkeeper.
  • Match Cut: The single tear on the sister's face is matched with raindrops hitting the window of the boy's room.
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  • Narrator: The boy tells his own story.
  • No Name Given: Almost a Nameless Narrative, but the ice cream man in the park identifies himself as Abram. None of the other characters (the boy, the mom, the sister, the Jamaican woman, the racist shop owner) are named.
  • Title Drop: The boy talks about listening to the sound of the rain on the window. Later, he shows his sister all the balloons he blew up. Thinking about what Abram said about colors being sounds, he wonders if all his balloons are "the sound of sunshine."
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