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Falling Tide

A young boy is kicked off the train, and isn't allowed back on. Will it take off without him? Can he get his parents’ attention? He doesn’t have much time before the waves come in! This surreal story is told in wordless anime style.

(vimeo link)

Animation student Ning Cheng produced this at CalArts. If you get to the end and still don’t understand the allegory, read the first comment. -via reddit


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That's an interesting interpretation, but very somber considering the boy's age. My friend actually made this film and the first comment has the intended interpretation. His parents apparent apathy come from already being dead and separated from his reality, every person on the train is sort of isolated in the state they died in (working too hard, old age and sickness). When the parents finally see him it's more 'sorry it has to be this way' rather than animosity.

Anyway I am proud to see her work spread around the internet!! :D
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I feel I should preface the following to say that I believe your analogy is correct and it's what I too concluded. Oh, the feels. But as I watched it unfold, I had different thoughts:

Up until the final scene, I wondered if it was about dealing with depression--perhaps even severe. Uncaring passengers on the train of life, in a desolate land with just a hint of greenery; parents happy because they'd be better off without him; the kid himself representing his innocence, lost. The looming storm and ensuing wave of depression sweeps over and finally overwhelms him.

In a way, I guess it still could be this idea except that the wrecked car isn't his parents'--it's the one he suicidally jumped in front of. The final scenes are of him floating off into the Great Unknown even as paramedics try to save him.
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The train is taking its passengers to the land of the dead. The boy got pulled back to life by the wave, which represents the hands of the paramedics. His parents on the train are happy to leave him behind.
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