“If love is your greatest weakness, you’re the strongest person on Earth” – Rabindranath TagoreLove is perhaps the most prized sentiment of all emotions. It binds us together, breaks us and even makes us. Though a day isn’t enough to celebrate the power and strength of love, this Valentine’s Day, let’s spread love and laughs in this world that’s presently full of hatred and bloodshed. To make this day even more special, we’ve picked few ‘out-of-the-box’ animated shorts that’ll surely melt your heart – In a Heartbeat (2017) Love is a beautiful feeling and that has nothing to do with one’s sex. Sex is biological but gender is social, and this film portrays just that. The film finds a closeted boy who runs the risk of being exposed by his own heart, after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams. Created by Beth David and Esteban Bravo, the film adorably and wisely shatters the stigma attached to homosexuality. It highlights that it is absolutely normal to love anyone irrespective of their sex, race, religion and it’s as beautiful as the concept of love. The baring of one’s heart out to someone they love, getting it broken and mended by the same person, metaphorically showcases the bond that strengthens by facing all the hardships together. The Spider and the Butterfly (2018) Love isn’t merely restricted to humans. Other creatures also equally feel the emotion as strongly as we do, and this animated short beautifully portrays that. Created by Dragonfoxgirl, this heartwarming short revolves around a little white female spider who daydreams about flying off to meet her other half from her hanging flower pot. Wishing the same company as the butterflies, she makes leaf wings to take off but falls into the abyss of the grass bellow. There, she comes across a peculiar butterfly and together they discover the beauty of imperfections and explore different dynamics of relationships till their last breath. The short ends with their offspring, a spider-fly embracing her uniqueness and taking a flight to soar higher. This film also showcases embracing one’s peculiarities and being confident about their scars. Head over Heels (2016) Written and directed Timothy Reckart, this British stop motion animated short film is probably the dearest one on this list. Nominated for Best Animated Short Film for the 85th Academy Awards, Head over Heels tells the story of Walter and Madge, an elderly married couple who have grown apart from each other after many years of their marriage. They live separate parallel lives (he lives on the floor and she lives on the ceiling) barely even looking at each other, leave alone talking. When Walter tries to reignite their old romance, it brings their world crashing down on the ground (both metaphorically and literally) and the couple who can’t agree which way is up, must find a way to put their marriage back together by striking an equilibrium. This film beautifully captures the complexities of relationships and the various phases it goes through in life. The couple’s world mirrors the modern world which is devoid of a focal point. Thus their world turns upside down, (which is again subjective to each of them) when they fight and cannot zero down on what’s correct way. Though they seem to have drifted apart, they still have an invisible bond between them. The film conveys the message that love always finds a way back if it’s meant to be and it’s never too late to mend anything, even a broken relationship. Tea Time (2015) Love comes in all shapes and sizes! It finds you when you least expect it in various forms, even objects and this short shows how! Tea Time finds an elderly woman who is assisted by an almost broken robot, 24X7. Things get haywire when she replaces her old companion robot by a more latest one. This short smartly points a finger to the consequences of extensive digitisation and advancement of technology which makes us look away from the simpler things in life and dear ones. Created by Esma, It also ensures the fact that “broken crayons still colour” or rather ‘broken robots still saves the day’ and brings back harmony in her life. A love Story (2016) The title of this short might sound cliched but the content and treatment is one of a kind. The film impresses us with its simplicity and spreads its message without being preachy. Living in a society full of competition where everybody is on the run to be the best, many times we live behind simpler things of life and people we love. In our constant efforts to be better than others, most of the times we forget that we can be better together. And this exactly what the film depicts that there’s a good way to live together and fight for love than fighting with each other. Let there be love always! Happy Valentine’s Day!