Solus, a new short film from video production company Identity Visuals, has answered a question that no one asked: What would happen if the pathos of Wall-E was transferred to the world of classic arcade game Asteroids and rendered to look like the classic PC game Out Of This World (aka Another World)? But it’s a great thing they did, because the outcome is a short tale of discovery, hope, despair, loneliness, and longing all told without a single word being uttered or put on screen. With a minimalist/Eames-era look, Identity Visuals (led by Zac Dixon) tells the story of a lone rocket searching the universe for something and all of the billions upon billions of stars it travels by in order to find it. There’s a lot of impressive economy of narrative that comes through with the design—the ship appears stationary at the center of the screen as it hurtles through space through much of the film—and the evocative score.
For those interested in knowing more about how the film was made, Dixon has put up a wealth of information about what went into Solus’ creation. Internet animations like this, The Reward, Pixar’s short films, and Disney shorts like Feast and Paperman all seem to suggest a resurgence in the short animated film genre, a renaissance infused with great emotion from the filmmakers.