Last night, I saw Monsters University with a few friends and one of the films included in the previews was a short film by Pixar titled ‘The Blue Umbrella’ which was one of the most creative short films ever! The story is about a blue umbrella and a red umbrella that fall in love.
I would love to be able to share the entire short film but I think you can only see it in the previews before Monsters University. Basically, everything- the mailbox, the walk-sign, the sidewalk- has a face and is an animate object in the short. As the blue umbrella, who is cheery and smiling for being alive, travels in the hands of his owner down the street along with tens of other umbrellas, everything smiles as a result of him smiling.
If the author meant to include any lessons or messages for the audience, I would infer that these are them:
Smiling is contagious- if you smile at a stranger, chances are he or she will smile back at you! Most people would probably say they already know this but I think more of us could do it, including myself. What’s the worst that could happen? The person doesn’t smile, we feel awkward and quickly look away and then laugh quietly to ourselves and say, “Well…At least I tried!”
Be yourself– the blue umbrella sticks out from the rest because he is acting himself. He’s not trying to mirror the black umbrellas who are boring and act like the next umbrella to avoid being different. Instead, he curiously looks around and ends up seeing another umbrella, who is red and enjoying the feeling of rain on her face. As a result of him not focusing on conforming to the social umbrella norm, he is able to notice life, enjoy it, and even meet a lovely red umbrella 🙂
Now, I could be completely wrong about the message of this short film but this is how I interpreted it and I only wanted to share my thoughts with you because I loved this short film and thought it had meaning worth sharing.
If you saw the film, how’d you interpret it? If you didn’t, what did you interpret from the 30 second clip?