Float is the most heartwarming story that I’ve seen come from Disney/Pixar. It is a 7-minute short film that is exclusively for the new streaming app Disney+. Before I get into this short film, I want to say that I’ve heard this was an experimental film and I would love to see this become a feature film. There are only a few lines in this film but it gets the message across. I like films like these because instead of hearing the emotion I can see it.
Float is about a single dad who has a son with a special ability to float and fly around. He is desperate to hide his son from the world so that they won’t be judged for being different. The movie starts off with the father playing with his son in the front yard. He eventually decides to blow on a dandelion and all of a sudden, a gust of wind blows the little boy’s hair and he starts to float. You can tell he was amazed by the incident, but that amazing feeling soon left when he realized that the neighborhood was watching him. So, he grabbed his son and ran in the house. You can see him peeking through the window on the door and he can see the rest of his neighbors gathering and talking.
We fast forward to where the son is maybe 4 or 5 years old. The house is dark and there is crayon writing on the ceiling. You then see this special little guy coloring on the ceiling. His dad takes the crayon from him, you can see that having a special son is taking a toll on him. His hair is disheveled, he looks like he hasn’t shaved and his clothes are loose. He chases the kid around the house so that he can get him ready for school. He throws a rock in his bookbag to keep him from floating and hey head on their way. His father is so scared about how people think of him that while they’re walking, he hides behind a car to avoid being seen by a family walking down the street. They walk past the playground and see parents enjoying their children. He daydreams for a little bit and when he looks down, he realizes his son is not with him anymore. His son is now flying all over the playground scaring and irritating people. He grabs his son and tries to walk out of the playground, but he wants to play with the other kids. He starts crying and kicking in the air.
This is the part that broke my heart, his father becomes fed up and faces him and yells Why can’t you just be normal! You can tell that the child couldn’t understand why he was so upset. So, he starts to cry and knowing that he was wrong his father consoles him. He eventually realizes that it isn’t about just him it’s about this special child’s happiness. In the end he learns to accept the fact that his son is different and plays with him on the swings despite everyone just watching in awe. There is a quote from the director that says For Alex, thank you for making me a better dad. Dedicated with love and understanding to all families with children deemed different.
I can’t wait to see if they do anything more with Float. This is something I would go to see with or without kids.