Ask Me How I’m Feeling: HENRi

This week, I was a super lucky girl. I got a sneak peak of HENRi, the newly released sci-fi short film by Eli Sasich, and I’m still trying to suss out why I feel all tingly every time I think about it. To be fair, it could be the new toothpaste I just bought.

But I’m pretty sure it’s because HENRi is really friggin’ cool.

Here is a summary of the movie in one breath so you can start to understand why this little nugget of greatness has me all emotional: On a crew-less spaceship, drifting through oblivion, a floating human brain keeps the aging system running. His name is HENRi, which stands for something sciencey. Though he began his voyage like a freshman after his first kegger (with no memory), he begins to have flashbacks of his life as a human, as well as his time on the ship before everyone kicked the bucket. HENRi, who was nominated “Most Likely To End Up As A Floating Brain” in high school, defies all odds and starts using his own system to build himself a sweet robot body. Also, famous people show up. You should probably just watch this trailer before I give anything away:

HENRi from Eli Sasich on Vimeo.

FRIGGIN’. COOL.

I love animation stuff — YouTube actually suggests documentaries on claymation for me on a daily basis because I’ve searched “omfg tell me more about claymation” one too many times — and I was shocked at all the amazing moving things happening in HENRi. I couldn’t tell if he was clay or CGI or a real live robot that got hired to play the role. After some behind the scene digging,  I am happy to report that HENRi is ALL OF THE THINGS. He is a teeny tiny robot moved by straws attached to his limbs. He is also CGI. And, he is also a real robot named Span Fathaway who lost 58 lbs to play the title role.

(Too soon?)

ANYWAY. I haven’t mentioned the best part, and that is how HENRi made me cry. Even though the film is about as long as an episode of 30 Rock, it begs the question, “Why are we here?” And, no offense to other robots who have tried to woo me and failed (seriously, the best part of the last robot movie I watched was the fat people), I got really attached to HENRi! When his telescope robot eyes shifted to a swell of music, my heart swelled, too! By the end, my tear ducts were just as involved with the film as I was!

HENRiI’m excited that HENRi will be getting shown at all sorts of film festivals in the coming year. You can also rent or buy the movie online at www.henrithefilm.com. The Blu-ray and DVD come with behind the scene extras (tearing up again) that are definitely worth a watch or seven. Eli Sasich, the film’s director and floating brain, made this short film with money he funded from a Kickstarter program, and from start to finish, has been working on HENRi for almost a decade. I am inspired by his determination and by this incredible — to quote pajiba.com — “product of passion.”

You can watch HENRi right now! Just click around below and prepare to have your heart cuddled by a robot!

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