WATCH: What if Black Mirror were animated?

I think that one of the most compelling elements of Black Mirror is that it uses a simple truth to weave complicated plotlines and complex emotions. That simple truth is this: technology is neutral but corruptible by humans. Meaning to say, technology is neither good nor bad because it can be either — but in the world of Black Mirror people so often opt for it to be the latter.

(Read: “Black Mirror,” ethics, and the gray area)

We’ve seen this message play out time and time again, in a vast number of settings: outer space, modern-day London, virtual realities, and the list goes on. We’ve had it as both a TV show and a movie, but what if these dramatic narratives that center around “techno-paranoia” were translated to the animation platform?

That’s what some students from GOBELINS, a French school of visual animation, were wondering as well. They created the animated short Best Friend with the skepticism of technology in mind. The synopsis of their Black Mirror-esque short reads: “In a near future, a lonely man is addicted to a product called ‘’Best Friend” which offers him perfect virtual friends.”

(LOOK: Some of those apps on Black Mirror actually exist…here’s how you can use them!)

I think what makes the medium of animation so perfect for stories like this is that the aesthetic lulls you into hope for a happy story. But then it punches you in the face to show just how wrong you were. Go watch the short below before I’m forced to spoil it:

That was creepy and depressing. Let us know what you thought of ‘Best Friend’ in the comments! 


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