Netflix’s ‘Canvas:’ A Heartfelt Narrative About Love and Loss

Allison DeGrushe
Allison DeGrushe
February 12, 2021

This review of Netflix’s ‘Canvas’ contains no spoilers. The animated short was released on the streaming platform on December 11, 2020.

The latest addition to the world-renowned streaming service, Netflix, is the animated short Canvas. Written and directed by Frank E. Abney IIICanvas illustrates the story of a grandfather who, after suffering the loss of his beloved, struggles to reclaim his love for painting.

The short contains no dialogue; the entire story relies heavily on a viewer’s visual interpretation. The animation includes elements to show how a character feels — dark, gloomy settings, mournful facial expressions, and a dismal musical score.

The original music score, composed by Jermaine Stegall, set the mood of the whole story. The music was emotional, tugging at the heartstrings of the audience. From feelings of dreariness to optimism, the music acted as a guide through a heartfelt tale.

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The excellence of Canvas lies in the themes of support and encouragement. The story introduces a sentimental turning point that allows the grandfather to regain his passion. Through this moment, it delivers a meaningful message: Although it may seem that tragedy is the end of the world, it’s not. You have a purpose, and it’s okay to move on and return to something that brings you joy.

The animation presents phenomenal representation for marginalized groups in film; the diversity in the short consists of all three characters, who are all people of color. In addition, the family of the grandfather offers two female figures to the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this feel-good, nostalgic story. In films, representation does matter, and this animation proves it.

View the trailer for Canvas here, and check it out on Netflix today!