Part of being in a partnership with someone is knowing where you’re headed. It gives you a path to follow—a plan, as it were. Doug and Kat, an unlikely dog and cat couple, go back time and time again to the mantra that guides their life and which doubles as the title of the animated short film they’re a part of: Here’s the Plan. Directed by Chile-based animator Fernanda Frick, the touching film follows this loving couple (voiced by real-life animator couple Alex and Lindsay Small-Butera) as they plan a life together that’ll hopefully involved plenty of baking. Their plan—after getting married, of course—involves opening up a bakery. Sadly, life gets in the way.
With a watercolor-like texture, these CGI-animated animals star in the kind of mature story about companionship that we rarely see in animation (Pixar’s Up notwithstanding). Moreover, the short champions a surprisingly progressive vision of a couple—don’t expect any of those delicious-looking cupcakes to be coming from Kat. Their house and their baking endeavors, which we see in various colorful montages set to original music by Short Term 12 composer Joel P. West, are truly a joint venture. “I wanted to see reflected on screen a couple that acted on a team as equals, working to grow through adversity, instead of the drawn-out depiction of a long-term couples who simply grows bitter through each hardship or experiences none at all,” says Frick. “I think that’s dangerous because makes you normalize that being in a bad/unhappy relationship is normal and expected, and it’s not!”
After a great run at various film festivals, Frick’s adorable short is up online. Just be sure to have your phone handy in case you feel the need to contact your loved one once you finish watching all 18 minutes of it.