Directed by: Stacey Stone
Written by: Anthony Cesario
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The Ranger & the Backpack
"We all come from different places carrying different backpacks." It's a statement that is as true as any other I've heard, and this film, The Ranger & the Backpack, is all about the hope and understanding most of us wish everyone had. This title is directed by Stacey Stone and penned by Anthony Cesario, and this title is also one big metaphor for life experience, tolerance, and humanity's ability to do better. It's a pretty hefty message for a title only around 5 minutes long, but by the time the credits roll, the point is crystal clear.
This animated short tells of a ranger with a backpack. Within the backpack is all his hopes, dreams, and life experiences. This is the place the ranger keeps everything that makes him, him, and that includes all the negative aspects of life that he has accumulated. By the end of the short, the ranger, along with those around him, use their collective "backpacks" to build a bridge. Working together as a combined human race. It's a touching idea to strive to, especially in today's troubled world.
The big takeaway from The Ranger & the Backpack is that the ranger is effectively all of us. This film "could" be about each and every one of us and to a large degree, it is. We are all that "ranger" hauling around our backpacks and trying to do the best we can. For some, the backpack becomes too full, and we need help to carry it (or empty some of the stuff out.) Others just continue on until they are crushed, and others still, such as the ranger in this film, use the contents, the good and bad, to try and do good.
This title is about as blunt as can be regarding its message, and that's not a bad thing. Sometimes a blunt tool just works better. But when you consider just how quick this short film actually is, tackling such a tough subject could have been a disaster. The Ranger & the Backpack, however, walks that line gracefully and purposefully. Three stars. Thank you for reading.