A Boy Tries to Forstall His Mother’s Death in a Gorgeous Animation Set to Pink Floyd’s ‘Great Gig in the Sky’

Artist Pipou Phuong Nguyen created “The Boy Who Cheated Death,” a gorgeous mixed-media animated short about a young boy named Syd, who is trying desperately to forestall his mother’s eminent demise through elaborate storytelling with fantastical creatures.

Desperate to hide from the grasp of Death, they embark on an imagined hide-and-seek game, morphing into Earth’s creatures. Death plays along as their relentless predator. Hope wanes as their fantastical forms weaken with each pursuit. Syd grapples with Winnie’s frailty. They cycle through the lives of birds, beasts, creatures – but Death persists.

Nguyen explained how she and her crew created the short animation through experimentation.

Our experiments through diverse animation techniques – 2D, stop motion (in real life and in VR) – is a reflection of Syd’s innocent exploration of mortality. His imaginations manifest in the form of tactile materials – paper, wax, clay, water, glitter, wool… to name a few. Each visual element contributes to unravelling the very complex concept of life and death as Syd tries to understand his mother’s journey. His fear, his hope, his memories and above all – his love – take shape, becoming alive and vibrant.

The animation is set to the highly emotive Pink Floyd song “The Great Gig in the Sky” in honor of its 50th anniversary.

The transcendence of music truly knows no bounds. Pink Floyd’s musical universe became the beating heart of inspiration, guiding us into uncharted creative territories. I hope you enjoy “The Boy who Cheated Death”, a music video for Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky”, as we have enjoyed making it.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.