As a boy from a nuclear family discovers, magic begets magic – all starting with the power to heighten one’s voice pitch through helium.
During the Atomic Age, a little boy, Harvey, is in his lush backyard with an in-ground pool, a sandbox and a manmade pond, looking for something to keep himself preoccupied with. After a frog jumps away from its lily pad, the boy turns his attention to helium-filled balloons tied to one of the deck balusters. Once he inhales some helium from one of the balloons, he discovers the magic of how the gas can make his voice pitch higher. Eager to see what happens when he inhales more, he takes a second breath to find the balloon and its contents subsumed by his head and then travel to his torso.
In a split second, he’s lifted into the air, leaving him with only his propeller beanie as the only article of clothing that properly fits and his pants barely covering his butt crack. With no guidance controls on his body, like the foils of the wings of a bird, he’s left to the whims of the wind’s ebb and flow, but he can’t help but be amazed by the new perspective that he’s given by this gaseous magic that makes balloons buoyant.
As he travels high above veins of a river cutting through polygonal shades of green, passed a lighthouse and into the sunset, he starts his journey to one of the poles of the earth, where icebergs, frozen tundra, penguins and humpback whales are aplenty. Just when he thought his trip was going to continue as an easy-floating trajectory, he gets jettisoned higher into the stratosphere by one of the humpback’s blowhole spout and bounces off the tops of hot air balloons like they were trampolines.
Beyond the world as we know it, Harvey begins to discover new places in which cities and towns are settled-in on elevated lands, atop slender columns of rock formations – almost as if they may topple at any moment. Has the magical gas taken Harvey away to magical lands? How will he get back home?
Writer, Director, Animator: Daniel Savage
Title Designer: Dave Foster
Additional 2D FX: Jay Quercia
Digital Ink & Paint: Christina Lu
Audio Post Services: Impossible Acoustic
Sound Designer, Re-recording Mixer: Brendan J. Hogan
Foley Artist: Jamie Hunsdale
Mixed At: Clatter & Din Studios
Music: Cyrille Marchesseau
Performed By: Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra
Conducted By: Oleg Kontradenko
Music Mixer: Rodolphe Gervais