What started as a Kickstarter campaign for a senior thesis has taken the Internet by storm. In a Heartbeat, a short animated film from Ringling College of Art and Design graduates Beth David and Esteban Bravo, has gained over 21 million views on YouTube in one week. The New York Times, People, USA Today and NBC News have all written about the four-minute film. 

In a Heartbeat follows the adolescent struggles of Sherwin, a shy boy with a crush on the smooth, popular Jonathan. Sherwin feels Jonathan is way out of his league, but all bets are off when Sherwin’s heart literally leaps out of his chest and starts making all the decisions. What follows is a funny, awkward and touching chain of events as Sherwin is forced to confront his hidden crush.

“We wanted to challenge the preconceived notion that LGBTQ content is not appropriate or suitable for younger audiences,” Bravo said to NBC News. “It’s an innocent and lighthearted story about a boy and his crush that we hope will resonate with younger people regardless of their background.”

So does Sherwin win over Jonathan and get to be with the crush of his dreams? Or does he face the devastating embarrassment or unrequited love, something middle school students everywhere fear the most? Watch the film to find out.

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