In 2017 director Matthew Cherry announced a Kickstarter campaign to produce a short film about a little girl’s natural hair journey. At the time, artist Vashti Harrison was garnering a large social media following for her beautiful illustrations that capture the magic that’s found in the simple joys of childhood. Her expressive characters could be found stargazing, immersed in a book while sitting under the shade of a tree, or snuggled up with a precious cat. She brought some of these illustrations to life using very simple forms of animation that always evoked a sense of quiet and solitude.
Cherry’s Kickstarter campaign was wildly successful and he teamed up with Harrison to create the short film called Hair Love. The pair also published a book under the same title that has undoubtedly inspired young girls to embrace the beauty of their hair.
I’m sending positive vibes on the eve of the Oscars, as Hair Love is up for Best Animated Short Film. While the Oscar would be an important affirmation, perhaps the best endorsement for the film can be found in the little girls who found their beautiful selves represented on film.
For more on Harrison’s work, see her New York Times Bestseller, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.
CORRECTION: Vashti Harrison’s 2D artwork was used for the illustrated book which was released after Matthew A. Cherry’s film. She is not credited as an animator for the film.