John Lennon Christmas Classic Meets Pixar in New Short Film on Anniversary of His Death
On This Date in 1980
Today’s the day. Forty-three years ago today the earth stood still when the news broke that John Lennon had been assassinated. I was just a little kid, but I remember feeling so sad, and one of my first thoughts was that the Beatles could never play together again.
New “Happy Christmas” Film
Now, all these years later John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic holiday tune, “Happy Christmas (War Is Over),” has inspired a new animated short film. The project is being produced by John and Yoko’s son Sean Ono Lennon.
In a recent interview, Sean told The Hollywood Reporter that his goal with the movie is to remind folks the tune is not only a holiday song, but a song about peace. He says it “just felt like it deserved some kind of piece to help get it out there for another generation.” He mentioned that all the previous video ideas for the song “almost felt goofy.”
After discussing his feelings about the project with Pixar animator Dave Mullins, Mullins wrote and directed the film. He worked with Peter Jackson and his visual effects company, WetaFX, on the animation.
The 11-minute War Is Over! It’s inspired by the Music of John & Yoko and follows a game of chess. A heroic carrier pigeon is helping the game continue across enemy lines. It ends with the classic tune playing over the closing credits.
“For me, it’s very sad that my parents’ message of peace and love is still relevant to this day. It seems like such an old story,” Sean says, adding, “It’s something I was raised to believe and I still believe it.”
War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko had a brief run in theaters in the fall to qualify for Oscar contention. As of now, there’s no word on when it will get a wide release, they’re currently looking for a distributor.
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