The Go Cart

By Kailyne R. Waters | Animation
A shopping cart navigates a world of danger and brings happiness to those it meets.

A lone shopping cart is bent and broken, and taken to the junkyard for scrap. But before it can be incinerated, it manages to make an escape from certain destruction.

Soon the cart is on an odyssey, encountering a kindly elderly janitor with a predilection for repairing old objects and a lonely boy in a wheelchair. Throughout its journey, with its moments of peril and wonder, the cart manages to change its fate, find purpose and brings happiness to those it encounters.

Writer-director Kailyne R. Waters’s short animation is a down-to-earth yet beautifully imaginative odyssey that looks at the discarded, broken and most forgotten parts and corners of our world and finds the good in it all.

The animation combines charming, almost naive crayon-like drawings with more detailed pencil animations in moving collages that evoke a storybook come to life. The simple yet dynamic style fits the feel of the narrative, which resembles a modern fairy tale for children, with its emphasis on big themes of goodness and the magic of everyday life.

And like other children’s stories, the story has an archetypal feel — as well as a measured, deliberate pace that deftly keeps the narrative clear while moving attention and interest along — and is unafraid of tackling deep questions with a directness and sincerity. Telling the story from the POV of a shopping cart offers a unique panorama of humanity, as well as a ground-level perspective on how community develops.

The wide-ranging characters seem disparate at first but become connected to one another through the ways they help one another, intentionally or otherwise. As the little shopping cart finds its way through the world and makes connections with others, it discovers its sense of purpose, becoming more than the sum of its parts. It may be broken, but with the generosity of others, it finds connection and meaning.

“The Go Cart” is a heartwarming story with enduring, eternal themes that continue to resonate well beyond childhood. As the cart discovers, the search for meaning is an ongoing, unexpected process — and often found in service to others.

Much of children’s storytelling is often about making sense of a big, sometimes overwhelming world, and understanding the seemingly unsaid and invisible rules and mores that underlie it. With this beautifully innocent yet wise narrative, we remember that we often find purpose through the act of searching itself — through reaching out to others, trying out different things, and seeing the value of what we would usually dispose of or overlook.

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