When two Ringling College of Art and Design students set out to make an animated short film about a schoolboy with a crush on a (male) classmate, they couldn't have expected the incredibly positive response they got.
As reported by MTV News, the short film In A Heartbeat, created by Ringling graduates Beth David and Esteban Bravo as their senior thesis, has already racked up nearly three million views on YouTube and number six on the site's trending charts.
After a year and a half of creation and animation, David and Bravo launched an insanely successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than quadruple their initial ask. They used the funds to hire Arturo Cardelús, a composer whose score makes Heartbeat all the more special.
Despite having only been live for a day, the film has already garnered a huge online fan response, with social media users creating fan-art, cosplaying as main characters Sherwin and Jonathan and calling for a follow-up.
"There's fan art, and people are cosplaying it," David told MTV News. "They're sending us GIFs and edits. That's crazy! We're blown away, and it's so exciting."
Watch the heart-warming short film and check out fan responses below.
If I don't get a feature film of the cute little short film "In A Heartbeat" than you best believe I'll be having some words— jess ♡ (@jess ♡)1501585668.0
Friend: Are you... are you still thinkin bout-- Me: It's just "In a Heartbeat" encapsulated a complex struggle I've had in such a short ti— Sanders Claus (@Sanders Claus)1501542546.0
SO CUTE! "We wanted to challenge the notion that LGBTQ content is not suitable for younger audiences." Watch: https://t.co/JaJsRzkEf2— Justin Peligri (@Justin Peligri)1501600827.0
i cant stress how important it is to show young kids figuring out n dealing w their sexuality in a positive light go support in a heartbeat— em (@em)1501523326.0
you're wrong if you don't think the short film "in a heartbeat" is the softest thing to come out of 2017 so far https://t.co/Ib7cmDYQyz— tori (@tori)1501522328.0
NOT TO BE DRAMATIC BUT IN A HEARTBEAT SAVED 2017 AND IT DESERVES A MOVIE https://t.co/FXexGd6wqS— 🐈⬛ (@🐈⬛)1501541651.0
in a heartbeat was so pure https://t.co/astVYi7yLa— Caleb🐁 doing commissions (@Caleb🐁 doing commissions)1501598768.0
To celebrate the release of "In a Heartbeat" I made some fanart of Sherwin and Jonathan. #Inaheartbeat #loveislove https://t.co/Fv9I3P9i7q— Kylee Solari ôヮô (@Kylee Solari ôヮô)1501529344.0