If Anything Happens I Love You

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
If Anything Happens I Love You Movie Poster Image
Animated short sensitively explores school shootings.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 12 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Grief is devastating. Young lives are lost for no reason in school shootings.

Positive Role Models

Loving parents despair at the loss of their child. We are given hope that they'll turn to each other for solace.


Two devastated parents barely cope with the loss of a young daughter to a senseless school shooting. No shooters or guns are seen, no violence or blood are seen, but shots are heard and the grief of surviving parents is palpable.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that If Anything Happens I Love You is an award-winning 2020 animated short about gun violence, loss, grief, and senseless death. Without a word uttered, the stark animation conveys the devastation of parents who lose a child to a school shooter. Although the subject matter is tough, no actual violence is shown. That, added to its brevity, may make it a useful tool to stimulate meaningful conversations in families about grief, about the randomness of tragedy, and about the accessibility of guns in society.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byclockstrikingth... April 1, 2021

Kids Are Braver Than Adults

I am the first adult on this site to make a comment on this short. Is that not pathetic? Six brave children watched this film and gave their opinion but not one... Continue reading
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byLmruiz27 December 8, 2020


I’m so confused what the point of this film was. It’s tragic and scary and sad. Very strange creation to me, don’t even know how to rate it or what age to recom... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBEEPBEE April 6, 2021

A beautiful film on lost, grief and tragedy

Let me tell you this film is as beautiful as it is sad it has no voice acting (other then the screams of children) and you can still tell what's happening... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written by12345rich May 30, 2021

Good movie shows that the U.S. has a gun problem

Right before the shooting there is a U.S. flag above the school showing that the U.S. needs gun control because families are being devestated by guns.

What's the story?

In 12 brief minutes, IF ANTYHING HAPPENS I LOVE YOU wordlessly depicts the grief of senseless loss that parents, families, and friends suffer in the aftermath of school and other shootings. The title words come from the last text sent home by a young student shot shortly after hitting "send." The filmmakers use shadows to express the parents' changeable inner feelings, including rage, depression, guilt, shame, and longing.

Is it any good?

If Anything Happens I Love You sensitively shows the aftermath of gun violence. Melancholy images of two devastated parents and the shadow selves that follow them in their grief convey the private but also universal damage such families endure. In drab grays and muted colors, this eloquently conveys what grief looks like. The choice to keep the animation minimalist and to pare down the lives of those in mourning to the barest essentials proves to be a moving one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how different people cope with tragedy in their lives. Do you think the film accurately conveys how some parents would feel at the loss of a child? Why or why not?

  • How do you think the parents depicted here will move forward with their lives? Does the movie give any clues?

  • What point of view does the movie present about the availability of guns to school shooters? Do you agree or disagree?

Movie details

  • In theaters: March 7, 2020
  • On DVD or streaming: November 20, 2020
  • Directors: Michael Govier, Will McCormack
  • Studio: Netflix
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 12 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG
  • MPAA explanation: strong thematic material involving gun violence
  • Last updated: November 30, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

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