“Short and Sweet” Review of Catching the L Train”

Griffin Pulled Between Two Trains

My first thoughts when I read the title “Catching the L Train” and saw the thumbnail—this is about a loser (hence the L) who plays Friday Night at Freddy’s. But that is genuinely not the case. It’s about an adorable bear, Griffin, attempting to repair his relationship. The opening credits sold me on the story. I was ready to enjoy something great! Daniel Beja created an amazing score for the film. The music was telling me the story before anything else was, which is a beautiful thing.

I love how detailed each scene is even though it’s animated and “cartoonish.” For example, there is a close-up of a bear’s hand at the 00:58 mark and you can see the soft hairs on the fingers while having a nice bokeh effect. Truly wonderful.

The story draws you in when the text bubbles come on screen because now we know that Griffin is facing a time limit. We’re not sure how long he has, but either way, he needs to hurry because his lady is not going to wait forever. He rushes to meet her at the train station.

Then the stakes raise when we realize that he and she are not at the same station. Uh oh! Then his situation worsens because his phone dies before he can explain the situation. It would only be worse if it started to rain. He starts to comment about himself, “I wish I had longer legs.” I couldn’t help but chuckle. The poor guy is trying to beat a train by running with short legs.

He meets obstacle after obstacle. Her train is arriving. He is blocked by maintenance signs. She is on her train, so he does the only logical thing, jump over the railing and into an open car. She’s not there. She is in another car on another train. He climbs out of his train to climb into hers, but of course, his leg gets stuck. He ends up on top of her train and gets hit by a hanging light. He starts to dream about his failures in boxing and his failures with his lady. He remembers the advice, “If you want something worth having, then no matter how hard life throws you down, get back up!”

We have all asked ourselves what Eric asked himself while creating this film, “What am I willing to endure to get where I want to go?” He gave a lot of heart and soul to the animation and I am glad he did. You can tell. He and Griffin are very similar—they put a lot of effort into something worthwhile.

Catching the L Train will be screening on January 13th at Audio West in Orem Utah as part of the Short and Sweet Film Festival. Passes are only $5 for the entire day.