Cautionary drug metaphors can often be clumsy. Think: “This is your brain on drugs.” (Your brain is a sunny side up egg.) A new animated short, however, presents a fully realized allegory for addiction and the effect is devastating.
“Nuggets” is a five-minute animation that surfaced online back in October but has suddenly gained millions of YouTube views in the past week. Created by German animation studio, Film Bilder, the video begins with an adorable kiwi bird casually strolling along before stumbling upon a golden nugget. The bird’s interest is piqued and so he ingests the liquid inside. It’s instant euphoria, and with it, the kiwi can suddenly fly for a short while. As anyone who’s ever had any golden nuggets of their own can attest, what happens after he finds the next one is not the same. It doesn’t last as long, and the landing is more of crash. Nevertheless, now the bird is no longer casually strolling, but running to get the next hit–with ever-diminishing returns.
The concept of this video succinctly captures the heartbreaking reality of addiction. It explains the initial lure, the tunnel vision that follows, and the practically inevitable conclusion. It also puts into perspective the plight of the addicted person, inviting viewers to feel empathy for them instead of contempt. It’s difficult to watch this video and not want to call any person in your life who’s exhibited warning signs recently–which makes “Nuggets” the rare animated short that could potentially save lives.