Smile is a film about June, an unhappy high school girl who lives in a world of unrelenting positivity. Everyone in this world has a massive, overwhelming smile and wears bright, vibrant colors. As she leaves school one day June is invited to a karaoke party that evening by a group of exceedingly enthusiastic students, which she hesitantly agrees to attend. June rides her rusty, uneven bicycle home to find her father working in the garage. She tries to enter the house unnoticed, but her father scoops June up in a massive hug and excitedly tells her that he picked up Chinese food for dinner. After watching Dad gleefully inhale his meal, June excuses herself to her room.
June eats her dinner alone and looks at her sad reflection in the mirror. In an effort to give herself a smile, she inserts the chopsticks into her mouth. Briefly they give her a wide smile like everyone else, but the chopsticks soon snap and leave her as she was: sad. However, this gives her a better idea. In her father’s garage she constructs a harness for herself that will pull her mouth out into a permanent smile.
As soon as she arrives she is pulled on stage to sing. All eyes are on her and the shining smiles of the crowd surround her as she struggles to sing through her harness. As the song builds the harness collapses, causing June to pick up the pieces and go home. She pushes her broken bicycle uphill as she struggles to carry the pieces of her harness before throwing everything to the ground in frustration. Through this frustration she has an idea and uses the pieces of the broken harness to repair the wheel of the bike. June continues her ride home on a much smoother bike and smiles to herself.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Animated films--Themes, motives; Animation (Cinematography); Computer animation--Themes, motives; Computer animation--Technique; Depression, Mental--Drama; Smiling--Drama
Film and Animation (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CAD)
Mari Jaye Blanchard
Polito, Luke, "smile" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus