Homeless in Vancouver: Seeing that floating truck was beyond amazing!

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      Certainly I did get out of bed.

      I packed up my “campsite” and I navigated my way through the light morning traffic and back alleys to get to my morning coffee and Big Breakfast—“sub round eggs”!

      But what really—really—woke me up was the sight of the big truck’s front end suspending in mid-air with its front wheels several inches off the ground.

      Mentally at least, I rubbed my eyes.

      Like some thing out of a movie or two

      The kids take their ruck for a spin in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World.

      Wow. Wasn’t it just like that big floating truck the kids show to Natalie Portman’s character Jane in Thor: The Dark World.

      Had I perhaps stumbled onto some early morning paranormal phenomenon?

      Yes and no. Yes it was just like a movie special effect. And no, it wasn’t paranormal.

      For Natalie Portman’s first scene in the 2013 Marvel actioner, director Alan Taylor leaned heavily on Kōji Morimoto‘s anime short “Beyond“, part of the compilation of nine animated short films that make up the 2003 film The Animatrix.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      The truck I saw in the back alley was likewise leaning heavily on four jacks. It was a crane truck. Something really big was being delivered to the Bombay store on South Granville Street.

      In Hollywood North, even deliveries to stores come with special effects.


      That scene in Thor is beyond reminiscent

      In the Thor sequel Portman’s character had leaves. In "Beyond", Yoko faced newspapers.

      Most reviewers who noticed the parallels between the Thor sequel and "Beyond" from The Animatrix used the term “reminiscent”.

      In the Thor sequel, some kids take the adult Doctor Jane into their confidence and show her the gravity- and reality-defying effects in a spooky abandoned factory—things like weightless floating trucks and objects that disappear and reappear like magic. Doctor Jane ends up being whisked through a hallway full of rustling leaves to a doorway that opens on an abyss.

      In the "Beyond" short, some kids take the adult Yuko into their confidence and show her the gravity- and reality-defying effects in a spooky abandoned house—things like weightlessness and floating and objects that disappear and reappear like magic. That’s where the similarity ends however.

      In "Beyond", Yuko has her encounter with a doorway opening on an abyss and her hallway ordeal before the weightless hijinks. And she deals with a blizzard of rustling newspaper pages rather than a few rustling leaves.

      One hopes Morimoto quietly received suitcases full of $500 dollar bills from Marvel. "Beyond" is a distillation of anime goodness from a master of the form. 

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.