9 user 2 critic

When the Day Breaks (1999)

A chance encounter, a juicy yellow lemon and an unfortunate twist of fate will reveal that the symbiotic relationship between people is inextricable.


Wendy Tilby (concept)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




A rooster has his last biscuit for breakfast and goes grocery shopping. A pig prepares her breakfast (potato peelings, with the potatoes thrown in the trash) and discovers she needs more milk. Their paths cross, a lemon falls into the sewer, and both lives are changed. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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User Reviews

5 November 2005 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

This animated short by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis seems mostly an exploration of how connected people are in a city and how they affect each other. A rooster and a pig have breakfast in separate apartments, but both of them find themselves lacking in something they need to complete the breakfast, so they both go out to a grocery store. Once there they run into each other, causing the rooster to drop his lemons, one of which goes down a drain. As the pig walks into the store regretfully, the rooster turns huffily away and gets hit by a car, an event the pig sees and which causes her to feel a lot of regret.

The animation uses minimal backgrounds, causing the characters to kind of float around in space, which is interesting because as the animation is about how connected they are, nobody seems really connected to anything. It goes through electric cords and pipes, streets and electrical signals to show many characters all experiencing the same day, often in the same way, while also showing how they seem to affect each other. So while nobody seems to have any relationship with each other, they are all affected by the existence of each other.

I guess such an existential situation is interesting to think about, but it's not really that interesting to look at and gets pretty slow. Also, I can't really seem to figure out why they are animal, though it does provide an opportunity for quite a few sight-gags. It's well done and very well thought-out, but I'm not quite sure I like it that much.


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Release Date:

5 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando el día se rompe See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


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