In Jacob Swinney’s “Cats Die Funny, Dogs Die Sad” video essay, Swinney uses clips from various films from different genres and time periods that feature the deaths of either dogs or cats, and rates these deaths on a scale from really sad to really funny. The video poses the question of why viewers typically find it funny when cats die and the deaths of cats are often treated as jokes in films, but the death of dogs in films to be one of the saddest things that can happen. While the video does use various clips and the scale of funniness/sadness to assert that typically, it is true that it is funny when cats die and sad when dogs die, Swinney does not really give a reason or answer to the question that he poses.
In Swinney’s video, he uses no voiceover to communicate to viewers but uses a little bit of text on screen at the beginning of the video to reiterate what the question of his video essay is. Text on screen only appears at the beginning of the video, then Swinney transitions into using a scale at the bottom of the screen to rate the clips he shows of examples of sad/funny clips of dogs or cats dying in various films. His method of using a scale was an interesting way to portray his ideas and I think was a good way of communicating with the viewer without using voiceover (which would distract from the clips from the movies that he used), and a good way of not using too much on the screen to distract from his original question. While it may have been his intention, I think his essay would have been more effective if he presented an answer to his question rather than proving that the theory that dogs dying is really sad and cats dying is funny is true, then leaving the video without an answer as to why.