The story centers around a single character. Told to the haunting notes of a song by New Order, we find our character in a drab world working at a drab factory making of all things a widget called "Happy." Happy is built to make everyone feel better about the despair around them - not unlike the designer prescription drugs of today. Of course the irony is that our character is not happy making "Happy." He is happiest when thinking of his childhood. A simple silhouette of children playing on a Merry-Go-Round. He keeps these thoughts in a compartment in his belly and when things are at their darkest, he refers to those feelings to help get him through.
While our character toils at the factory making "Happy" he is also developing his own widget at home. A new form of "Happy" called "Bliss" that comes in the form of a pair of goggles filled with the our character's childhood happiness. When it is released a new form of happiness finds our character as he is showered with money and praise for discovering a new way to look at the world. The feeling quickly fades though as we find that in the process of developing "Bliss" our character has lost the whimsy that once came from within.
Lost innocence might be the saddest thing I can think of. I rarely take photos because they are constant reminders of time gone by. Of things changing. Of compromises. As a father, I want so badly for my son to grow up but at the same time, I crave that innocence. That carelessness. Why must we give up so much as we grow older? I couldn't help but draw parallels between this short and Citizen Kane. Charles Foster Kane surrounded himself with indulgences, but it was his childhood sled that he remembered the most. In growing up, why must we constantly re-define happiness? In the end, it doesn't need to be so complicated and as More shows us, it's not.