It uses a handful of carbon atoms (a figurative handful of carbon atoms, obviously). A few dozen individual atoms to create a little stop-motion tale about a boy with a big grin and an atom of his very own.
The IBM film-makers used a scanning tunnelling microscope to move the atoms around and create pictures. (An IBM scientist won the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the STM in 1986.) It took the team of scientist film-makers two weeks of 18-hour days. Take a couple of minutes and marvel at how frickin’ awesome science is.
It’s a simple story using phenomenally complex technology. And it’s still a better love story than Twilight.