Animation In Isolation

Animated films give us the opportunity to escape the world as we know it. The global pandemic has required us to spend much time in isolation, kindling our desire to escape. We’ve been delighted to discover filmmakers using this time to create stories that reflect on and poke fun at this desire.

Here are five short animations that were created in isolation. Inspired by the outbreak, these snack-size films touch on themes we’ve seen emerge in the past few months. For many of us, it felt like the world changed overnight. Between sudden scares, the weight of living with uncertainty, and the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, there’s a lot to delve into.

Quarantine of the Damned: Mummy

Two striking images come to mind when I think of my social media feed over the past few months. The first is Joe Exotic in a sequinned, tiger-print jacket. The second? Hoards of desperate shoppers tackling each other for toilet paper.

Directed and animated by Jon Portman, Mummy is a cute animated comedy inspired by the great toilet paper shortage. With a fantasy spin, our misfit Mummy character embarks on a money-making scheme by selling a TP replacement to his neighbours. Ultimately, this is a film about an unlikely friendship and is a fun watch for the whole family.

For Generations

New Zealanders are known for our ingenuity with limited resources, and the 48Hours filmmaking competition is a great example of this in practice. During the lock-down, teams across Aotearoa brainstormed in their bubbles and produced many clever, original and often whack short films. Squint Eastwood was the team behind 2020’s Grand Champ film, For Generations.

Written and directed by Sam Harris, this award-winning short takes the digital world to new extremes. The ironically lo-fi animation is set in the future and looks at a family trying to adapt to outrageous new technology. The parents struggle and call on their tech-whizz kid for assistance. Sound like a familiar story?

2020: A Space Odyssey

While some were looking to the future, many of us have found ourselves reflecting on the past. The Panics are a film production group from Amsterdam who created 2020: A Space Odyssey with the aim of inspiring other creatives during this time of uncertainty.

This short film offers a collection of breathtaking excerpts from the group’s favourite past projects. With expert animation and an evocative original score by Amp.Amsterdam, this short will take you on a journey through space. Find the biggest screen in your home to watch this one. Hit the full-screen button, turn your volume up and jump on board.

Stay At Home: A Little Film

Staying at home has been a new experience for most of us. The days often seem longer and the trips to the fridge more frequent. Those with young children in the household may be especially aware of how many hours there are in a day.

This little animation by follows a day in the life of a family with a young daughter. The film is structured like a visual itinerary, documenting every activity the family partakes in over the course of a single day. The vast collection of pastimes and sound of the ticking clock emphasises just how long a day in isolation can be. Get ready for a cute animation and a surprise celebrity appearance.


Connection. Now more than ever people across the world are aware of the value of connection. It doesn’t necessarily need to be in person, or even with someone you know intimately. But feeling like you are part of a community is a powerful and necessary part of the human experience.

That’s why Kathrin Steinbacher & Emily Downe sent out a worldwide call to animators to share short films recording their personal positive experiences during the quarantine. The result is this colourful, collaborative short film. It’s a fun and relatable insight into the lives of creatives around the globe.


Want more shorts? Show Me Shorts has a huge collection of short films available freely to watch in our Screening Room. If you enjoyed these short films and can afford it consider making a donation to Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust.

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