Burrow (2020) Short Film Review

Burrow (2020)
Director: Madeline Sharafian
Screenwriter: Madeline Sharafian

It’s short, Disney-sweet and representative of our times. That’s why Pixar SparkShorts’ Burrow is an Oscar nominee for Animated Short in 2021.

Madeline Sharafian’s self-penned 6 minute short film centres on the characteristic Disney formula, offering a short but hearty narrative about learning a wholesome lesson.

Burrow is a nursery rhyme come to life. It tells of a young rabbit trying to find space in the ground for the home of their dreams. Along the way, the rabbit comes across an assortment of other ground-dwelling creatures from moles to beavers, and in a panic to find privacy causes an issue that brings all of the inhabitants together, teaching the rabbit that home isn’t what you imagine of a space but who you share the space with.

It is of course a timely narrative, one that suggests that finding patience for your neighbours no matter your differences is of vital importance; something that the billions of us confined to our homes can no doubt identify with or learn from in the lockdown era.

The film, like much of the Disney and Pixar branded shorts that are nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, is absent of dialogue, the animation instead being vital to the characters, their stories and their goals.

In 6 minutes it’s fairly difficult to tell of something deep and profound, but in following the nursery rhyme structure, and in making reference to the difficulties of our real lives, Burrow does achieve the same universality that is central to the Disney brand. This isn’t a standout in animation terms, but it does look like it’s ripped straight out of a child’s fairy tale picture book, and it certainly makes the most of its minutes to prove itself a delectable piece of animation experimentation.

In 2021, there are perhaps deeper and more expressive animated shorts nominated for the Oscars, but Burrow is more than worthy of the short 6 minutes that it takes to watch it.


Burrow is available worldwide on Disney Plus.

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