BURROW Creator Madeline Sharafian On The Idea Of Pixar's Latest Short And The Theme Of Isolation

Burrow released on Disney+ on Christmas Day alongside Pixar's Soul. The short has received widespread praise not only for its animation but for its theme of isolation and asking for help.

Burrow is the latest to arrive from Pixar's SparkShorts program, arriving alongside the feature film Soul on Disney+ this month. While only a few minutes in length, Burrow manages to tell a beautifully crafted, compelling story that deals with themes of isolation.

Speaking to AllEars.net, Burrow director Madeline Sharafian opened up about the conception and creative process for the short, which began as drawings from as far back as 2014. She explaine:

“Rabbit is my childhood nickname,  so I already have sort of a protagonist that I relate to and can understand, and I was really into the visual metaphor of burrows sort of feeling underground, isolated but also burrows are all about connection, so those were things that are already in my mind.

So this is how I start all my films, just a very simple outline.  I ask myself why I’m making it and I sort of loosely outline it from there.  I grab images if I have them in my head, but if I don’t that’s OK, I just keep writing forward."

Sharafian was particularly interested in this idea of burrowing, which serves as sort of a metaphor for isolation. For those unfamiliar, Burrow follows a young rabbit as tries to build the underground home of her dreams. Embarrassed by the imperfections in her plan -- especially as compared to her neighbors' lavish burrows -- she digs deeper and deeper into the ground before eventually hitting water and causing a flood. 

“I struggle with isolating myself because I’m a huge perfectionist so I really don’t want anyone to see me until I know I’m about to like, knock your socks off.  But obviously, I’m a human being and I can’t knock socks off 24/7.  So that meant I was spending a lot of time hiding myself, hiding my hurts and vulnerabilities from my friends and family," Sharafian continued.

With the water threatening to flood everyone's home, the rabbit works up the courage to ask one of the neighbors for help. I won't spoil exactly what happens next, but as Sharafian adds: "So I distilled this to a theme I was really passionate about, which is the power of asking for help.”

Burrow is an adorable SparkShort with gorgeous traditional 2D animation inspired by classic children's books. It's currently streaming on Disney+ and I highly recommend it.

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