Image for Menagerie




Day after day, inhabitants of the Menagerie play out their daily lives like clockwork. A study of the daily motions and mundane tasks of contemporary city life. Featuring hundreds of looping animated characters, the film explores how the repetitive actions of our day-to-day lives quickly spiral into an endless kaleidoscope of abstraction.

As the cockerel calls, a scurry of blob-like humanoids begin their daily passages. As life leaves a plant, water enters the bowl and revives it. As a person leaves their bed, another is left there, replenished with sleep. The routine of living acts as a replacement chain, always circling back to the same calibration of continuation. 

In Jack Gray’s Menagerie, these brief moments of the day-to-day linger in a repetitive field of colour and movement, bringing a salient beauty to the mundanity of the per diem. Ants, rats and people alike, circling their territory in ritualistic fashion, with no more ambition than survival. With every second glance, there is something new to behold within the mindless flurry of hypnotic characters.

Through the robotic rhythm of synchronised chaos, the filmmaker ponders and promptly addresses the meaning of his animated microcosm. As an evolution of people studies in cities across America, Menagerie is an absurdist anthropology of a dystopian, looping world, not too far beyond the bounds of our own; considering the innate efficacy of our daily grind.

Heather Bradshaw

Director filmography: Navigational Dream (2016)

  • Director Jack Gray
  • Country USA
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 4m
  • Scottish Premiere


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