Manchester’s annual festive animation reflects on a challenging year

'This has been a year like no other... but through the difficult days came incredible strength'
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In previous years, Manchester’s annual festive film highlighted the attractions, events and days out that make Manchester such a special place at this time of year.

This year, of course, many of these events have had to be cancelled, postponed or re-thought to adhere to social distancing and public health guidelines.

So this year’s animation reflects on a year of shared experiences, with a poignant look at the past nine months living with COVID-19. 

The film takes a lighthearted look at the challenges the year has presented, including the precarious balancing act or working from home while home-schooling, video calling family to stay in touch, and learning new skills – baking in particular.

Plus, of course, clapping for carers, and remembering how the country pulled together, supported each other and showed true Mancunian spirit.  

This year’s festive animation was made in partnership between the City Council and Manchester-based animation studio, Kilogramme. 

“This has been a year like no other. It has been challenging, frustrating and scary for some, but the amazing thing throughout has been the way our residents and communities have shown incredible resilience,” said Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson.

“Through the difficult days came incredible strength.

“Families stuck together, friends helped each other, and our amazing NHS and Council worked tirelessly to make sure people remained safe, protected and had the supplies they needed.  

“That is the spirit that we wanted to capture in this year’s film. Not a city downtrodden by the pandemic, but a city buoyed by hope and determination.

“I think we cracked it. We hope you love it as much as we do.” 

Jon Turner, director at Kilogramme Animation Studio, said: “We were thrilled to be confirmed as the successful studio to produce this year’s Christmas film for Manchester, working with M-Four Design at Manchester City Council.   

“Following the brief, we got everyone from the studio together (virtually) to share some of the experiences that were relevant to us, our friends and families and began to build a story. 

“It was hard to whittle the choices down, but the final combination of funny and touching moments are experiences that we felt would be familiar to a wide range of people across Greater Manchester.  

“The resulting film is one we are very proud of and it will hopefully bring a smile to the face and maybe a tear to the eye of everyone who watches it.” 

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