Bead Game

Using beads in detailed animation, director Ishu Patel’s Bead Game is a marvel of synchronized visuals and score.

One bead twirls and multiplies like single cells expanding into something bigger and bigger, bringing one creature into existence and then another. We watch as one conquers the other, continually becoming something else in a fluid dance of evolution. Such is the cyclical nature of Bead Game. With a driving score by J.P. Ghosh, the renowned musician known for his artistry on the tabla drums, we see the conflict between beasts and humans grow to a formidable and destructive force. Illustrated with colourful beads in intricate stop-motion animation, they morph and feed into each other in a swirling mitosis, representing humankind’s evolution and insatiable urge to best each other—a telling representation of how easy it is to succumb to destruction.

Bead Game was nominated in 1978 for Best Animated Short at the Academy Awards and won a BAFTA for Best Short Fictional Film.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette

Available on:




Animated Stories, Free to Watch, Oscars

Canadian connection

Directed by Ishu Patel
Patel was also nominated in 1985 for another animated short entitled Paradise, which he co-wrote with Canadian producer and writer Eunice MacCaulay.