Studio AKA's animated film gets better the more you donate to charity

Studio AKA reminds us of the importance of donating and how a little contribution can go a long way to improve a person’s life.

Often when we choose to donate, we like to know how our money is being used. 

The London-based animation studio, along with Blacklist, were commissioned by Mended Little Hearts to create an interactive short film illustrating the tangible benefits of donating money for the charity, which supports children with congenital heart disease.

The film is progressive. It follows the life of young Max, a playful and likable character. Max throws a ball around and takes a photograph of himself, but his surroundings are completely bare and he is lonely. When a viewer chips in a small donation, more aspects of his animated narrative come to life. Suddenly he has a neighbourhood, friends and even a friendly dog.


We can’t embed the interactive film, but you can check it out here.

The donations aren’t astronomical, ranging from US$1-10, but the more you donate the more of an impact you have on Max’s life and the happier he becomes. Viewers can rescue Max from isolation and reunite him with his family, friends and pets by pledging online.


This simple yet effective campaign serves as a refreshing and poignant call to help, but it also highlights the beautiful animation work from Studio AKA under the direction of Steve Small.

There are five different versions of the animation that range from sparse renders where most of the background is invisible – and where Studio AKA had to rely on sounds and shadows only – to a final completely rendered version.

If you donate the highest amount, US$10, the film reveals that the main character Max is inspired by a real boy aided by Mended Little Hearts. 

Studio AKA mainly works on commercial projects, but has a number of beautiful short films under its belt, including BAFTA winning Lost and Found (an adaptation of Oliver Jeffers children’s book) and BAFTA and Sundance winning A Morning Stroll. It won a BAFTA for children’s animation series Hey Duggee.

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn't affect our editorial independence. Learn more.

Read Next...