2 Lizards Animated Series

An animated, anthropomorphized mouse newscaster shown on a laptop, with a chiron that reads "New York is now the epicenter of the crisis."
Still from 2 Lizards, Episode 3, 2020, animated video, 2:36 minutes. Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki.

2 Lizards, the brilliant eight-part series of short animations, captures the overwhelming sense of anxiety and isolation — as well as the occasional sense of shared community — that so many NYC residents experienced during the first few months of the pandemic when the city was the epicenter of the crisis. Created by NYC-based artists Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki, their characters and spare commentary are embodied and voiced in two animated anthropomorphized lizards as well as a number of other avatars they encounter, like the newscaster mouse. A moving and funny mirror of the new pandemic reality, we see the lizards quarantining at home, traversing the empty city, dancing on their rooftop, and watching alarming news reports, as pictured in this still from Episode 3. The series was originally released on Bennani’s Instagram account, and soon gained thousands of followers, and was shown as a film at the Whitney Museum in 2022-23.

—Faye Ginsburg

Watch episodes 1-3 below:

Watch the rest on Orian Barki’s website.