Your kids will be obsessed with this exhibition that celebrates animation. And it's only $7.

Thanks to our brand partner, ACMI

Does anyone plonk on the couch with their kids to watch a cartoon that holds a special place in their childhood memories and expect them to love it just as much? They’re your children, right? Surely, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But instead, they look at you through furrowed brows and declare, "What in the world is this, Mum?"

I grew up in the '80s and '90s, which served me well, but the selection is limited, somewhat basic and probably not so entertaining.

We must redeem ourselves. Scrap the home movie idea and drag them back to the future, where I think you’ll discover a mutual love for modern animation with a visit to the wildly good Beings exhibition at ACMI. 

The playful exhibition is now open until September 29 and features 13 vibrant artworks projected at scale. There’s no 'plonking' here; instead, you’ll move, dance and play with curious characters born from code. The kids will be wowed as the artworks grow and change in real-time, responding differently to each visitor on every visit.

The more you move, the more animated the fantastical creatures become — it’s rare for an exhibition where children are welcome and movement is encouraged. 

Image: Eugene Hyland. 


It starts with a sketch.

For more than 20 years, the UK-based art and design collective Universal Everything has been creating mesmerising works, constantly inspired by nature, human figures and emotions.

They craft new forms of moving images by subverting cinematic CGI, physics simulations and real-time gaming graphics — technology typically used by Hollywood studios and video game makers. The colourful, digital artwork always starts with a single hand-drawn line and for the first time anywhere in the world, these sketches are on display in Beings.

ACMI Director and CEO Seb Chan said Universal Everything was unique in the art and design space, championing screen technology that "uplifts, enchants and delights". 

"Their generative works generate endless joy — and will bring smiles to everyone in the winter months ahead."

Digital… fur?

That’s right! Digital fur, lava, bubbles, vapour and more — these wiggly, jiggly Beings are powered by game software and evolving algorithms, so no two visits to this exhibition are the same and each visit is unique.


Universal Everything founder Matt Pyke was keen to introduce the Beings to Melbourne audiences of all ages and see them interact. "Our largest show to date documents our journey to create bold new forms of moving image which connect to all of us, inspiring curiosity and delight," he said.

What to expect.

Create your robotic reflection, make a vibrant ecosystem bloom or become one with your bestie — all with your body movements! Check out the artwork Presence, Symbiosis or Future You for the full experience or migrate across to Migrations, Kinfolk and Maison Autonome for a procession of stomping, gliding, trotting and hopping creatures and characters.


If your kids are like mine, they’ll welcome a little rest for their weary feet by making a pit stop at an activity station and creating their own curious being using shapes and layers inspired by the artwork they’ve just seen.

Follow the leader.

The Beings exhibition is complemented by a suite of joyful public programs. Dance the night away on July 25 at Deep Soulful Sweats, a participatory event led by local dancers Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen. The spontaneous follow the leader-style choreography will take visitors through the exhibition for a new perspective.

Curious minis can also join the fun via the free, guided play-based experience, ACMI Preschoolers. Running on the third Friday of every month, this interactive program is for children aged two to five to enjoy the centre too.

What is ACMI?

ACMI is your museum of screen culture — watch, play, make and discover the universe of screen-based art, films, TV and video games in the middle of Melbourne’s Fed Square. Attracting millions of visitors through a vibrant offer of exhibitions, screenings, commissions and festivals, ACMI will inspire the next generation of screen creatives.

The lowdown.

Image: Michelle Tran. 


A huge plus is that the exhibition is super affordable for the whole family. Beings' tickets are $15 for under 35s, $7 for kids aged four to 15 and free for kids under four. 

For the Deep Soulful Sweats event on July 25, there are sessions at 6pm and 7:30pm, with tickets going for $23 to $30. The ACMI Preschoolers sessions are also happening on July 19, August 16 and September 20 at 10:30am and tickets are free. 

A fun activity for the kids with interactive experiences on offer? Sign me up.

Book your tickets for ACMI Universal Everything's Beings exhibition, running 10am to 5pm until September 29, 2024.

Feature Image: Eugene Hyland.

An ACMI-curated world premiere, including four new works, Beings is Universal Everything’s largest international exhibition to date. An invitation to move, dance and play with a colourful cast of characters. No two visits are the same, as these creatures move and respond in real-time. The more you move, the more animated they become.