Pixar invites you to “Float” away, get lost in the “Loop,” and “Smash and Grab” its latest batch of short films.
In the animation house’s new trailer for SparkShorts, coming to the Disney+ streaming platform, all six projects from this in-house initiative are revealed.
With SparkShorts, new storytellers from within Pixar are given the opportunity to tell their stories through animation. “In-house indies,” as they’re called. A few of the full shorts, like “Purl” and “Smash and Grab,” were revealed earlier this year, but fresh footage from some of the others coming our way take the spotlight.
Here are all six.
This short achieves another milestone for Pixar in bringing the studio’s first Filipino characters to the screen. “Float” is the story of a father who’s trying to keep his infant son’s ability to… well, float hidden from society. Eventually, it gets out and the story becomes one about acceptance. Bobby Rubio, the short’s writer/producer, told Action News, “It’s based on my own personal story of my son. In the story, the father is dealing with a son that floats, which makes him different from other children.”
Released online in February, “Purl,” written by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, tells of a pink ball of yarn who starts a new job in a corporate office setting completely dominated by men and is quickly ostracized. “It’s based on my experience being in animation,” Lester said. “My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.” Producer Libbert-Duncan added, “When Kristen came to me and said, ‘This is a story that I want to tell,’ I looked at her and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I have lived the exact same thing.’”
“Kitbull,” a rare 2D short for Pixar, showcases an unlikely relationship between an independent stray kitten and a pit bull. In a tale that will surely make you cry, both learn the concept of friendship for the first time together. It all started with cat videos. “We went down this endless rabbit hole of watching endless kitten videos and they just became a real outlet for her,” producer Kathryn Hendrickson said of writer/director Rosana Sullivan.
“Smash and Grab”
“Smash and Grab” director Brian Larsen began thinking about the idea of “somebody who has a restrained life who wanted a free life.” With his short, he now tells of two antiquated robots — one meant to shovel and the other meant to hammer — who risk everything to break free of their pre-programmed roles. “There was an interesting idea that a robot that is designed for one job does not want to do that job, wants a better life,” Larsen said.
The grandmother and her grandson at the heart of “Wind” are stuck in an endless chasm, left to scavenge the debris around them. Soon, they realize their dream of escaping to a better life. It’s a story of magical realism from director Edwin Chang.
Director Erica Milsom brings a story about a non-verbal autistic girl and a talkative boy to “Loop.” Both characters are partnered on a canoe down an urban lake and will have to learn how the other experiences life to finish their trip.
All six shorts will be available on Disney+ starting Nov. 12.