Disney Plus Unveils New Lineup For Pixar Animation Studios' SparkShorts Program


A Spark Story c/o Disney+ and Pixar
A Spark Story c/o Disney+ and Pixar

Disney+ revealed plans for the upcoming lineup of Pixar Animation Studios’ SparkShorts program. Debuting on the platform in September are two new shorts, including Twenty Something from director Aphton Corbin, and Nona from director Louis Gonzales. In addition to the shorts is the feature-length documentary A Spark Story — a co-production of Pixar and Supper Club that takes an intimate look at Pixar’s SparkShorts filmmaking process.

SparkShorts filmmakers are given six months to assemble a team and create a short animated film. No major rules apply — filmmakers are driven by their need to tell a story, and the nimble approach to do so. Each, teamed with a producer, navigates the emotional rollercoaster of stepping into a leadership role and inspiring their crew. “I’m proud to see how the short was made better by the team working on it,” says Gonzales. “I’ve never directed before but I feel like my 20+ years in the business really paid off.”

Adds Corbin, “The SparkShorts program is the studio’s way of seeing what talented storytellers can do on our own. After working with Pete [Docter] on Soul, I caught the studio’s eye as someone who had interesting stories to tell.”


Twenty Something c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus
Twenty Something c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus

Twenty Something, created using hand-drawn animation, launches on Disney+ Sept. 10, 2021. Corbin says she’s always been a fan of the medium. “There is something so beautiful about seeing actual drawings come to life,” says the director, who has a personal connection to her main character. “She is a manifestation of my own personal anxieties! I think of myself as a collection of children trying to pass myself off as an adult.”

ABOUT TWENTY SOMETHING


Adulting can be hard. Some days you're nailing it, while other days, you're just a stack of kids hiding in a trench coat hoping no one notices. Gia finds herself in this exact scenario the night of her 21st birthday. This is a story about the insecurities of adulting and how we're all just faking it till we make it. Erik Langley produces the short.


Nona c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus
Nona c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus

ABOUT NONA


Pixar Animation Studios introduces Nona, a grandmother who plans to spend her day off by shutting out the world to watch her favorite TV show, “E.W.W. Smashdown Wrestling.” However, when her five-year-old granddaughter Renee is unexpectedly dropped off, Nona is caught between her two favorite things. Renee wants to play while the normally-doting Nona wrestles with wanting to watch the Smashdown, leading to a decisive showdown between the two, and a loving compromise. Produced by Courtney Casper Kent, Nona launches on Disney+ on Sept. 17, 2021.

According to Gonzales, Nona is based largely on his own grandmother. “At the same time,” he says, “Nona is a combination of all of the strong women I looked up to growing up.”


A Spark Story c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus
A Spark Story c/o Pixar SparkShorts, Disney Plus

ABOUT A SPARK STORY


Produced in collaboration with Pixar, A Spark Story comes from Supper Club (Chef’s Table) and directors Jason Sterman and Leanne Dare. Giving audiences an exclusive and immersive look at the filmmakers and their films, the documentary explores the creative philosophy that makes Pixar unique. A Spark Story spotlights Corbin and Gonzales as they strive to get their uniquely personal SparkShorts visions on screen.


Corbin’s film, Twenty Something, required novel approaches to storytelling to convey one character's multiple perspectives — all using hand-drawn animation (a rarity for Pixar). Gonzales’ film, Nona, came from an intensely personal place, but that didn’t stop a serious bout of writer's block from nearly derailing the entire production. Jason Sterman, Brian McGinn and David Gelb produce. A Spark Story launches on Disney+ on Sept. 24, 2021.

ABOUT DISNEY+


Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the new general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ is part of the Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution segment.


The service offers commercial-free streaming alongside an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action, and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service or as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. For more, visit disneyplus.com, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.