Smash and Grab, Purl, and Kit Bull kick off new shorts initiative
Pixar recently announced and released three new shorts to Youtube, the wide debut (after a special theatrical screening) of their new SparkShorts program.
Bonus extras are also available, with “Meet the Filmmakers” and “Behind the Scenes” featurettes available for all three films. While similar to Pixar’s existing (and often excellent) shorts, this new class leans harder into the independent spirit of the format to tell slightly more grownup stories, incorporating a wide range of unexpected topics, including women in the workplace, slavery, and animal abuse.
It seems this preview is something of an appetizer to give us a taste of this new direction — three more SparkShorts have been announced (and potentially more to follow), and are set to debut on the upcoming Disney+ Streaming Service.
A skewering of office gender politics, Purl pits a smiling ball of yarn as a new employee at a male-dominated office, surrounded by a completely homogenous environment of… well, see for yourself.
It’s not at all subtle, but I loved that about it. This film has something to say not only about gender inequality, but conformity and identity as well. I really dug both the film and its message.
Smash and Grab
Two worker robots, tethered to their futuristic environs within a high-speed train on an elevated track, dream of freedom and autonomy. There are echoes of Snowpiercer and Wall-E in this cute and action-packed sci-fi tale of friendship, but it’s ultimately not as arresting as the other two.
If like me you know that Feed the Kitty is the greatest Looney Tunes short of all time, then this one’s going to be right up your alley. A tiny, terrified kitten who resides in a trash-strewn lot confronts a new pitbull who is abused by his owner. Both totally cute and emotionally charged, Kitbull does more in its nine minutes than most films do in 2 hours. This one will go down as one of Pixar’s finest moments.