Pixar has seemingly been on a new marketing path the past year with showcasing the strength of the studio in its diversity and multitude of individuals that make up the animation power house and that extends into the Pixar SparkShorts program which gives employees time and a budget to reach for the stars and find new ways to tell stories.
As per Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris, “The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows.”
The first three shorts from this program are being showcased now at the historic El Capitan Theater from January 18-24, 2019, they follow current “The Little Mermaid” feature film presentation.
- “Purl,” directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, bro-tastic start-up. Yarny hijinks ensue as she tries to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it?
- “Smash and Grab,” directed by Brian Larsen and produced by David Lally, is about two antiquated robots who risk everything for freedom and for each other after years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive.
- “Kitbull,” directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, reveals an unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time.
Following their run at El Capitan, these three new shorts will be available on the Disney•Pixar YouTube channel. “Purl” hits the YouTube channel on Feb. 4, followed by the YouTube and YouTube Kids debuts of “Smash and Grab” on Feb. 11, and “Kitbull” on Feb. 18.
The first three shorts, plus future SparkShorts, will be available on Disney+, the Walt Disney Company’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, which is set to launch in the U.S. in late 2019.