It’s a short week for many in the US this week and with various holidays coming up, you might find yourself with a few extra hours to enjoy! To help you maximize all that extra time, we thought it would be the perfect time to dive in to help navigate the world of animated shorts!
Tons of options abound and many of them you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Fans of Disney and Pixar animation no longer have to wait for tent pole theatrical releases to enjoy short-form content. In fact, new theatrical releases (such as FROZEN 2 which debuted this weekend) don’t even have animated shorts attached to them.
While some shorts are theatrical, some are online, and others still are from divisions you might not have even known existed — Spark what? Circuit who? — we’ve got you covered this short week with a look at the current state of play of Disney and Pixar animated shorts!
Sparkshorts – Pixar Artists’ Projects
WHAT IT IS: Announced in 2019, the program utilizes existing Pixar employees (not necessarily animators) to find fresh new perspectives and stories to bring to life. So far, six total shorts have been created with several more in production.
WHY IT EXISTS: Emphasis on showcasing diverse storytellers and exploring fast and efficient production methods. The broad scope of the program should also help encourage collaboration.
See it for Yourself
- Pixar Sparkshorts are available now on Disney+. Additional shorts are expected to debut over time.
- ALSO: Three Pixar SparkShorts are available on Youtube
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Short Circuit Experimental Films
WHAT IT IS: Launched in 2016, the experimental program’s goal was simple: ANYONE at the Studio could pitch story ideas create an original short film — with the full support of the Studio and their fellow artists! To date, 20 Disney Animation artists have been given the opportunity to create their own short, most averaging 2:00 minutes in length. Last year’s award-winning Disney Animation VR short, “Cycles,” directed by Jeff Gipson, was created within the Short Circuit program as well.
WHY IT EXISTS: Encourage risks in both visual style and story. Finding new voices and technical innovations are also part of the broader scope.
See it for Yourself
Short Circuit shorts will launch on Disney+ starting in early 2020.
Talent Development Intern Program
WHAT IT IS: The name says it all, the internship program is filled students and graduates in programs that include apprenticeships, internships, and technology internships. The breadth of the programs is wide capturing the full gamut of short creation from story to technology.
WHY IT EXISTS: Explore art, storytelling, and filmmaking for future generations.
See it for Yourself
Some of these shorts can be found intermixed with behind-the-scenes videos on Disney Animation Careers Facebook page.
Both Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios will occasionally create animated short films to accompany theatrical releases but both studios have slowed on those strategies seemingly to put more emphasis on the above programs. At this point, none are confirmed in development at either studio.
Additionally, shorts are often created for Digital/BD/DVD home release (many of which can be found on Disney+) but not in any consistent or structured fashion. Your only bet outside of Disney+ for those is on the respective home releases for each feature. At this point, none are confirmed in development at either studio.
Disney+ is also getting a short of its own when Pixar releases “Lamp Life” exclusively to the streaming service in 2020 — it will feature Bo Peep and other characters from the world of TOY STORY.
So There You Have it!
The long and the short on the miniature length stories from Disney and Pixar. It’s a good time to be a fan of Disney animation!