Pixar's Announces New Short Film Program, SparkShorts

Pixar shorts have long pioneered storytelling and animation techniques, and now the animation studio is unveiling a whole program focused on just that. The SparkShorts experimental storytelling initiative cultivates new creative voices inside and outside of Pixar, and will unveil its first three short films next week at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre for an exclusive one-week run. The shorts will then be made available online in Pixar's first-ever YouTube exclusive launch in the weeks that follow.

Pixar SparkShorts Announcement

Pixar Animation Studios cuts the ribbon for its new SparkShorts film program next week with an exclusive run of their first three shorts, Purl, Smash and Grab, and Kitbull, at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre on January 18, 2019. This will be followed by their online debut on the Disney•Pixar YouTube channel and Disney's upcoming streaming platform Disney+. President of Pixar Animation Studios Jim Morris said in a statement:

"The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows. These films are unlike anything we've ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare."

The three shorts will be showcased at the historic El Capitan Theatre from January 18-24, following a feature presentation of The Little Mermaid at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Read all about the shorts below:

  • 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.
  • Guests will need to purchase a ticket to enter the theater. But if you're not local to Los Angeles, you can see the shorts later online, when they hit YouTube and Disney+. Purl hits the YouTube channel on February 4, 2019 followed by the YouTube and YouTube Kids debuts of Smash and Grab on February 11, 2019 and Kitbull on February 18, 2019. Disney+ is set to launch in late 2019.