Out Short Film

To celebrate Pride Month, Pixar has made its animated short film Out, previously streaming only on Disney+, available to watch online for free. Written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter (known for animating scenes on Finding Nemo and WALL-E)Out tells the story of a character named Greg as he struggles to tell his family about his boyfriend Miguel as he’s in the process of moving. With a little cosmic interference from man’s best friend, Greg eventually gathers up the strength to come out.

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Making of Us Again

At its heart, the true foundation of the Walt Disney Company are short films. Before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before there was Pixar Animation Studios, and even before classic animated films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia, there were short films featuring beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and many more that were driven by music instead of iconic, symbolic characters. In the last decade, as Disney Animation continues its status as a standard-bearer of the animated medium, shorts at the studio have had a resurgence.

One such short, Us Again, is now available on Disney+ months after premiering with the latest Disney Animation feature Raya and the Last Dragon in its truncated theatrical release (combined with a VOD approach via Disney+ Premier Access). Written and directed by Zach Parrish, Us Again is the story of Art and Dot, an elderly married couple representing two different approaches to aging. Art’s grumpy and dour, while Dot remains young at heart. During the dialogue-free short, a magical rain washes over the glittering city where they live, making them young again and able to express their nostalgic delight through dance and music.

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Over the last 18 months, Disney+ has reshaped the conversation surrounding new streaming content. Shows like The Mandalorian and WandaVision have transformed the way a streaming channel can connect to audiences. But the key difference is that making new Star Wars shows and Marvel content is bound to get high engagement among people who are predisposed to like these franchises from the start. It’s taken a little longer for Disney+ to show support for less represented filmmakers and audiences, to take a risk on something unexpected. Though it’s a bit overdue, the new short-film series Launchpad is a good leap in that direction.

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launchpad season 1 trailers

Disney+ has released trailers for all six of the short films in its promising new series Launchpad, designed to showcase live-action short films from “a new generation of dynamic storytellers” and “diversify the types of stories that are being told and to give access to those who have historically not had it.” Which is a neat idea, and a great platform for rising filmmakers who need it.

A full trailer for season 1, which is themed around “Discover,” has already been released, but Disney+ shows its commitment to this series with a trailer for each short film in the season. Watch the Launchpad season 1 trailers below.

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launchpad featurette

Launchpad, a new Disney+ series of live-action short films that have nothing to do with the character from DuckTales, has released a new featurette ahead of its premiere. The goal of the series is “to diversify the types of stories that are being told and to give access to those who have historically not had it” based around the theme “Discover.” It’s a neat idea, and if Disney+ sticks with this – as they plan to – it could really open doors for budding filmmakers. Watch the featurette, which is titled “Embrace Yourself,” below.

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22 vs. Earth clip

This past weekend, Pixar took home another Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars for Soul, the studio’s surprisingly unconventional movie about the forces and inspirations that fuel our passions. Tina Fey voiced a character character named 22, an irascible soul who has spent millennia living on a vast plane of existence known as The Great Before, and now she takes center stage in 22 vs. Earth, a short film prequel that’s heading to Disney+ this week. Check out a new clip from the short below.
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22 vs. earth

What happened before Soul? Before Joe Gardner ended up in the Great Before? Even before Joe (Jamie Foxx) and 22 (Tina Fey) crossed paths, 22 had been around the block a couple times, unable to find her “spark” that would give her a pass to Earth. And by “around the block a few times,” we mean several millennia old — which makes 22 the perfect subject for a Pixar short film that allows longtime Pixar editor Kevin Nolting to make his directorial debut.

After working on the edit for Soul, Nolting received a chance to direct his first animated short for Pixar with 22 vs. Earth. But it wasn’t a task that Nolting found particularly daunting, having been deeply involved in the development of Soul.

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22 vs Earth

Move over Batman v Superman. Get lost Godzilla vs. Kong. Here comes 22 vs. Earth, a prequel to Pixar’s Soul. This short film from Pixar Animation Studios shows us 22, the soul voiced by Tina Fey, before she met Soul character Joe Gardner. Fey returns to voice 22 yet again, and Pixar veteran Kevin Nolting directs. The short is headed to Disney+ this month, and we now have some first-look images you can see below.

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Save Ralph

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The MovieSave Ralph

Where You Can Stream It: YouTube

The Pitch: Spencer Susser (Hesher) directed this stop-motion short film faux-documentary about a rabbit named Ralph (the voice of Taika Waititi) who is used by humans for cosmetics testing, and the horrors that creatures like him endure because some companies refuse to update their archaic testing practices. It’s disturbing and heartbreaking and manipulative and powerful, all at the same time.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: Because it’s the type of galvanizing video that might actually inspire change. Read More »

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Hotel Transylvania short film

Here’s a double dose of good news for the Hotel Transylvania fans out there. Monster Pets: A Hotel Transylvania Short, which is currently playing in Cinemark theaters, has made its way online in advance of this weekend’s Pets Day on April 11. (No, you’re not the only one who had no idea that Pets Day was a thing.)

The other piece of good news is two-pronged and a bit more bittersweet. The fourth installment of the film franchise has received a new official title: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, and its release date has moved up on the calendar, so fans won’t have to wait as long to see it. It will now debut on July 23, 2021 instead of August 6. For fans, the bittersweet part is that Sony Pictures Animation has confirmed this will indeed be the final entry in this franchise. Check out the new Hotel Transylvania short film below. Read More »