Pixar SparkShorts Nona

Pixar just announced two new SparkShorts are on their way to Dinsey+, along with a feature-length documentary about the SparkShorts filmmaking process.

If the name SparkShorts looks familiar, it’s because you’ve likely already seen some films in the series. It’s a Pixar Animation program designed to discover new storytellers and uplift their voices through creative animation techniques. Filmmakers are given six months to assemble their teams and create their short films, with few other guidelines to abide by. Paired with a producer, the talented directors are guided by their passion.

SparkShorts has already given us a number of innovative shorts including Out, the studio’s first LGBTQ+ short film that dropped on Disney+ just in time for pride month. Other SparkShorts include the Academy Award-nominated Kitbull and, more recently, Burrow.

The SparkShorts films are often visually distinct, as filmmakers are encouraged to experiment and try new techniques to elevate their voices. Here’s a closer look at the upcoming SparkShorts films.

Twenty Something

This short film comes from director Aphton Corbin who previously worked on Soul with director Pete Docter. According to Corbin, her work with Docter meant she “caught the studio’s eye as someone who had interesting stories to tell.” Her hand-drawn animated film centers around a young woman, Gia. On the night of her 21st birthday, Gia struggles against her insecurities as she makes the transition into adulthood. Corbin’s film leans into the philosophy of faking it until you make it as Gia tries to feel her age. Corbin admitted that her characters struggle hits close to home.

“She is a manifestation of my own personal anxieties! I think of myself as a collection of children trying to pass myself off as an adult.”

The film is produced by Erik Langley and will be available on Disney+ on September 10.

 

Nona

Director Louis Gonzales has been with Pixar for many years, with credits including The Iron Giant, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille. His short film follows a grandmother, Nona, who plans to unwind and shut out the world by watching her favorite TV show “E.W.W. Smashdown Wrestling.” But a surprise visit from her 5-year old granddaughter interrupts her day off ritual and Nona is forced to choose between her two favorite things. Gonzalez explained that the character was largely based on his own grandmother but added,  “At the same time, Nona is a combination of all of the strong women I looked up to growing up.” Nona is produced by Courtney Casper Kent and will be available on Dinsey+ on September 17.

A Spark Story

A Spark Story is a collaborative effort from Pixar and production company Supper Club. This feature-length documentary spotlights directors Corbin and Gonzalez as they work through the tumultuous process of getting their stories onscreen. Corbin’s hand-drawn film is particularly challenging in technique while Gonzales encounters his own share of obstacles, including a bout of writer’s block that nearly detailed the project. The film is meant to be an immersive look at the filmmaking process, giving viewers detailed insight these both short films. A Spark Story comes from directors Jason Sterman and Leanne Dare and is expected on the streaming service on September 24.

Twenty Something, Nona, and A Spark Story will all stream exclusively on Disney+ this September.

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