Earlier this year, Pixar released a new short film as part of its SparkShorts animation initiative that, in my opinion, is tailor-made for any of you out there who loved Wall-E. The short is called Smash and Grab, and it features a pair of adorable robots toiling away in factory-like drudgery, recognizing that at least they have each others’ friendship.
The robots have bright, luminescent eyes, move and behave a little like humans and communicate via cute beeps and boops. There is a bit of a story packed into the short, which is gorgeously animated — and which Disney has wisely decided will be included in a collection of new, original Pixar content that will be exclusive to the company’s streaming service, Disney+, which launches on November 12.
Pixar’s SparkShorts initiative is a way for the beloved animation company to do a couple of things at once. This serves as a way to keep the Pixar tradition alive of producing the kinds of animated shorts that have traditionally run ahead of Pixar’s feature films. It also serves as a way to surface new animation and directing talent from within Pixar, giving more creators the opportunity to be involved in making shorts.
Six of those shorts will be exclusive to Disney+, including Smash and Grab, and Disney shared a tease of what some of that new content entails on Wednesday via its social media channels:
The six shorts, including their descriptions from Pixar, are:
- Purl: “An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male-centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close-knit group. Purl must ask herself 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: “After years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive, two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other.”
- Kitbull: “An unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time.”
- Float: “In Float, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgment, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight — but when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is.”
- Wind: “Set in a world of magical realism, Wind sees a grandmother and her grandson trapped deep down an endless chasm, scavenging debris that surrounds them to realize their dream of escaping to a better life.”
- Loop: “A non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world.”
The first four of those will be available to stream on Disney+ launch day. Wind and Loop are coming in December and January, respectively. Meanwhile, if you want to check out the Smash and Grab robot-filled short we mentioned above, it’s still available for now on YouTube: