Disney+ revealed plans today for the upcoming lineup of Pixar Animation Studios’ SparkShorts program. Debuting on the platform in September are two new shorts, including Twenty Something from director Aphton Corbin, and Nona from director Louis Gonzales. In addition to the shorts is the feature-length documentary A SparkStory — a co-production of Pixar and Supper Club that takes an intimate look at Pixar’s SparkShorts filmmaking process.
SparkShorts filmmakers are given six months to assemble a team and create a short animated film. No major rules apply — filmmakers are driven by their need to tell a story and the nimble approach to do so. Each, teamed with a producer, navigates the emotional rollercoaster of stepping into a leadership role and inspiring their crew.
“I’m proud to see how the short was made better by the team working on it,” says Gonzales. “I’ve never directed before but I feel like my 20+ years in the business really paid off.”
Adds Corbin, “The SparkShorts program is the studio’s way of seeing what talented storytellers can do on our own. After working with Pete [Docter] on Soul, I caught the studio’s eye as someone who had interesting stories to tell.”
Twenty Something, which launches on Disney+ on September 10, was created using hand-drawn animation. “There is something so beautiful about seeing actual drawings come to life,” says Corbin, who has a personal connection to her main character. “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.”
Twenty Something: Adulting can be hard. Some days you’re nailing it, while other days, you’re just a stack of kids hiding in a trench coat hoping no one notices. Gia finds herself in this exact scenario the night of her 21st birthday. This is a story about the insecurities of adulting and how we’re all just faking it till we make it. Erik Langley produces the short.
Nona: Pixar Animation Studios introduces Nona, a grandmother who plans to spend her day off by shutting out the world to watch her favorite TV show, E.W.W. Smashdown Wrestling. However, when her five-year-old granddaughter Renee is unexpectedly dropped off, Nona is caught between her two favorite things. Renee wants to play while the normally-doting Nona wrestles with wanting to watch the Smashdown, leading to a decisive showdown between the two, and a loving compromise.
Produced by Courtney Casper Kent, Nonalaunches on Disney+ on Sept. 17, 2021.
According to Gonzales, Nona is based largely on his own grandmother. “At the same time,” he says, “Nona is a combination of all of the strong women I looked up to growing up.”