Header Ads

Web Animation Watch Special: Pixar SparkShorts

Welcome back to Web Animation Watch, our regular feature showcasing the best in online animation.

If you've created (or even just found) something you think we should feature in an upcoming edition, drop us a line via email or via one of our social media channels.

We were excited to hear about the Pixar's new initiative SparkShorts. The program is designed to give new voices at Pixar a chance to share their stories. They are distinct from the studio's theatrical shorts as they are being produced by much smaller teams on a lower budget and can afford to be more experimental, both in style and storytelling.

The first batch of SparkShorts are due to be released throughout 2019, first on YouTube and later also coming to the forthcoming Disney+ streaming service. The first three films are now available, alongside some behind-the-scenes videos.


Written and directed by Kristen Lester the first short to be released makes quite a first impression. It features a new employee at an investment company- who happens to be a pink ball of wool (or yarn for US readers)- who struggles to fit in. It's a fun way to make a point about the problems of being a woman in a male-dominated, 'boy's club' of macho corporate culture. And while it's set in the business world, Lester says it was inspired by her first job in animation.

Smash And Grab

Set in a futuristic sci-fi world. two robots named Smash and Grab, strike up a freindship and attempt to escape from their job. Written and directed by Brian Larsen, it's a fairly conventional adventure story, but a beautifully made and thrilling one, told without one word of dialogue.


The third of the shorts, written and directed by Rosana Sullivan, particularly stands out. This is because unlike anything Pixar have released before, this is a 2D hand-drawn short. The actual story is a cute tale of a feisty stray kitten who forms a bond with a downtrodden pitbull. Visually, it may be a world away from anything else the studio has put out, but the way it knows how to tug on your heartstrings is pure Pixar. 

Behind the Scenes Videos