When Pixar Animation Studios discovered their feature shorts were becoming a limited means to discover talent and explore new subject matter, the Walt Disney Studios subsidiary created the SparkShorts program. This allowed independent filmmakers from within the studio to apply for grant funding and create their own shorts while keeping their day job. Watch two-time Oscar winner Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E” and “Finding Nemo”) moderate a panel of five SparkShorts directors who helmed Pixar’s latest Oscar-eligible animated shorts above.
Madeline Sharafian (“Burrow”), Bobby Alcid Rubio (“Float”), Erica Milsom (“Loop”), Steven Clay Hunter (“OUT”) and Edwin Chang (“Wind”) join Stanton to discuss their individual processes for creating each film and how they conceptualized their stories. Below is a synopsis of each of the animated short films discussed in this exclusive panel discussion from Pixar.
A young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns there is no shame in asking for help.
A father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, 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.
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.
On an average day, Greg’s life is filled with family, love and a rambunctious little dog – but despite all of this, Greg has a secret. Today is different, though. With some help from his precocious pup, and a little bit of magic, Greg might learn that he has nothing to hide.
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.
Pixar has been responsible for five Academy Award-winning short films since its inception. Their most recent victory was for “Bao,” a 2018 tearjerker that told the story of a woman who is suffering from empty nest syndrome and gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings springs to life.
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