Legendary animation studio Pixar has launched a new experimental storytelling platform which aims to unearth creative voices within the studio to share the kind of work that might not usually make it out into the big, wide world of popcorn-littered cinemas.
SparkShorts, which was initially announced earlier this month and launches in earnest with a special US screening today (18 January), allows for in-house talent to work on personal projects that could see them elevated into the upper echelons of one of the world’s best-known animation studios.
“The SparkShorts programme is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” says Pixar’s general manager Jim Morris. “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”
Films that have been premiered as part of the SparkShorts initiative will eventually find themselves hosted on the official Disney Pixar YouTube channel, meaning you can settle down to some top-notch animation in-between episodes of Nardwuar.
The first batch of SparkShorts to be broadcast include Wind (“a magical realism story about a Grandma and a Grandson trapped in a massive, never-ending sink-hole”), Loop (in which “a non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy are partnered on a canoeing trip”) and Smash and Grab (where viewers will see what happens when “two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other”).
Cartoon Brew reports that every single short that emerges from the new programme will also find its way to Disney’s much-anticipated Disney+ streaming service which is set to launch later this year.