A new feature-length documentary goes behind the scenes of Pixar animated shorts Twenty Something and Nona in A Spark Story that’s set to stream on Disney+.
Unveiling “an intimate look at Pixar’s SparkShorts filmmaking process as two directors strive to get their uniquely personal SparkShorts visions on screen,” the original documentary co-produced by Pixar Animation Studios (Soul, Luca) and Supper Club (Disney’s Wolfgang, Marvel 616) reveals the first trailer and poster featuring filmmakers Aphton Corbin (Twenty Something) and Louis Gonzales (Nona).
The film follows new SparkShorts entrants Aphton Corbin and Louis Gonzales as they take a break from their regular Pixar work to focus on creating something that’s wholly their own. Gonzales worked on the classic Iron Giant, and several other Warner Bros. animated features, before heading over to Pixar. “I just told those stories of what it was like being one of very few Black people in this environment and posting them online,” Corbin told Variety.
A Spark Story gives audiences an “exclusive and immersive look” at the filmmakers and their films, according to a description from Disney. The documentary “explores the creative philosophy that makes Pixar unique” as the directors “navigate the emotional rollercoaster of stepping into a leadership role and inspiring their crews.”
The upcoming project is directed by Jason Sterman and Leanne Dare. “I think viewers will be most surprised by how much personal storytelling is involved in the Pixar filmmaking process,” said Sterman. “It takes so many people to bring one of these films to life, and you can feel the filmmakers’ personal touches in every aspect of the films. Hopefully A Spark Story will give audiences a greater sense of the people and personalities who bring these types of films to life.”
“Like Louis and Aphton, this was our first time directing, so we could relate to a lot of the experiences they were going through,” said Dare. “We found ourselves in the same situations trying to find our story, figuring out how to lead our team and getting comfortable trusting our instincts-taking leaps of faith and knowing we’ll figure out how to land. This helped us connect to their stories and appreciate their unique approaches to storytelling.”
SparkShorts’ Twenty Something official synopsis released on 10 September by Disney+ reads: 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.
SparkShorts’ Nona official synopsis released on 17 September by Disney+ reads: A grandmother, Nona, 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 5-year-old granddaughter Renee is unexpectedly dropped off, Nona is caught between her two favorite things.
The documentary is produced by Sterman, Brian McGinn and David Gelb in collaboration with Pixar.
A Spark Story is streaming 24 September on Disney+.