#WhenAtHome: Pixar animated shorts to make you feel better during this lockdown

For the ardent Disney fans in India, this 21-day lockdown has become bearable as Disney+ launched in the country through OTT platform Hotstar on 3 April. The launch was a much awaited one, which brought with it the access to the rich and humongous library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and Star Wars franchises. Most people in the country are working from home, balancing between family time and work productivity. “Par Break toh banta hai na?” Well, to make your short break in between worthwhile and provide temporary relaxation, we have listed a few adorable animated Pixar shorts to make you smile amidst this crisis situation.

Purl (2018) 

Directed and co-written by Kristen Lester and produced by Pixar Animation Studios, Purl is the first short released as part of Pixar’s SparkShorts programme in 2018. [SparkShorts is a series of independent animated short films produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It consists of a programme in which Pixar’s employees were given six months and limited budgets to develop animated short films to be released on Pixar’s YouTube channel, before being subsequently released on Disney+] The story focuses on a ball of yarn named Purl, who gets employed in a male-dominant company, which causes her to be ignored by her fellow employees. She tries hard to fit in the environment, only to eventually realise that it won’t work out in the long run. The animated short also focuses on gender dynamics and gender equality at any workplace. Besides Lester, Purl is penned by Michael Daley, Bradley Furnish and James Robertson. It was published on YouTube in February 2019 before making it to Disney+.   Time : 8 minutes 43 seconds  Where to watch : YouTube and Disney+Hotstar

Loop (2020)

Launched in January on Disney+, Loop is the sixth short film in the SparkShorts programme and follows a chatty boy and a mute autistic girl learning to try to understand each other and connect, adrift on a lake.  Loop is directed by Erica Milsom with the story penned by Adam Burke, Matthias De Clercq and Milsom. Loop leaves a message of ways of communication and gives a powerful voice to its autistic protagonist. Time : 8 minutes  Where to watch : Disney+Hotstar

Float (2019) 

What do you do when you find your child to be unusual and born with a gift? Well, to find an answer, you must give Float a watch. Again a SparkShorts animated short, Float focuses on a father’s attempt to hide his gifted son from the world. But how long? Written and directed by Bobby Rubio, Float is the fourth film of the programme, and discovers a father-son relationship under circumstances of protectiveness and anxiety. Time : 7 minutes  Where to watch : Disney+Hotstar

Wind (2019)

Released on Disney+ in December 2019, Wind revolves around a boy and his grandmother who are finding out ways to escape an endless chasm where they’re mysteriously stuck in.  Directed and written by Edwin Chang, Wind is the fifth film in the series of SparkShorts, and leaves a lump in the throat in the end. The film stars Sonoko Konishi as Grandma and Emilio Fuentes as the little boy Ellis.  Time : 9 minutes  Where to watch : Disney+Hotstar

Kitbull (2019)

Kitbull was one of the first three shorts to be released under the SparkShorts programme. It was the third film after Purl and Smash and Grab. This traditionally animated short follows an unlikely relationship between a stray kitty and an abused pitbull.  Directed and written by Rosana Sullivan, Kitbull originated from her enjoyment of viewing cat videos. Critics praised the story, emotional tone, themes, characterisation, and animation. Kitbull was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. Like Purl, it was also released on YouTube (February 2019) before Disney+ (November 2019).  Time : 9 minutes  Where to watch : YouTube and Disney+Hotstar

Smash and Grab (2019)

Second film of the short programme at Pixar, Smash and Grab, focuses on two robots, Smash and Grab, living on a futuristic Mars-like planet, and have spent all of their lives working in a futuristic steam train fueled by glowing rocks.  But when they discover a world outside it, they try to escape from their monotonous work routine.   The animated short first premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in January 2019, before being released on YouTube in February, 2019, eventually releasing on Disney+ in November 2019. Time : 8 minutes  Where to watch : YouTube and Disney+Hotstar

Bao (2018)

This Oscar winning animated film (91st Academy Awards) is a heart-warming one and the only film in this list which is not part of the SparkShorts programme. Bao is about an aging and lonely Chinese-Canadian mother, suffering from ‘empty nest syndrome’, who chances upon an unexpected second chance at motherhood when she makes a steamed bun (baozi) that comes to life.  She becomes overprotective and obsessed about his bao-child only to find him moving out with its fiancee. She gulps him up to stop him from leaving. What happens next, will surely melt any heart. Bao acts as a story about food and family and how the two come together to form a “potent emotional resonance”. Time : 10 minutes  Where to watch : YouTube and Disney+Hotstar We hope you enjoy these until we return with another list! Till then stay safe and stay home.