SparkShorts is a series of American independentanimatedshort films produced by Pixar Animation Studios. It consists of a program in which Pixar’s employees are given six months and limited budgets to develop animated short films that were originally released on Pixar’s YouTube channel, and later on Disney+.
Purl, Smash and Grab and Kitbull, the first three shorts of the SparkShorts program, were released at SIGGRAPH on August 14, 2018, before having a limited release at El Capitan Theater on January 8, 2019. Purl was officially released on February 4, 2019, on YouTube while Smash and Grab and Kitbull were released on February 11 and 18, respectively. Subsequent shorts were released on November 12, 2019, on Disney+, including Float, rather than on YouTube. The shorts have been praised for their more mature themes compared to traditional Pixar feature productions.
Pixar first announced the SparkShorts program on January 18, 2019. The program consists of giving employees at Pixar six months and a limited budget to develop indie short films, all of them based on personal experiences. The program was developed in order to find new filmmakers at Pixar. Bobby Rubio, writer/director of the SparkShort film Float, described the program as “different film from the kinds of films” developed at Pixar, while Lindsey Collins said that the shorts are referred to as SparkShorts because Pixar “[wants] to discover that creative spark” in its employees. Jim Morris said: “The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows”, adding that it “[provides] an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than [Pixar’s] normal fare”.