With the exception of Toy Story 4 last year, every Pixar movie since 1998’s A Bug’s Life has been accompanied by an animated short film, most of which have also been Pixar creations. However, 2017’s Coco changed the game by airing a non-Pixar short, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure from the folks over at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Now the forthcoming Onward is following suit by airing its own non-Pixar short, with this one hailing from the realm of The Simpsons. Take a look:
When Disney purchased 20th Century Fox last year, The Simpsons was among the many properties that came with the deal. The creative minds behind the long-running animated sitcom have poked some fun at the Mouse House since then, but the company has made it abundantly clear that the show is a Disney offering now. The Simpsons is available to watch on Disney+, and now it has this Pixar synergy going with the short film Playdate With Destiny, which stars the youngest member of the Simpsons family, Maggie.
No plot details for Playdate With Destiny have been revealed, though judging by the above picture shared on Instagram, it looks like the short will follow Maggie Simpson meeting someone special as she’s traveling abroad (possibly in the Mediterranean). Is this the real deal or all just figment of her elaborate imagination? We’ll have to wait and see, though I’m thinking it will be the latter.
It’s also unclear how long Playdate With Destiny will be, though if it’s anything like the traditional Pixar shorts, it’ll probably clock in somewhere between 5-10 minutes. After all, while getting a short film in front of a full-length feature is a nice bonus, people are coming to see Onward, and you don’t to leave them hanging on that for too long.
And while Maggie being “speechless” isn’t anything new by Simpsons standards (though she has been given a voice a handful of times over the years), one could infer that Playdate With Destiny will either be light on dialogue or just dispense with it entirely. That’s also been a common element in the Pixar shorts and certainly improves the chances of them being appreciated by moviegoers young and old.
It is worth noting that Playdate With Destiny is not The Simpsons’ first short film. Back in 2012, Ice Age: Continental Drift was accompanied by The Longest Daycare, where Maggie Simpson faced off against her nemesis, Baby Gerald, and befriended a caterpillar while at a daycare facility. The Longest Daycare earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film in 2013, but lost out to Paperman.
Who knows, if Playdate With Destiny is well-received, perhaps this could lead to more Simpsons short films being screened ahead of certain Disney movies. The Simpsons could also take a page from Pixar’s book and release shorts/other content exclusively for Disney+, like how Lamp Life showed us what Bo Peep was up to between the events of Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 4.
As for Onward, the latest Pixar movie is set in a fantastical world where magic was once commonplace. Two eleven brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, obtain a wizard’s staff that’s capable of bringing back their late father for 24 hours, but when they only manage to conjure his legs, the brothers must go on a quest to fully reconstitute their father.The cast includes Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Ali Wong and Lena Waithe.