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Pixar Reveals Key Rules To Making Animated Shorts In Exclusive Clip From Disney+'s A Spark Story

Many of Pixar's animated shorts have become as popular with fans as the theatrical features. Anybody who loves Pixar probably has their favorite among the short films that have been released alongside many of the studio's biggest films. But with the launch of Disney+ Pixar began something a little different with its series called Sparkshorts. These were even smaller productions, made more quickly, and with less money, but it gave creators within Pixar an opportunity to make their short that they might not otherwise have had. In the new Disney+ documentary, A Spark Story, we get a look inside the process of making Sparkshorts, and in an exclusive clip, we see what rules these new directors must follow. There aren't very many.

In the new clip, which you can check out above, Pixar producer Lindsey Collins explains that there are only a couple of rules that potential directors need to keep in mind. Their short needs to be a narrative story suitable for all ages. Beyond that, they can pretty much do whatever they want. Collins says...

When we start to walk directors through what the rules are to do a Sparkshort, we tell them 'It needs to be a narrative story, it can be CG, it can be 2D, and it needs to be for all audiences.' We try to get it done in about six months. But beyond that, there really aren't any rules.

For the most part one assumes that the rules that Pixar does have, that a short must have a narrative story, and that it must be suitable for all audiences, probably aren't much of a hurdle. While it might be interesting to see something more abstract from Pixar, story has always been the focus at the studio, and that's not likely to change any time soon. Likewise, we expect animation from Pixar to be suitable for all, even if seeing something more mature from the studio isn't without its appeal.

The clip above also shows Pixar artist Louis Gonzales being announced as one of the new directors of a Sparkshort. He talks about the love that came from his co-workers when he got the gig, but also the pressure that came along with it. He would go on to produce the short Nona, a film about a grandmother watching over her precocious granddaughter while trying to watch professional wrestling on television.

I've had the pleasure of speaking with several of the directors who have produced Sparkshorts for Pixar's and they've all spoken about the lack of constraints that came with directing one of the new animated shorts. While there wasn't a lot of time, and there wasn't a lot of money, there also wasn't a lot of oversight, as they were more or less left to their own devices to make the animated short the way they wanted to make it. This has lead to a lot of Sparkshorts that are very personal stories for their creators, and that deal with topics that we don't normally see come from a studio as large as Pixar.

There are currently 10 different Sparkshorts available to watch on Disney+, and A Spark Story arrives on the streaming service on Friday.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.