A new Pixar Original Animated Short from director Louis Gonzales and part of Pixar’s SparkShorts collection, Nona, is headed to Disney+ on September 17th. Nona follows a grandmother whose plans for a special day are upended by an unexpected visit from her granddaughter. This film feels like a glimpse into a day of someone’s actual life, and that’s because, in part, it is. Gonzales shared how he kept the story of Nona authentic during the writing process.
In this short film, 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: playing with Renee and watching the Smashdown. Nona doesn’t receive a phone call prior to Renee’s arrival, nor does Renee’s father stick around to chat. This was a specific and intentional choice by director Louis Gonzales, who said the following to CinemaBlend:
There’s a saying “write what you know” so isn’t surprising that writers pull from personal experience when telling the stories we see come to life on screen. What’s even more interesting is that the more specific the story, the more relatable it becomes. So even if you were never dropped at the doorstep like Louis Gonzales, you can probably relate to the experience of interrupting someone you care about. Or on the flip side, maybe you’re more like the grandma who gets interrupted and now has to rearrange her plans for the day.
The decision not to show Renee’s father in this film is so powerful because as director Louis Gonzales says, it would have raised additional questions that the short film does not have time to answer, but also because it allows the audience to feel empathy for both characters and wrestle with which to root for while the characters are literally wrestling each other. Had Nona been aware that Renee was arriving, it would feel selfish of her to be so resistant to entertaining Renee. But we get a look at why watching the Smashdown is so important to Nona and really want her to have that time, while also wanting the adorable Renee to have all of Nona’s attention.
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