Pixar’s new SparkShorts program to debut at El Capitan Theatre, followed by Pixar’s first-ever YouTube release
First Three Short Films Debut Jan. 18, 2019 at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre with Availability on YouTube and Disney+ to follow
Pixar Animation Studios unveils its new SparkShorts film program next week with an exclusive run of their first three shorts—“Purl,” “Smash and Grab” and “Kitbull”— at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre Jan. 18, 2019, for an exclusive one-week run, followed by Pixar’s first-ever YouTube exclusive launch in the weeks that follow. SparkShorts is an experimental storytelling initiative that welcomes new creative voices at the studio to share their stories.
“The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” said Jim Morris, president of Pixar Animation Studios. “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”
Added Lindsey Collins, vice president of development for Pixar, “We want to nurture our future storytellers and encourage them to share their stories with the world. Who are the future directors and producers and what crazy new ideas do they have brewing? What is the next big breakthrough in our industry?
“Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of SparkShorts,” continued Collins. “The program was created to provide opportunities to a wide array of artists—each with something unique to say.”
The first three shorts will be showcased at the historic El Capitan Theater Jan. 18-24, 2019, following “The Little Mermaid” feature film presentation (1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. showtimes). Guests will need to purchase a ticket to enter the theater.
- “Purl,” directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, features an earnest ball of yarn named Purl who gets a job in a fast-paced, high energy, bro-tastic start-up. Yarny hijinks ensue as she tries to fit in, but how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for, and in the end, is it worth it?
- “Smash and Grab,” directed by Brian Larsen and produced by David Lally, is about two antiquated robots who risk everything for freedom and for each other after years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive.
- “Kitbull,” directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, reveals an unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time.
Following their run at El Capitan, these three new shorts will be available on the Disney•Pixar YouTube channel. “Purl” hits the YouTube channel on Feb. 4, followed by the YouTube and YouTube Kids debuts of “Smash and Grab” on Feb. 11, and “Kitbull” on Feb. 18.
The first three shorts, plus future SparkShorts, will be available on Disney+, the Walt Disney Company’s upcoming direct-to-consumer streaming service, which is set to launch in the U.S. in late 2019.