Pixar has just announced a pair of new SparkShorts, Twenty Something and Nona, along with a feature-length documentary taking an in-depth look at the SparkShorts filmmaking process.
All of the shorts will launch on Disney+ in September with Twenty Something streaming on September 10, Nona on September 17, and A Spark Story on September 24, 2021.
Aphton Corbin, the director of the hand-drawn short film says, “There is something so beautiful about seeing actual drawings come to life,” says the director, who has a personal connection to her main character. “She is a manifestation of my own personal anxieties! I think of myself as a collection of children trying to pass myself off as an adult.”
Adulting can be hard. Some days you’re nailing it, while other days, you’re just a stack of kids hiding in a trench coat hoping no one notices. Gia finds herself in this exact scenario the night of her 21st birthday. This is a story about the insecurities of adulting and how we’re all just faking it till we make it.
Erik Langley produces the short and will premiere on Disney+ on September 10, 2021.
We are thrilled to see what the long-rumoredTwenty Something project turned into. We’ve spoken to Aphton previously and she absolutely has a unique and solid vision for her work — we can’t wait to see the short film.
Additionally, it should be noted that Aphton was previously noted to be producing a feature-length film, but only time will tell if that note in January 2021 was about this film, or if she will be continuing to work on a feature film as well.
Louis Gonzales, director of Nona noted that the short is based largely on his own grandmother. “At the same time,” he says, “Nona is a combination of all of the strong women I looked up to growing up.”
Nona, a grandmother who 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. Renee wants to play while the normally-doting Nona wrestles with wanting to watch the Smashdown, leading to a decisive showdown between the two, and a loving compromise.
Produced by Courtney Casper Kent, Nona will premiere on Disney+ on September 17, 2021.
We interviewed Louis Gonzales back in 2014 (episode 027 of the Pixar Post Podcast) and his interview is a fantastic deep dive into the story team and how his creative process takes shape when he begins working on a film. There are even a few mentions of pushing through creative blocks, which are very pertinent to the A Spark Story documentary which talks about writer’s block specifically for Nona.
A SPARK STORY
Produced in collaboration with Pixar, A Spark Story comes from Supper Club (Chef’s Table) and directors Jason Sterman and Leanne Dare. Giving audiences an exclusive and immersive look at the filmmakers and their films, the documentary explores the creative philosophy that makes Pixar unique.
A Spark Story spotlights Aphton Corbin and Louis Gonzales as they strive to get their uniquely personal SparkShorts visions on screen. Corbin’s film, Twenty Something, required novel approaches to storytelling to convey one character’s multiple perspectives—all using hand-drawn animation (a rarity for Pixar). Gonzales’ film, Nona, came from an intensely personal place, but that didn’t stop a serious bout of writer’s block from nearly derailing the entire production.
Jason Sterman, Brian McGinn, and David Gelb produced A Spark Story and will premiere on Disney+ on September 24, 2021.
We’re thrilled to see this deep look into the filmmaking process. We’ll have to wait to see how long the feature-length documentary is as the launch announcement didn’t list the time specifically, but we can assume it will be around 90 minutes.
Pixar Post — T.J. & Julie