Disney+ short film anthologies
SparkShorts * Short Circuit * Pixar Popcorn * Launchpad

Short Circuit, on Disney+
Disney+ Originals; Disney Wiki; IMDb; Wikipedia

This is a series of short films from Disney Animation Studios, released on Disney+ in January 2020, though I didn't watch them until April 2021. I wasn't quite sure whether I should put the series in my web anthology section or my short film anthology section, but ultimately I chose the former. Even though there's a page for it on the "Disney+ Originals" site, it wasn't originally meant to be shown on Disney+, or anywhere outside the studio itself. So... yeah, I could have gone either way with that. Anyway, each short starts with commentary from its director, so between that and the end credits, the shorts are actually shorter than the listed runtimes.


Season One

tek's rating: ¼

Puddles (5:07)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A young boy named Noah discovers that puddles can be used as portals. He keeps trying to get his older sister, Skylar, to watch him use the portals, but she has no idea what's going on, because she won't look away from her phone... until finally Noah takes her phone and throws it into a puddle. It's a really cute and neat little film.


tek's rating: ¼

Exchange Student (5:18)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

There's no dialogue, at least not in any human language. It's the story of a young human girl at an alien school, where she doesn't fit in. But she eventually finds a way to be accepted by her fellow students. It's a pretty decent film.


tek's rating: ¼

Lucky Toupée (4:57)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

So... once again there's no dialogue, but leprechauns make wigs to sell. We see the story of one man desperate to get a toupee in time for a date. And there's an amusing twist ending.


tek's rating: ½

Just a Thought (5:33)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue. But there's this boy whose thoughts we see in a comic book-style thought bubble above his head, and he can't keep his mind off a girl he likes. He keeps trying to hide his thought bubble, because it embarrasses him. But there's a happy ending, and the whole thing is very cute and amusing. The story kind of reminded me of In a Heartbeat.


tek's rating: ¼

Cycles (7:15)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

This was originally released in VR, but of course it can't be experienced that way online (at least for now; who knows about the future?) It's told mostly in reverse order, from the time an old woman's daughter decides it's time for her to move into an assisted living home, back through the years, ending when the old woman was a young woman and first moved into her house with her husband. It's a pretty sweet story, but also sort of melancholy.


tek's rating: ½

Lightning in a Bottle (5:52)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue. A young boy literally catches lightning in a glass jar. The spark turns out to be a living being that wants to get out. And I dunno what else to say, but it was okay.


tek's rating: ½

The Race (5:55)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue. The Grim Reaper is in a contest where he's trying to reach 100 lives taken. He has one life left to reach that goal, and he's supposed to take the life of a man in a bicycle race. However, the man gets past him, so the Reaper kills a different cyclist and takes their bike. (This life reduces his score by one instead of adding to it. Throughout the race, he accidentally takes many other lives, which keep reducing his tally, which I don't quite understand, unless there are rules to the contest about not taking someone when it's not their time, or something. Anyway, it seems like his pursuit of this one man is highly counterproductive.) I don't want to say how it ends, but it was pretty amusing.


tek's rating: ¾

Hair-Jitsu (5:15)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue. A very young girl's mother takes her to the barber shop to get her first haircut. Most of the short is a fantasy sequence with the girl using martial arts (with her hair as well as fists and feet) to battle her way past ninjas before facing the barber himself in battle. And it's a pretty cool battle. I won't say how it all ends, but it's a very cute and amusing film.


tek's rating: ¼

Downtown (5:20)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

I'm not even sure how to describe this one. Once again, there's no dialogue, just music. And lots of color, and fast-paced movement. It's cool to look at, but there isn't really a story.


tek's rating: ¾

Jing Hua (5:47)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

(Aka "Flower in the Mirror"). No dialogue, just a martial artist grieving the death of a loved one. Her kung fu movements create a painted world (it seemed to me like inkbending). That's all there is to it, but it's a beautiful film with beautiful music.


tek's rating:

Drop (6:08)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue. A little raindrop is scared to fall from its cloud. After it does, we see its journey being swept around, until finally it lands... somewhere it likes. Then it evaporates, but next time it rains, the drop is eager to go. There's also a little post-credits scene. It's definitely an inventive film, and made me care about the feelings of a raindrop, so... that's neat.


tek's rating: ½

Zenith (4:59)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A stag made of stars flies around in space having fun, until it meets up with a black hole that starts sucking in all the constellations. It's really neat to watch, and it has good music.


tek's rating:

Elephant in the Room (6:26)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

No dialogue, just a song. A baby elephant gets lost, then is found by a father and son who work on a banana plantation. The father makes the elephant carry bunches of bananas, but the boy just wants to play with the elephant. The elephant likes the boy, but eventually wants to get home to its family. It's a cute and sweet film.


tek's rating: ½

Fetch (5:34)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A young girl is wandering through a forest, searching for her pet, Oliver, so they can play fetch. (The girl is voiced by Julia Butters, whom I know from American Housewife, and I found her pet's name amusing, because she has a brother named Oliver on that show.) Anyway, some dark and mysterious creature soon starts stalking her as she continues to look for her pet. There's a twist ending that I totally saw coming, but I liked it anyway. It's a very cute film.


Season Two

tek's rating:

Crosswalk (5:33)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A man grows increasingly frustrated while standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the "don't walk" signal to change. And the sign begins to taunt him. I found it extremely relatable.


tek's rating: ¼

Going Home (6:01)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A man walks through town as the seasons and years change, until finally he arrives at his childhood home... and the years continue to change as he walks toward the front door. For most of the film I didn't really feel anything, but the end is definitely sad, and makes the whole short film worthwhile.


tek's rating: ½

No. 2 to Kettering (5:12)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

A young girl (the only character who's in color) gets on a bus and tries to be friendly to the other passengers, but they're all quite brusque. But things eventually brighten up.


tek's rating:

Dinosaur Barbarian (4:44)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

The whole thing is done as if it were an opening credits sequence for a 1980s TV cartoon, complete with theme song. And there is a point in that song where everything about the title character completely changes, in an amusing way.


tek's rating:

Songs to Sing in the Dark (4:06)
Disney+; Disney Wiki; IMDb

Two creatures in a dark world make noises, which create colorful visuals, in competition with each other. It was kind of interesting to watch, but I felt like there wasn't enough of a story to follow. (What the director said about it in the introduction was more interesting than the film itself.)



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