It’s a universal fact that kids hate getting their haircut. That’s what’s so charming about Hair-Jitsu, a Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Circuit project. A barber has met his match when he faces off with a young girl with hair down to her knees.
A little girl with Rapunzel-like hair just got out of her marital arts class and is still in her uniform when her mom stops at a barber shop for her first haircut. The moment she sees her mustachioed assailant, the lighting changes and she engages in a battle royale, using her hair as an extension of her martial arts skills.
The fun of the short comes in the way the action is executed. Composed like an action sequence in a modern kung-fu film, the action goes into slow motion, then speeds up. The camera closes in tight on the ends of the hair as it attacks in tandem with the girl’s hands and feet. But the barber has a few surprises up his sleeve, too.
Hair-Jitsu was created and directed by Brian Estrada, who has moved around Disney Animation, spending time in Story, Art, Editorial, and Post Production on films like Zootopia, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Frozen 2. His love of martial arts comes across in the short, which pays homage to classic martial arts films in a silly and fun way.
While funny, Hair-Jitsu can be used as a way to warm kids up to getting their first hair cut. In the end, the girl sits down, gets her hair cut, loves her new do, and walks away with a delicious lollipop. For adult viewers, it will recall memories of unwanted haircuts as a child while putting a smile on your face at the same time.
I give Hair-Jitsu 4 out of 5 mustache attacks.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.