The beauty industry is known for having a problematic cycle of creating products that require the use of additional products to solve related issues. Examples include makeup that creates acne and soaps that strip your skin of moisture, making moisturizers essential. In Lucky Toupee, an animated short from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Short Circuit program, a similar problem arises for a man who is losing his hair to mythical creatures hoping to sell it back to him.
The short introduces us to a balding man looking at an ad for a toupee from the “Lucky Toupee” company. As he falls asleep, leprechauns sneak into his room and pluck hairs from his head, running back to their toupee factory and adding them to a wig they’ve been saving especially for him. When his hair finally arrives, he is excited to wear it on a first date, but the sneaky leprechauns have one last trick up their sleeve as he opens the door to meet her.
The short speaks to the challenges of hair loss for both men and women, but has broader relatability to the beauty industry in general. The main character is self-conscious about a physical characteristic that he wants to change. The whimsy of the piece comes from the fact that the problem is caused by, and cured by, some mischievous magical creatures. What the leprechauns do is not all that different from the real way the beauty industry runs.
This short comes from Nikki Mull, a Character Look Supervisor on the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon who has also lent her talents to Big Hero 6, Frozen, Moana, and Frozen 2. The short takes place in the 1920s or 1930s and she has a lot of fun with the style and look of that period. But what really struck me about this short was the lighting, which has a magical quality to it.
Lucky Toupee is coming to Disney+ on January 24th where you can enjoy it again and again. It’s a charming short with humor and heart and I think a lot of people will connect with it for a variety of reasons. After all, who hasn’t at some point tried a new product that promised an unrealistic outcome?
I give Lucky Toupee 5 out of 5 leprechaun hats.