First announced at the Disney Investor Day, Pixar Popcorn arrived on Disney+ today, bringing subscribers ten mini-shorts from the worlds of Pixar films. Varying in length from two-minutes to five-minutes, each one is shorter than your typical Pixar short, hence Disney’s description of these offerings being “Bite size,” like the title suggests. Produced from the homes of Pixar artists, this series is a delightful surprise that equals twenty-two-minutes of new content, about the length of a half-hour TV show minus the commercials.
WIth twenty-three films under their belt from fifteen franchises, surprisingly the ten-episode season only pulls from seven of them. In all cases, they seem to follow the most recent installment with three set after the events of Toy Story 4, two after the events of Cars 3, and single shorts from Finding Dory, Coco and Soul, the studio’s most recent film. The majority of the shorts have no dialogue, although a few use audio that appears to be leftover from previous recording sessions. For example, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele feel like they’re improvising on the two Ducky and Bunny shorts in the collection and Ellen Degeneres is credited in the Finding Dory short, although she doesn’t have any lines, just surprised sounds and gasps.
Here is a brief description of each short:
To Fitness and Beyond
Buzz Lightyear pops a cassette tape into a boombox and leads a 1980’s style workout session, but the other toys just aren’t feeling it. Among the toys he’s trying to motivate are Rex, Ham, Jessie, Trixie, Mr. Pricklepants, Dolly, Mr. Potato Head, the Little Green Men, Peas in a Pod and Forky.
Sheriff and Red are leading a Radiator Springs parallel parking test and various residents drive up to participate, including some out of town visitors like Chick Hicks and Miss Fritter.
Dory discovers some human remnants on the seafloor and explores each one, including a plastic whistle, a pair of glasses, a hand mirror and glass bottles.
Soul of the City
It’s an early morning in New York City as residents get ready for their day including Joe Gardner, his mom and dad, Connie, Moonwind and Dorothea Williams.
Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love
Alone at night at the fair, Ducky and Bunny argue over which one of them is more lovable than the other and why.
Chore Day – The Incredibles Way
It’s cleaning day at the Parr household and everyone is pitching in, but Jack Jack gets in the way as he tries to help using his powers of duplication, lazers and fire.
A Day in the Life of the Dead
Twins Tio Oscar and Tio Felipe ride their bicycle-built-for-two through the city of the dead and pass lots of residents going about their lives including Hector and Imelda dancing, a security guard with a broken jaw, and a host of colorful alebrijes.
Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads
Ducky and Bunny are confused by Bo Peep’s sheep (Billy, Goat and Gruff) and talk smack about them for being a three-headed toy.
Dancing with the Cars
It’s dance night at Flo’s V8 Cafe and Mater is in control of the jukebox, switching the style of music to match the personality of various residents of Radiator Springs.
Cookie Num Num
It’s late at night and there’s just one cookie left in the Parr household. Bob, Dash and Violet quietly fight over it while Helen and Jack Jack sleep on the couch. It’s a showdown to find out who gets the last “Cookie Num Num.”
One of Pixar Popcorn’s best-kept secrets is a different Luxo lamp opening for every short, each one involving the lamp interacting with popcorn in different ways. All of the shorts are charming, some are even laugh-out-loud funny. With the characters and worlds already created, this kind of content feels like a perfect addition to Disney+ during slower content release periods to avoid the dreaded churn phenomenon of subscribers. With most of the shorts being sans dialogue, they also feel perfect for the global audience that now has access to Disney+.
I ended up loving Pixar Popcorn far more than I thought I would. It’s essentially extended versions of the cute animated bumpers Pixar usually makes to promote their films, but they’re delightful nonetheless. I would love to see the series continue, especially if they can dive into some of the other worlds. It makes sense that Up wasn’t included since Dug Days is an upcoming series of its own, but I was particularly craving something from a bug’s life and Monsters, Inc. and still have an appetite for “Bite size” morsels from those worlds.
I give Pixar Popcorn 4 out of 5 homages to the lift in Dirty Dancing.
Pixar Popcorn is now streaming only on Disney+.
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.