In the song “Do The Next Right Thing” from Frozen 2, Anna sings out her grief in a heartbreaking melody. When you lose someone, you have to find a way to carry on and that’s what Let’s Be Tigers is really about. Directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz, this Disney Launchpad short film finds a young woman looking after a boy while still processing her own grief.
Noah’s dad’s are going out for the evening and Avalon has come over to babysit. As the toddler chants “Let’s be tigers” at his babysitter, we learn that she’s suffering from the loss of a family member. But when Noah asks her to make up a story, she finds herself beginning to heal through what she creates.
With a heavier theme than most Disney branded content, Let’s Be Tigers has a few charming moments, but is ultimately somber. It deals with a child’s limited understanding of the permanence of death while also showcasing the often profound statements they can make about it. Told entirely within the confines of Noah’s house, the setting gives the viewer a sense of claustrophobia that must be similar to what Avalon is going through.
Let’s Be Tigers is not what you’d expect it to be from the title, nor what you expect from a Disney+ original. With Disney Launchpad providing storytelling opportunities to underrepresented filmmakers, this particular short has a message about grief and healing, albeit one that was well stated in “Do The Next Right Thing.” Like the song, it’s not very uplifting, but there’s a charm to it that’s undeniable.
Let’s Be Tigers is now streaming on Disney+, part of Disney Launchpad.