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Pixar debuts first SparkShorts film, Purl

By Jacob Oller
Purl Poster

Pixar has really been amping up its diversity initiative lately, following in the footsteps of its smash hit short Bao. Now, through the legendary animation company’s new SparkShorts program, which allows would-be creators to tell their short stories without needing to be professional animators or writers, has released its first short — and it’s as feminist as they come.

The short, called Purl after its titular ball of yarn, comes from director Kristen Lester and is an allegory about a start-up. It’s called B.R.O. Capital in case you needed more explanation. Animation fans can watch below to see how Purl deals with the prejudices and expectations built in to corporate America.

Check it out:

It looks like Pixar and it sounds like Pixar...but it’s a little sharper and a little harsher than most of the Disney-fied products coming from the feature film department. Purl’s besuited co-workers are terrible and discriminatory, leading the heroine to change herself to fit in. This fits in with the SparkShorts gameplan, which is to provide a space for new voices to stretch out and give the Pixar style a go.

And Purl definitely has its strong message linked to its lovely animation — the question now is what will Lester do next, and will Pixar move beyond the purely PG? Follow-ups to Purl — due Feb. 11 and Feb. 18 — will help refine what fans can expect from SparkShorts and help answer some of these questions for Pixar at large.

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