It’s easy to play the shoulda, coulda, woulda game with Quibi now that it’s defunct (see: After Quibi Finally Available To Cast To TV They Are Officially Shutting Down – A $2 Billion Dollar FAIL), but what Disney+ has done with their Pixar Popcorn shorts is the equivalent of YouTube: it’s that quick, snappy watch. You can watch and enjoy them quickly.
That was supposed to be the niche Quibi thrived at. You’re at a grocery store in line or in a doctor’s office waiting and want to watch something brief and light. Then again, we already have that — it’s called YouTube.
Here’s the full list of Pixar Popcorn shorts:Disney Plus’ new Pixar Popcorn shorts changed how the animation studio works – Polygon
“To Fitness and Beyond”: Buzz Lightyear leads an aerobics class for Bonnie’s toys.
“Unparalleled Parking”: The Cars crew have a friendly parallel parking competition.
“Dory Finding”: Dory is delighted to find some trinkets at the bottom of the ocean.
“Soul of the City”: New York City comes to life in the eyes of a minor character from Soul.
“Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Love”: Ducky and Bunny from Toy Story 4 compete for kids’ love.
“Chore Day – The Incredibles Way”: The Parrs do chores, super-style.
“A Day in the Life of the Dead”: Just your average day in the afterlife of Coco.
“Fluffy Stuff with Ducky and Bunny: Three Heads”: Bo’s sheep has three heads. What’s up with that?
“Dancing with the Cars”: The cars show off their dancing skills.
“Cookie Num Num”: It’s midnight-snack time at the Parr residence. So who gets the last cookie?
I liked the idea behind Pixar Popcorn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and reviewed it positively. Sure, there wasn’t a lot of meat on the bones, but these weren’t intended to be full movies. They aren’t even really anthology short stories, they are shorter than that.
There’s power in brevity.
These animated shorts remind me of flash fiction. I’ve written a bunch of flash fiction stories, even have a book full of flash stories (pictured right) called Flash O’Lantern, for those interested. You can find it on Amazon, but it isn’t my point to self-advertise my fiction work, it’s to draw a parallel between the types of storytelling and length.
Flash fiction is more about the basic story idea itself, or a simple concept, leaving your imagination to do the heavy work and providing at most a scene or three and usually a small number of characters and sparse detail. Often these stories are less than 1,000 words. That’s very word economical considering the average novel is around 75,000 words. Novellas take care of the space between short stories and novels and short stories are everything between a novella and flash fiction. Probably a little less these days, where self-published authors have driven the word count down (and that’s a good thing, IMHO).
I would like to see more movie shorts. There’s value in brevity in storytelling. I would rather see us go that direction for movies than longer, more constipated works like — cough, ahem (Zack Snyder’s 4-Hour Justice League Movie Not Split In Parts?) — 4+ hour director cuts.
I’m not advocating for artificial movie runtimes — because the story should always dictate the length — but personally I believe that 70-110 minutes is the ideal length for the vast majority of feature length movies. Two hours is stretching it. Two and a half is too long. Three hours plus is crazy. Four hours is, well, don’t even get me started.
Once something has gone over a couple hours, it’s time to start thinking of a TV series or miniseries or multiple parts. Those are better platforms for larger scale worlds to build. I don’t think there’s much argument that when a massive work is condensed into a movie when it should have been a miniseries or full TV series that too much can be cut and lost, killing the spirit and depth of the work. Nothing wrong with longer works, just like you don’t use a screwdriver to pound a nail, just use the right tool for the job.
To pull this back to Pixar Popcorn. More, please! What do you think? Would you enjoy seeing more shorter works? Perhaps collections of them like this?