It can't be argued that Disney isn't doing its darndest to raid its deep coffers of IP as it continues to build out Disney+. With The Mandalorian a hit, the studio recently announced an extensive pipeline of original Star Wars and Marvel shows coming to the platform.
Yet another jewel in the mouse house crown, Pixar will be contributing its own original series in the years to come, including a series spin-off from Up later this year, and a Cars follow-up series coming in fall of 2022.
But while those series are still quite a ways off, this week the streamer is set to whet our appetites for what's to come with a series that touches upon some of Pixar's most beloved properties in the most bite-sizes way possible. Pixar Popcorn is a shorts series that will give viewers brief glimpses from some of the most beloved corners of the Pixar universe — from Toy Story, to The Incredibles, to the latest Pixar feature, Soul.
So what is Pixar Popcorn? According to Disney, it's a series of at least eight "mini shorts," and although the company has yet to reveal what exactly constitutes a "mini" short, in concept it sounds a lot like the Cars "Shorty Shorts," a series of three shorts (each shorter than 90 seconds) that were produced for Disney.com back in 2013.
Of course, both Disney and Pixar have a long history of animated shorts, with both companies essentially building their brands on them. Disney kicked off a century of empire-building with Steamboat Willie, which introduced Mickey Mouse. Pixar, meanwhile, got their little desk-lamp logo from their 1986 short film Luxo, Jr., which kicked off a run of what is now over 30 shorts — 19 of them released theatrically — that have earned acclaim and 5 Academy Awards. Pixar's animated shorts are pretty much the only shorts that get any kind of theatrical distribution these days, often paired with Pixar's features.
So where do we stand with the Pixar Popcorn shorts, then? At Disney's Investor Day presentation in December, Pixar's chief creative officer Pete Docter very briefly laid out the plan for Pixar Popcorn, displaying the titles of eight shorts. They are:
Pixar Popcorn drops on Disney+ this Friday, January 22nd.
Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.