Disney+ has been trying its best to provide us with original content. One of the best offerings we’ve gotten are a collection of animated shorts in a series entitled, Short Circuit. Similar to Pixar’s Sparkshorts, these are animated shorts pitched by and worked on by employees. The first season was released in January and I decided I’d list them in order from my least favorite to favorite. Since there are 14 of them, I will do a Top 14 list rather than my usual Top 13. So sit back and enjoy!
I’m going to upset a lot of people by choosing this as my least favorite of the shorts, but I really didn’t get it. Yes, the animation is very fluid, to a degree where it doesn’t even feel animated anymore, but I’m not sure what the message is. Is it about bringing color and life to dull environments by just immersing yourself into them? What’s the symbolism of the white-faced Orange Bird-like creature? Why does it transform into a colorful shadow of our main character? I was just way too confused while watching this short to enjoy it!
#13: JING HUA
I do admire the concept of this short about a character using martial arts and color to deal with the loss of a loved one. I just feel the ending doesn’t really resolve anything and leaves us with the character in the same emotional state as she was in the beginning of the film. It’s as if the martial arts and colors were mere distractions and didn’t help the situation at all. I’m sure there could have been a better way to end this.
#12: LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE
I love the inventiveness of this short: the idea of capturing lightning in a bottle is one that would definitely attract the mind of a young kid, just like our protagonist. The anthropomorphic representation of the lightning was inventive as well. There are also themes about letting go of that which you love because it’s the right thing to do. While I didn’t dislike this short, there are just so many more awesome ones forcing this to take the 12th place slot.
This is another inventive short wherein a young girl’s hair is (both like and unlike Samson) her literal strength! Being a jiu-jitsu student, she imagines her hair having the same properties in order to defeat the “evil” barber. She overcomes her fear of the barber though and is happy with her haircut that she receives. But her cut hair turns sentient and attacks the barber at the end. There’s just a lot going on in this short which I like.
This short features a young girl looking for a creature friend of hers in the woods named Oliver. Oliver turns out to be this woodland being that looks like he’s made out of soot and has the ability to turn invisible as well. The problem I have with this short is that there’s so many questions I want answered! What is Oliver? How did this girl discover him? Surely there’s an evil element involved?
#9: THE RACE
Death is always a hard subject to talk about in fiction because everyone has different beliefs about it. And that’s going to be the biggest issue with this short. Based on your beliefs about death, you could probably feel insulted or at least somewhat bothered by its portrayal here. Or if you’re someone able to look at this as the fiction that the filmmakers intended it to be, you’ll enjoy the metaphor being proposed. I personally do feel somewhat uneasy about this short, which is why I have it only at #9.
This is, by far, the most gorgeous-looking of all the shorts! The way the constellations and stars are animated give off this effervescent, ethereal look that’s super pleasing! This is another short that could probably offend some people, but I personally found this to be a beautiful sight to look at from beginning to end!
#7: ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
This short dealing with the friendship of a boy and a young elephant is another beautiful one to watch. The animation is distinct and the Asian (probably Thai?) environment seems pretty realistic. It’s another one of those films where they reunite the elephant with its family at the end and it’s done pretty well.
#6: EXCHANGE STUDENT
Being the only human at an alien school can be challenging and can even be a metaphor for ethnic minorities in schools. This short does well to show how utilizing your own talents and abilities, you can be accepted just the way you are.
This short was pulled the day after being added to Disney+ due to technical issues, so this was the last short I watched having to wait for it to reappear on the streaming service. Showcasing the water cycle via an athropomorphised water droplet married with fluid animation seems too complicated, but this short manages to pull it off beautifully! And I swear young Moana is in this short!
#4: LUCKY TOUPÉE
This is a charming short about a man stressing about receiving his toupee in time before meeting up with his date. Throw in an Irish leprechaun racket and you’ve got one of my favorite of the shorts!
I love this short so much! I love how it shows that reality can be even more amazing than imagination and sends a timely message of being too addicted to our phones. (The fact that I watched this short on my phone is an ironic one indeed.)
Definitely the most emotional of the shorts, hands-down, we see the life cycle of a woman and her family and house as time travels backwards. It really shows us the power of memories and what they mean to us all!
AND MY #1 FAVORITE SHORT CIRCUIT SHORT IS:
JUST A THOUGHT
I’m a sucker for a good young crush story as I feel it’s something that we can all relate to! But mix in comic strip-style animation and a new element about internal though bubbles being visible to the public, and you’ve got a quite unique, sugary-sweet short! As soon as I watched it, I knew it would be my favorite!
I really enjoyed this Short Circuit series and I’m hoping that Disney releases a Season 2! Which of the shorts were your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!