Earlier this week, Disney • Pixar uploaded the short film Purl to YouTube, a first for the company. Pixar SparkShorts are a series of shorts technically indistinguishable from their (mostly) masterful theatrical films, and the shorts that have classically preceded those.
“The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” said Jim Morris, president of Pixar Animation Studios.
Purl tells the story of an adorable ball of yarn at her first corporate job at B.R.O. Capital. It’s a cute short for sure, but with a short this tender (and thinly veiled, metaphorically), it’s important to remember that this is also the first Pixar short film to debut with YouTube comments. A light flick of your screen or trackpad into the comment section is a babbling hellhole of young men whining about ‘politics entering pixar’ and debating the wage gap.
So, some of that Pixar luster gets lost in the mix when you factor that in. Luckily, the mouse house already has a plan later this year when these new short films will eventually debut exclusively on Disney+, Disney’s supposed (and probable) ‘Netflix Killer’ streaming service.
It’s clear to me however, that the largest entertainment company in the world is seeing increased value in the digital spaces that you, me, or anyone can contribute to. Small creators on these platforms are going to get pushed down a bit further as the landscape changes, but essentially, all the players are on the field now.
The future of streaming and one’s personal enjoyment and fulfillment of it is going to greatly depend on conscious decisions financially and independently made about what you want and are going to watch. You can’t afford every streaming service. You’re not going to want every streaming service. But we’re going to have a lot of very enticing and attractive ones soon.