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Pixar Will Release New Short Film 'Loop' Featuring Nonverbal Autistic Character


After the release of the Pixar short film “Float,” Disney+ has another autism-themed short on the way, “Loop,” slated for release Jan. 10, 2020.

In celebration of the launch of Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, Pixar created a series of six new short films called SparkShorts. One of these, which has yet to be released, is titled “Loop.” According to Pixar, the film follows “a non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy [who] are partnered on a canoeing trip. To complete their journey across an urban lake, they must both learn how the other experiences the world.”

“Loop” was directed by Pixar filmmaker Erica Milsom, who has featured people with disabilities in some of her previous work. Her award-winning 2017 short film “So Much Yellow,” for example, follows a 1960s family after they make the heart-wrenching decision to institutionalize their son with Down syndrome. Milsom is also working on a series called “Diana and the Cake Boys,” centered around residents in a group home for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Though it’s unclear if actually autistic filmmakers were involved in the creation of “Loop,” people on the spectrum expressed excitement about the upcoming short film on social media, especially because it features a nonverbal person of color.

“Loop” will be the second SparkShorts film to be about autism after “Float.” “Float” follows a father who tries to hide his son’s special talents to protect him from the world, all while wishing his son could be “normal.” Ultimately, however, the father realizes he needs to embrace who his son really is. The short is based on creator Bobby Alcid Rubio’s real-life relationship with his autistic son.

“It was a joy to see what happened when the boy’s ‘strangeness’ was embraced,” wrote Mighty contributor Joelle Marie in a review of “Float,” adding:

Autistics are also wonderful for what we are meant to do: be our autistic selves. I was happy to see this film — based on a father and son’s experience — tell the story of embracing and elevating differences. In a world where sometimes people are given a bit more fear and a bit less encouragement, I really appreciated the message this film shares.

“Loop” will be released on Jan. 10, 2020, on Disney+.

Article updated Nov. 22, 2019. The Mighty has reached out to Pixar for comment and has yet to hear back.

Header image via Pixar/Twitter