“Loop” is the sixth Pixar SparkShort to arrive on Disney+ and it tells the story of two kids at canoe camp find themselves adrift on a lake, unable to move forward until they find a new way to connect and see the world through each other’s eyes.
It’s one of the shorter “SparkShorts”, but its got lots of heart and is the first film by Pixar to feature a non-verbal autistic character. And that’s one of the things about the SparkShort series I’ve been enjoying the most, is how it pushes the boundaries on traditional stories. The story in this film probably wouldn’t work as a full length feature, but in this series, its been given a chance to be created.
Both the characters are charming and the girl, Renee, is also completely authentic, since the team used a local girl that is also non-verbal autistic, to provide a voice. I also really took to the teenage boy, Marcus, who is thrown into the situation by his camp councilor and we get to see how he struggles to deal with Renee, but finds a way. There is this one moment when he reaches out his hand to experience what Renee is feeling, which I found very touching.
There are lots of other little ways being used to connect the viewer with Renee’s world, such as showing the world from her point of view, muffing the audio, avoiding eye contact and having an aura around the screen. All of these little touches really help the viewer understand her more. I wasn’t blown away with how the short looked, it felt
“Loop” is going to be a great way of teaching people about being non-verbal and will no doubt be very useful for children to watch, to become more aware of what the issue is. So I would recommend adults also watch the making of featurette, to learn a little more, so they can explain what the short is about after they’ve watched it or after a repeated viewing. And I’d say the exact same thing about “Float”, though that one isn’t as realistic as “Loop”, but its also based on someone with autism.
This short feels much more like an experiential piece, while all the SparkShorts have had important themes such as equality for females, sacrifice, migration, love and acceptance, “Loop” feels like its pushed the boundaries the most. And this short hit the theme straight on, it was subtle about it, which I’ve found has been a problem on previous SparkShorts, where I completely missed the message. “Loop” is much more direct.
I really enjoyed watching “Loop”, it felt different and that’s what I wanted from it. It educated and entertained, its not a short I imagine will be watched multiple times, as for younger audiences, the whole concept could be lost on them and they might not fully understand what its about. “Loop” is a must watch for everyone with a Disney+ subscription, but I’m not sure everyone will enjoy it, because its so different to anything we are used to seeing from Disney or Pixar.
Rating – 4 out of 5
What did you think of Loop?