Pixar’s latest Sparkshort is called “Nona” and is about a Grandmother, called “Nona”, who plans on spending her day off by turning off from the outside world to sit down to watch her favourite TV show, “E.W.W. Smashdown Wrestling.”
However, when her 5–year–old granddaughter Renee is unexpectedly dropped off as her mother needs to work, Nona is caught between her two favourite things. Renee just wants to play while the normally–doting Nona is distracted because she wants to watch the Smashdown. Eventually, they work out a comprise when Renee works out the way to keep her Grandmother happy.
As with anything Pixar, there is an underlying issue that will pull on your heartstrings, as “Nona” has recently lost her partner, who was also a huge wrestling fan, and this short does a great job in connecting that in with the story, especially establishing one of the many reasons wrestling means so much to Nona.
I’ve been a huge wrestling fan since the 80s, when I used to go over to my late grandparent’s house and watch wrestling with my granddad almost every night. So this short is completely relatable to me, from both Renne’s and Nona’s point of view. Especially at the frustration of missing out on a finish of a wrestling match (Nona could really do with an updated way of watching TV, so Renee might have done her a favour in the long run). Plus Renne is so cute and adorable.
Unlike “Twenty Something”, which came out last week on Disney+, “Nona” has a more traditional Pixar art style and, on face value, doesn’t look like it pushes the boundaries in any way artistically, but I’m sure there is something new being done behind the scenes.
I thought “Nona” was a lovely, heartwarming tale, taking some of the casual aspects of wrestling that we fans love, but also balancing it with the love of family. I don’t think you have to be a wrestling fan to understand Nona’s feelings. You could have swapped wrestling for any other sport or event. If you’ve planned your day to be sat at home to watch a sporting event and someone turns up unannounced, most people would be at the same point as Nona, which is what makes this short so relatable.
“Nona” isn’t a groundbreaking short, but I really enjoyed it. Disney does have an obsession with sports, we’ve already seen Disney+ Originals based on hocket, basketball and American football, so at least wrestling got a little love in this short. It does lean in a little on the casual stereotypes of wrestling, which is normal when trying to appeal to a larger audience.
One of the many things I love about the Sparkshort and Short Circuit Disney+ programs is that it gives someone else an opportunity to lead a project and in this short, Louis Gonzales, finally gets his chance, having previously worked on so many Pixar films like “Incredibles “, “Finding Nemo”, “Cars 3”, “Brave”, “Monsters University” and many more.
Overall, I really enjoyed “Nona”, it felt like this was a short aimed directly at me and at around 5 minutes long, there is loads of action and funny bits to keep children entertained, while giving some extra depth to “Nona” due to the loss of her partner. Pixar always knows how to get to you, to draw out that emotional side. Throw in a lovely old dog and an elbow drop off the top rope; you’ve got a lovely Sparkshort.
Rating 4 out of 5
“Nona” is coming to Disney+ on Friday 17th September.