Disney’s “Short Circuit” is a collection of 14 shorts, that have been created as part of a experimental program where anyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios can pitch an idea and potentially be selected to create an original, innovative short film with the support of the studio and their fellow artists. The goal of the program is to take risks, surface new and diverse storytelling voices at the Studio and experiment with new technical innovation in the film-making process.

Each short is about 2 minutes long and before each short, we get to hear from the person who pitched the idea about what’s the inspiration behind each short. These generally help set the story or premise up, which might be missed during the actual short. Some of these introductions really help show how much love has gone into creating them. Personally I would have liked them to be within the extras section, but at least they’ve got a skip intro option available.


Puddles


An adventurous young boy discovers that puddles can be portals to a fantastical world, but struggles to get his sister’s attention away from her phone to see the magic in the world around her.

This is a lovely short, which is playful and represents how people are missing life by watching their screens. I laughed multiple times throughout the short, especially once the dog was introduced. And the beautiful world within the puddles was amazing. The art style is much more like a modern Disney movie like Wreck It Ralph. This is easily one of the best shorts from the series and I think all the family should enjoy this one.

Rating – 4 out of 5


Exchange Student

Life is hard enough for an exchange student at a new school, butas the only earthling at a school for aliens, the central character in this fanciful story is the ultimate outsider and must prove her worthto be accepted by her unusual new classmates.

Graphically this is one of the weaker shorts in the series, it looked much less polished but the simple story of being the odd one out and how she becomes one of them, is perfectly fine, but it felt like one of the weakest shorts in the series.

Rating – 2 out of 5


Lucky Toupee

This clever bit of balderdash lifts the lid on an original tale abouta hijacked hairpiece, a gang of larcenous leprechauns, and a budding romance.

I loved this short and it would explain who has stolen some of my hair! Which is why I connected with the main character, though my wife did have plenty of chuckles over this one too. The art style is more like a modern Disney movie, but it’s the Leprechauns that really impressed me, their design and the idea behind them was brilliant.

Rating – 4 out of 5

Just A Thought

An awkward 12-year-old boy named Ollie experiences “bubble trouble” when his true feelings for a girl are embarrassingly revealed in the form of a physical thought bubble.

Another highlight of this series, the art style feels like your watching a newspaper strip cartoon and just seeing the boy fighting with his thoughts is a lot of fun and has a cute ending, that’s predictable but gets the message over perfectly.

Rating – 3 out of 5

Cycles

A story-centered around the true meaning of creating a home and the life that it holds inside its walls.


My personal favourite short from the series, this one made me tear up, as the story of a family living in a single house and having to leave, really hit home. It was originally created for use within a Virtual Reality headset, this didn’t need it, since the story was so strong. I also thought the music played a big part, which was created by the creators mother. The creator is this short really wanted to do something different, VR side offered, but I’d have love to have seen the animation look more traditional as it was easy to see it wasn’t designed for watching in 2D, now had the option been there to watch this on my PSVR unit instead, it would be amazing experience. This is a must see.

Rating – 5 out of 5

Lightning In A Bottle

During a thunderstorm, a young boy’s effort to capture lightning in a glass bottle as part of a science fair project succeeds beyond his wildest expectations, but is shocked when he discovers the consequences of this unnatural feat.

This is a great short, which the whole family could enjoy as it’s more like a short you’d see in front of a Disney movie, especially the art style, which felt a little bit like watching a Illumination movie.

Rating – 3 out of 5

The Race

Grim desperately needs one more soul to win his work competition, but his last scheduled collection at a rigorous bike race turns his world upside-down. At the finish line, he learns that life is not always about the trophy at the end of the race.

One of the more stranger shorts, but has a lovely message at the end, which was very touching. As that one last soul just wanted to hug and kiss his wife before he dies. Another short that brought a tear to my eyes. It’s also fun to see Death mistakingly killing lots of people by mistake, it shouldn’t be, but I did have a few laughs at this.

Rating – 4 out of 5


Hair-Jitsu

A young girl faces off against an evil hairdresser as she goes through imaginative lengths to avoid her first haircut.

Another great ones for the kids, with lots of laughs and a nice simple story that works. It’s the weakest short in this collection in my view, as it didn’t blow me away, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Rating – 3 out of 5

Downtown

A commuter’s disappointment in missing the bus turns into a colorful and unexpected joyride when the surrounding street art bursts to life, revealing the heart of the city from an entirely new perspective.

This is one of the more expressive shorts, that felt like a scene from a video game, a mix of playing Spider-Man and Splatoon. It looks stunning.

Rating – 4 out of 5

Jing Hua

A grieving martial artist pays tribute to her recently departed teacher by creating a painted world using a magical form of kung fu.


A beautiful short, that looks just like a traditional Chinese painting and is full of heart. I loved this short.

Rating – 4 out of 5

Drop

A newly-formed raindrop falls to earth for the first time and has an unlikely and heartfelt encounter with a young girl that proves to be uplifting for both.

It’s amazing how these creative minds can take sometime as simple as a drop of water and turn it into a lovely character.

Rating – 3 out of 5

Zenith

A luminous, ethereal stag bounds effortlessly through a dark expanse of the universe, leaving a galaxy of stars in its wake. When it accidentally creates a black hole that threatens to devour everything in sight, the stag is forced to make a decision that will leave a lasting impression.

This is one of the more bizarre and experimental shorts in this collection, the art style is beautiful, as it looks like a painting. It’s one I needed to go back and watch again straight away because it’s so different to anything else.

Rating – 3 out of 5

Elephant In The Room

A lost baby elephant is taken in by a boy and his father to work on their banana plantation. As the two quickly bond, the boy discovers that his new best friend yearns for her family and home in the wild.

A highlight of this shorts collection, the art style is amazing and the story is so touching. The boy and elephant playing together was so fun to watch, but the heartbreak the elephant is in, due to it missing it’s family is so upsetting but so rewarding at the end. Another must watch.

Rating – 4 out of 5

Fetch

A child wants to play fetch with her pet. Unfortunately he’s wandered deep into an imposing forest.

This short has one of the most Pixar-like art styles, it looks like it could be a trailer or clip for upcoming movie. Her pet is a lovely adorable character that makes this short something you could watch over and over again.

Rating – 4 out of 5


Overall, the first 14 shorts in this “Short Circuit” collection is a mixed bag, there are some highlights like Cycles, Jing Hua and Zenith, that stand out because they are more experimental but also full of heart. There are many shorts like Lightening in a Bottle, Puddles, Elephant in the Room and Drop, which are more mainstream and easy for everyone to enjoy.

It’s great to see Disney letting some of their talent try something different and step up to become film makers. This is vital process for Disney and I’m glad they have a outlet like Disney+ to let the world see what they’ve created.

Short Circuit is something every Disney+ subscriber should go check out, even if it’s one at a time rather than all at once. But at just 2 minutes each, they are shorter than a ad break but much more fun to watch.












Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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1 Comments

  1. AFU January 27, 2020

    The short "Drop" has suddenly been removed. You can't view it anymore. There's nothing between #10 and #12 anymore, where "Drop" was originally, which I was able to view on Jan 25 (Netherlands time). Could you ask why that short removed?