Each month, I bring you my list of the top 50 shorts available on Disney+, which include shorts from across Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and Pixar. And unlike movies or series, shorts are much easier to jump in and try out. These might help cheer you up or help break up the time between watching movies or shows.
Here is the “What’s On Disney Plus” Top 50 shorts on Disney+ for January 2021:
50) Lamp Life
This Disney+ Original short fills in the gap between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 4, where we learn what has happened to Bo Peep and the three sheep. It’s a charming short that gives Bo Peep a little more time to shine, as she explains to Woody what’s happened and the adventures she’s been up to. “Lamp Life” is a fun little short, that will no doubt please Toy Story fans.
A story-centered around the true meaning of creating a home and the life that it holds inside its walls, 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 creator’s mother. The creator is this short really wanted to do something different, VR side offered, but I’d have loved 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 an amazing experience. This is a must-see.
48) Once Upon A Snowman
The previously untold origins of Olaf are told in this short, which shows us the first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle. It’s a cute and funny little short that Frozen fans will no doubt love.
47) 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.
46) Ferdinand The Bull
Ferdinand the Bull is another classic Walt Disney short from the 1930’s, that tells the story of Little Ferdinand the bull who is stung by a bumblebee when men come to pick a bull for a fight. When he gets in the arena, all he cares about are the flowers in the matador’s hands. This movie picked up an Oscar in 1938.
To a song of love lost and rediscovered, a woman sees and undergoes surreal transformations. Her lover’s face melts off, she dons a dress from the shadow of a bell and becomes a dandelion, ants crawl out of a hand and become Frenchmen riding bicycles. Not to mention the turtles with faces on their backs that collide to form a ballerina, or the bizarre baseball game. From the melting clocks and hourglass sand, to the figure rendered in strips, to the character covered in eyeballs, the style and themes of Dalí are clearly recognizable throughout. It’s a bit different but that’s never a bad thing!
44) The Longest Daycare
Oscar-nominated animated short keeping the youngest Simpson company during an eventful session at the Ayn Rand School for Tots.
43) Mike’s New Car
This Monsters Inc spinoff sees Mike buy a six-wheel drive car that’s been loaded with gadgets. That new car smell doesn’t last long, however, as Sulley jump-starts an ill-fated road test that teaches Mike the true meaning of buyer’s remorse. Fans of the Monsters Inc should check this one out.
42) Trail Mix-Up
During a picnic, Baby Herman follows a beaver into a perilous sawmill – with Roger Rabbit in frantic pursuit. As a huge Roger Rabbit fan as a kid, this is one short I’ve gone back to many times since Disney+ launched. Another Roger Rabbit short, Tummy Trouble is also available on Disney+.
41) Wise Little Hen
This classic short from the 1930’s introduces Donald Duck to the world. Donald and Peter Pig refuse to help the Wise Little Hen plant her corn or harvest it, but they are plenty anxious to help eat it.
40) Pluto Lend A Paw
Another classic Disney cartoon from the 1940’s. Jealous of Mickey’s kitten, Pluto’s devil-self argues with his angel-self over whether or not to rescue the kitten when it falls into a well. The angel-self wins, and Pluto is treated like a hero.
In LOOP, 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. This is the first Pixar short to include a non-verbal Autistic character and covers the subject very well. Highly Recommended.
38) Pixar Popcorn
Disney added a new collection of shorts from Pixar this month featuring characters from major Pixar franchises including “Cars”, “Coco”, “Toy Story” and more. Individually they are only about 1 minute long and possibly aren’t strong enough on their own merit, but Disney did add an option to watch them all together in one go, which I would recommend you do. There are some really fun moments in this collection such as seeing Dory playing with some items dropped into the ocean and the Incredibles family fighting over a cookie, plus much more. Definitely worth checking this collection out.
37) Day & Night
When Day, a sunny fellow, encounters Night, a stranger of distinctly darker moods, sparks fly! But as their suspicions turn to curiosity, they are delighted to find that this budding friendship can offer a new perspective on the world. Another great Pixar short.
This spinoff of Wall-E, tells the story of Burn-E, who keeps getting affected by the actions of Wall-E and Eve from the main movie. It’s a fun little short that fans of the original movie will want to check out.
35) Smash & Grab
After years of toiling away inside the engine room of a towering locomotive, two antiquated robots will risk everything for freedom and for each other. This Sparkshort is a lovely addition to the program and very enjoyable.
34) The Band Concert
One of my favourite vintage Disney shorts from the 1930’s. Mickey is a frustrated bandleader who must deal with obnoxious peanut vendor and flute player Donald Duck, who tries to persuade the band to play “Turkey in the Straw,” and a cyclone hits before his concert of “William Tell Overture” is completed.
Set in a world of magical realism, WIND sees a grandmother and her grandson trapped deep down an endless chasm, scavenging debris that surrounds them to realize their dream of escaping to a better life. It should be high on your watch list.
32) One Man Band
Another funny Pixar short, that sees two competing street performers trying to impress a little girl in order to get her coin into their tip jars. The little girl, Tippy, is caught in the middle as a musical duel ensues between the one-man bands.
31) Three Little Pigs
In this Academy Award-winning short, the Three Little Pigs each build a house; one of straw, one of sticks, one of the wolf-proof bricks. The Big Bad Wolf comes along and blows away the straw and stick homes, but is unable to destroy the house of bricks.
Purl was the first Sparkshort released and it showed a different side of Pixar, with a stronger political tone that sparked lots of interest on the internet. An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male-centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close-knit group. Purl must ask herself how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for and in the end is it worth it?
In Float, a father discovers that his son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight—but when his son’s ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is. And check out the extras on this short, it will really help you understand the short by knowing the creator behind it.
28) Lonesome Ghost
This classic short from 1937 tells the story of four bored ghosts in a haunted house who’ve scared everyone away call up Ghost Hunters Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in hopes to have a little fun scaring them off.
27) La Luna
This adorable short tells the story of a young boy coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. It’s the first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. Will he be able to find his own way amidst their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions? Beautiful.
26) Flowers and Trees
Another classic from the 1930’s. It’s spring, and nature comes to life. Some trees play a tune, using vines for harp strings and a chorus of robins. A nasty looking hollow tree battles a much healthier-looking tree for the attentions of a female tree and starts a fire.
25) “The Tortoise and the Hare”
This classic Silly Symphony short from the 1930’s is believed to be the inspiration for Bugs Bunny and also won an Oscar. It’s a classic story of the slow plodding Tortoise beating the Hare, who is rushing around but getting nowhere.
24) Sanjay’s Super Team
This superhero-inspired short is all about a young boy called Sanjay, who daydreams of Hindu gods as superheroes. It’s a great representation of a different culture and how it can cross over with modern-day trends.
A fun short featuring the magician, Presto. But, when Presto forgets to feed his rabbit one too many times, well, there’s really no telling what to expect! A fun adventure that will keep you laughing.
22) Geri’s Game
One of the earlier shorts from Pixar, this one sees an ageing codger named Geri plays a day-long game of chess in the park against himself. Somehow, he begins losing to his livelier opponent. But just when the game’s nearly over, Geri manages to turn the tables.
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.
20) Partly Cloudy
This lovely story explains how where do the storks get the babies from? The answer lies up in the stratosphere, where cloud people sculpt babies from clouds and bring them to life. A beautiful short that is heartwarming and certainly pulls on your heartstrings.
19) Toy Story That Time Forgot.
Shortly after Christmas Bonnie (voice of Emily Hahn) goes to visit her friend Mason (R.C. Cope) for a play date, taking her toys Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Trixie (Kristen Schaal), Rex (Wallace Shawn) and Angel Kitty (Emma Hudak) with her. When Bonnie sets them aside and goes off to play Mason’s new game console the toys discover the boy’s dinosaur action figures called The Battlesaurs. However, it becomes clear that The Battlesaurs aren’t aware they are toys when Woody and Buzz are forced to do battle against their leader Reptilius Maximus (Kevin McKidd). With her friends in danger it is left to Trixie to save the day…
18) Chef Donald
If you want some vintage Donald Duck, you can’t go wrong with this short from the 1940’s as Donald gets inspired by a radio programme to make waffles.
17) Maggie Simpson In “Playdate with Destiny”
The film begins on a day that seemed like just another day at the park for Maggie Simpson. But when Maggie faces playground peril, a heroic young baby whisks her from danger — and steals her heart. After a blissful first playdate, Maggie can’t wait to see her new baby beau again the following day, but things don’t go exactly as planned. Will fate (or Homer) get in her way? Another short featuring Maggie Simpson called “The Longest Daycare” is also available now on Disney+.
16) 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 mistakenly killing lots of people by mistake, it shouldn’t be, but I did have a few laughs at this.
When a toy stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way – the Lost & Found box. This is another fantastic short from Pixar, that is full of heart and charm.
This funny Pixar short is all about a young alien student who bungles his first lesson in elementary abduction as an increasingly weary instructor looks on. It’s full of laughs.
13) Riley’s First Date
This follow up to Inside Out, has Riley, who is now 12, hanging out at home with her parents in San Francisco when potential trouble comes knocking: a boy shows up at the door. Can Mom and Dad’s emotions handle Riley’s first date? If you loved Inside Out, you must watch this.
For a high-stepping lamb, life is an upbeat western waltz until his prairie friends tease him about his freshly sheared look.The only one who can see things right is the giant jackalope, who brings sunshine and optimism with him wherever he bounds. This is another great funny short from Pixar.
11) Frozen Fever
The first Frozen spin-off short, sees Elsa trying to putting on a party for Anna’s birthday, which obviously doesn’t quite go to plan. If you want some more Olaf, Anna and Elsa, this one won’t disappoint! With the original cast all returning to extend the Frozen universe, this one shouldn’t be missed by Frozen fans. Note – This short isn’t available in all regions
10) For The Birds
Another fantastic and funny short from Pixar that sees a flock of small birds perch on a telephone wire. Sitting close together is hard enough, and then comes along a large dopey bird who tries to join them. The birds of a feather make fun of him, but the clique mentality proves embarrassing in the end.
9) The Blue Umbrella
An alluring story of two umbrellas- who fall eternally in love. Pixar manages to take something as simple as an umbrella and turn it into a beautiful love story. You shouldn’t miss this one.
On an average day, Greg’s life is filled with family, love and a rambunctious little dog – but despite all of this, Greg has a secret, which he is keeping from his parents. Today is different, though. With some help from his precocious pup, and a little bit of magic, Greg might learn that he has nothing to hide. This is a groundbreaking short, as it marks the first time Pixar has featured a gay storyline and lead character.
This charming Pixar short sees a hungry sandpiper hatchling ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The problem is, the food is buried in the sand where scary waves roll up. A fantastic short that can be enjoyed over and over.
6) Inner Workings
If you loved Inside Out, this short is for you. It tells the story of Paul’s fearful brain, a pragmatic protector calculating his every move—and his good-time heart, a free-spirited adventurer— engage in a tug-of-war to reclaim his balance in life. It’s one of my favorite Pixar shorts from the past few years.
One of my all-time favourite Pixar shorts is Bao, which is all about a Chinese mom who’s sad when her grown son leaves home gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life. But she finds that nothing stays cute and small forever. Extremely charming and will certainly pull on your heartstrings.
4) Steamboat Willie
If you only watch one short on Disney+, this is it. The original. The one that started it all. This is how the world met Mickey Mouse and is a must-see. Mickey Mouse is a mischievous deckhand on a riverboat that is under the command of the tyrannical Captain Pete.
Kitbull is my favourite Sparkshort from Pixar and tells the story of an unlikely connection sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. Together, they experience friendship for the first time. For animal lovers, this one is gonna make you cry.
Hitting Disney+ on Christmas Day is the latest Sparkshort, Burrow, which is a adorable new short that tells the story of a young rabbit embarks on a journey to dig the burrow of her dreams, despite not having a clue what she’s doing. Rather than reveal to her neighbors her imperfections, she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. After hitting (bed)rock bottom, she learns there is no shame in asking for help. If you only watch one short this month, make it Burrow.
This amazing short has been inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, “Lava” is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years and just captures the spirit of the tropical islands with a breathtaking song that instantly reminded me of the famous Hawaiian singer, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.
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.