TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
SparkShorts TV Poster Image
Independent Pixar shorts have mature themes, great messages.

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age 18+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Stands out for positive messages.

Positive Messages

Stories touch on issues like ability diversity, homosexuality, and animal cruelty in gentle and sometimes humorous ways. Themes of kindness, tolerance, sacrifice stand out.

Positive Role Models

Each film has characters who stand out for positive traits. In one, a father comes to embrace what makes his son different from everyone else. In another, a man finally comes out as gay to his parents and gets a surprising result. A grandmother gives up everything for her grandson, a female character challenges gender roles in a workplace, and new friends learn to trust.


Some stories see characters facing brief peril. In one, a dog shows injuries from what's presumed to be a fight with another animal.


One story involves a relationship between two men who are shown kissing at one point.


A chapter in the massive Pixar universe.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SparkShorts is a series of short Pixar films that were cultivated by a program in which Disney artists were challenged to create their own independent movies with Pixar resources. Because the focus of each movie is unique, the content can be unpredictable, and most of the stories involve themes that are decidedly more mature than those of typical Pixar productions. In one, a man struggles to come out as homosexual to his parents; in another, a father must decide whether to embrace his son's diversity or hide it (and him) from the world. Others touch on issues like animal abuse, self-sacrifice, and gender stereotypes in the corporate workplace. These stories challenge viewers to think deeply about the issues they raise, and they're presented in typically superb Pixar animated style.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byJaiywowbitcon May 31, 2021

What's the story?

SPARKSHORTS is a series of animated short films created by Disney artists and filmmakers. Each movie is an independent entity with a standalone story. These include an unlikely friendship between two stray animals who learn to trust each other against all odds, an anthropomorphic ball of yarn who tries to change herself to fit in among her work peers, and an eager rabbit whose dreams of building a solitary burrow meet with unexpected challenges. 

Is it any good?

This is a Disney experiment gone very right, and viewers are the ones who reap the rewards. These stories are insightful, inspiring, and efficiently told in movies that run minutes in length and captivate from the very start. Not surprisingly, the animation is magnificent (thanks, Pixar!), and the films prove that talent runs deep in the Disney workshops. SparkShorts not only reflects the creative spark of the writers, but also can spark some thoughtful conversations within families about the issues that the stories raise in these charming and affecting shorts. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the storytelling in these short films. How effective are those without dialogue at developing an engaging story? What other storytelling devices do they use well? Do the respective animation styles work with the stories? Why, or why not? 

  • How are tolerance and empathy advanced in the stories? Do the creators set out to inspire specific actions or changes of heart in viewers? In what ways do these stories expose you to ideas or experiences that are new to you? 

  • How has the internet increased visibility and opportunities for artists to share their work with others? In what ways do streaming services like Disney+ capitalize on this availability? Have services like this changed your media consumption habits? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Pixar

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