This new Pixar short teaches a lesson in empathy, from the studio that brought you Up, Coco, and Toy Story.

By Kristi Pahr
Courtesy of Pixar Animation Studios

By now we all have our Disney+ favorites, whether it's Baby Yoda, a beloved Disney film from the '90s, or reruns of Phineas and Ferb, everyone with a subscription has binged on something in the three months since the new streaming service launched.

What you may not know is that besides all the nostalgic flicks and shiny new series, there is an absolute wealth of short films. Pixar just released a new one that should be mandatory viewing for, well, for pretty much everyone.

It's called Loop and features Renee, a teenage, non-verbal autistic girl who loves canoeing, and a boy who was unsure and uncomfortable being partnered with Renee on a canoe trip to paddle a loop around an urban lake. The boy tries to communicate with Renee and becomes frustrated when she can't communicate in a way that he understands. After a few near-misses, the boy finally realizes that people communicate in different ways and, with a little empathy and a little patience, he learns a valuable lesson—one that we could all use.

Director Erica Milsom spoke with people from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network to get an idea of how Renee would act, think, feel, and communicate in the situations she was presented with. "Their thoughts on the film were so helpful. They helped us find a consultant who had been non-verbal as a child and could give input on how our story and performance were working," Milsom explained on Instagram. "Their website materials helped us educate our crew about autism. And they were able to react to some of our design ideas around expressing Renee's POV, to help guide our cinematic treatment. I'm so grateful for this help. Learning about autistic people's experience of the world and being able to share it with our crew was a highpoint of this filmmaking experience."

The part of Renee was played by Madison Bandy, a young woman with autism. Her voice segments were recorded in her home where she was comfortable instead of in a recording booth at a studio. The short has received wide acclaim on social media since it's release.

To check out Loop yourself, find it on Disney+.

Advertisement

Comments

Be the first to comment!