Senior Correspondent

Nona – Pixar’s Newest SparkShort Packs A Punch

Disney+ News SparkShorts

Nona is out on Disney+ from today! It’s Pixar’s newest SparkShort, directed by Louis Gonzales, and produced by Courtney Kent. It pulls at the heartstrings, highlighting the importance of relationships and living in the moment.

We were very lucky to attend a press conference last month where Louis Gonzales gave an inspiring presentation about his experience directing Nona, including all the hurdles he had to overcome. Most of all, Gonzales’ journey creating a short film with a small group of talented Pixar employees gave him a real appreciation for the value of teamwork.

There are essentially just three characters in Nona. It’s named for the short’s main protagonist: Nona; a grandmother with a love for wrestling. But alongside Nona, there’s her lovable pitbull, and her adorable granddaughter. Nona was inspired by Gonzales’ own grandmother.

She loved wrestling … And that was the time that me and her bonded when was like “Louis, you love wrestling? I love wrestling too.” And I was like, oh my goodness, I have the coolest grandma.

Louis Gonzales

Similarly, Nona’s granddaughter was inspired by Gonzales’ daughter Lola. It’s little personal touches like this that always make SparkShorts so special.

Early development art by Louis Gonzales (from his Instagram!)

A really sweet fact we learned about the creation of Nona was how attached the whole team got to the dog. Gonzales grew up with pitbulls, and knew he ideally wanted to include one in his short despite the time limit and budget implications. Deep down, he knew the dog would probably have to get cut out somewhere down the line, but the entire Nona crew grew so attached to the lovable guy that they made it happen. I always like a story about humans making sacrifices for animals – even animated ones.

Nona is just 8 minutes long, but packs a real punch – even without the wrestling! You can tell a lot of love went into every second of it, from every member of the small team. It’s a real testament to working together.

When I watch this short, I don’t really see me or what I’m tryin’ to do. I actually see we. I see Team Nona. I see what we made.

Louis Gonzales

Tags: , , Last modified: September 17, 2021

Joanna Peaker is a Senior Correspondent for Upcoming Pixar. Joanna's love for Pixar blossomed after watching Up for the first time in 2009, and it has continued to grow ever since. Joanna brings an artistic eye to Upcoming Pixar, delivering a unique editorial perspective on Pixar's aesthetics.