Senior Correspondent

‘Twenty Something’ Is Something Special

Aphton Corbin Disney+ News SparkShorts

Twenty Something is Pixar’s next addition to the SparkShorts program – a series of shorts that have consistently showcased the studio’s creativity and talent. It will start streaming on Disney+ from September 10th.

We were thrilled to attend a virtual screening and press conference last month, so let us just say this with confidence: Twenty Something is something special. Take a look at our spoiler-free review below.

Director Aphton Corbin previously worked on both Soul and Loop before being approached about creating her own SparkShort. The imposter syndrome that immediately set in ended up serving as the inspiration for Twenty Something. This short, and Corbin’s directorial debut, is a unique, stylish, and beautifully visualised exploration of this feeling (that many of us will be all too familiar with). The fact that this short came out looking, sounding, and feeling as good as it did despite largely being made ‘from home’ during the pandemic is a real testament to how talented this small team of filmmakers is.

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Twenty Something follows protagonist Gia, unable to shake off that imposter syndrome feeling, as she goes clubbing on her 21st birthday. Her older sister encourages her to come out of her shell, but maybe it’s that weird trench coat she needs to take off.

The 2D animation will blow you away – it’s stylised but so smooth. The team working on Twenty Something was inspired by vintage cartoons from the 60s and 70s, but the bright, saturated colours bring it into the 21st century. SparkShorts are built on the belief that restrictions encourage creativity. There’s a limited amount of time, and a very limited budget. Corbin knew she wanted dialogue in her short, which meant 2D animation was the route to go down.

2D was the route to go. And it’s honestly my first love. I got into animation because I loved drawings. And to see those drawings come to life is a super special moment … I was encouraged by seeing amazing 2D SparkShorts that had come out before, like Burrow and Kitbull, and I knew it was the path for me.

Apthon Corbin

The dialogue and voice acting are also spot on. Corbin didn’t have any prior experience of writing a script, but you wouldn’t know it – everything flows so naturally, and makes the short feel like the most ‘real’ SparkShort yet.

The end of the short is my favourite part, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to experience it too. The swell in the music brings it all together, and Hold The Line by Californian R&B/Soul singer-songwriter Astu has been in my head for weeks now. And I can’t even listen to it on Spotify! Yet.

Make sure you don’t skip a beat when Twenty Something starts streaming on Disney+ later this week on September 10th.

Tags: Last modified: September 8, 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.