When I went to my screening of Onward last week, there was no short in front of the movie, so I just assumed there wasn’t one or that Pixar was saving their short film for their other feature this year, Soul. But it turns out that there will be a short in front of Onward and it comes courtesy of The Simpsons. The long-running animated sitcom posted this on Instagram:
The Simpsons and Pixar seems like an odd pairing, but perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising that a series that started out mocking institutions has run so long that it is now part of the institution. For Disney, Simpsons is just another brand they can graft onto another brand. For Simpsons fans, this isn’t all bad since it’s been over a decade since The Simpsons Movie brought The Simpsons into theaters. And while Onward is a family feature, The Simpsons is pretty much family-friendly entertainment even though it was considered scandalous thirty years ago that Bart Simpson would say things like “Don’t have a cow, man.”
So what will the plot be for this short? It doesn’t really matter. It’s a cute thing that reminds you about The Simpsons, which, hey, wouldn’t you know it, is on Disney+. It’s all brand synergy, and while that doesn’t say whether or not this short film will be good, it makes sense that Disney is moving forward with this. While I’m a little surprised it’s happening this quickly, I suppose there’s no sense in waiting on a Simpsons short.
Onward will be in select theaters tomorrow only before opening wide on March 6th. The film features the voices of Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Octavia Spencer.