The thing about short movies is that they are a slice of life in the true sense. Not asking for much time but hitting the spot of our emotions, short movies, or shorts as they are called nowadays, make for a great experience. And thanks to Disney’s knack for transcending the borders of reality and giving shape to boundless imagination, shorts have been recognized across the world. In this article, we bring you the best shorts available on Disney Plus.
26. Tin Toy (1988)
This film follows a toy, a one-man band player named Tinny, who has to deal with a destructive baby named Billy, whose fear has made the other toys go into hiding under a couch. Will Tinny be able to turn things around? Or will he, too, be subjected to Billy’s wrath? Tinny will have to put his musical skills to use and figure out a way to calm Billy down. What ensues thus is what we see in the film. You can watch ‘Tin Toy’ here.
25. Boundin’ (2003)
Directed by Bud Luckey, this one follows a lamb popular among the neighborhood’s animals due to his dancing skills. However, he is saddened and mocked after a lamb shepherd takes his wool away. Having lost his confidence, the lamb searches for a place to hide himself when a big jackalope arrives and tells him to get boundin’ while dancin’. As the lamb starts doing it, he regains his confidence. Eventually, his wool grows back, only to be taken away the next year. But now, it doesn’t affect him. You can watch ‘Boundin’’ here.
24. Lava (2014)
As the name suggests, this musical showcases the beauty of ocean volcanoes and lava. It follows a male volcano that has been waiting for his lover for millions of years, singing all the while. Unbeknownst to him, a female volcano has been listening to him. But will they meet? A love story spanning millenniums, ‘Lava’ is directed by James Ford Murphy. You can watch the film here.
23. The Three Little Pigs (1933)
Directed by Burt Gillett, this is an Oscar-winning animated comedy musical that follows three pigs, Fifer Pig, Fiddler Pig, and Practical Pig, each of whom can play a different musical instrument and build their own houses. But when the Big Bad Wolf comes along, their strength and that of their houses are put to the test. The voice cast includes Billy Bletcher, Pinto Colvig, Dorothy Compton, and Mary Moder. You can watch it here.
22. Burrow (2020)
Directed by Madeline Sharafian, this animated film follows a rabbit who draws a plan for a new burrow but is hesitant about it as she finds the design inferior to the ones made by her neighbors, a field mouse and a mole who only want to help her. Embarrassed, she keeps on digging on her own until she hits the water table under the bedrock and ends up releasing the water. Deep in trouble, she reaches out to those around him and realizes that asking for help has no shame and that things only get better with help. You can watch the film here.
21. Lend a Paw (1941)
Directed by Clyde Geronimi, this Academy-award-winning animated short film follows Pluto, Mickey Mouse’s dog, who gets into conflict with a kitten that Mickey adopts after it follows Pluto home. What follows is a battle between Pluto’s shoulder devil and shoulder angel as they try to convince Pluto to do what they want. The devil Pluto wants to hurt the kitten, while the angel Pluto wants to care for it. You can watch the film here to find out what eventually happens.
20. The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)
Based on the popular Aesop’s fable of the same name, this Oscar-winning animated short has been directed by Wilfred Jackson. It shows Max, a proud and boastful hare, and Max, a shy, slugging but stretchy tortoise, both of whom take part in a race. Perhaps one of the most popular allegories of the saying ‘slow and steady wins the race,’ this short film is a must-watch. You can watch it here.
19. Day & Night (2010)
As the title suggests, this film follows the human manifestations of day and night who carry within themselves the events of day and night, respectively. The events even correspond to how they are feeling. But when both come face to face, things don’t go as smoothly as one would expect, and both even get into a fight. There is no similarity between the two. Or is there? Directed by Teddy Newton, ‘Day & Night’ can be streamed here.
18. Us Again (2021)
The acceptance of old age is what this vibrant short depicts. Directed by Zach Parrish, ‘Us Again’ follows an elderly couple, Art and Dot, who have their passion for each other and for life rekindled by rain after it makes them young and allows them to add their own rhythm to the colorful city by dancing. And all of this happens without any use of voice. A visually stunning miniature masterpiece, ‘Us Again’ is a recipient of the Astra Award for Best Short Film given by the Hollywood Critics Association. You can stream it here.
17. Sanjay’s Super Team (2015)
‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ is directed by Sanjay Patel and based on his childhood experiences. The animated short follows Sanjay, a young boy whose love for the characters of his favorite superhero show, Super Team, as opposed to that for the cultural traditions that his devout father wants him to know about, transports him to a different world. Here, he has to help the Hindu gods Durga, Vishnu, and Hanuman fend off the demon king Ravana. A colorful film that is brilliantly executed, ‘Sanjay’s Super Team,’ can be watched right here.
16. Ferdinand the Bull (1938)
When the calm and peaceful Ferdinand the bull, who loves to sit and relax, is bitten by a bumblebee and runs about frantically in pain and destroying everything in his path, he is mistaken for a bull worthy of a bull-fight by a group of men. Inside the arena, rather than charging toward the matador, Ferdinand takes delight in some flowers, smelling their fragrance and filling himself up with them. A story that showcases how one should never judge a book by its cover, this Oscar-winning animated short is based on the 1936 published children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand.” It has been directed by Dick Rickard and narrated by Don Wilson. You can watch it here.
15. Partly Cloudy (2009)
Directed by Peter Sohn, ‘Partly Cloudy’ shows the experiences of a cloud named Gus that is responsible for making babies just like all the other clouds. However, while the other clouds make human babies, Gus makes those belonging to animals. Such babies are then delivered by storks, but for Peck, Gus’s delivery stork, things are rather dangerous than sweet because he has to deliver the babies to animals, including crocodiles and porcupines. How Gus and Peck deal with it is what we see in what, for us, is a sweet film. You can watch it here.
14. Feast (2014)
Directed by Patrick Osborne, ‘Feast’ shows a love story seen through the eyes of a dog who is brought home by a guy. From the first meeting to a fight to a patch-up to marriage and finally a baby, all of these are captured in an apt manner through the dog’s POV based on the kind of meal he is given. If you are a dog lover or an animal lover in general, this film will hit you differently. You can watch it here.
13. Get a Horse! (2013)
Clearly a love letter to ‘Steamboat Willie’ and other black-and-white creations featuring Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney, ‘Get a Horse’ brings together classic hand-drawn animation style and modern animation technology. Directed by Lauren MacMullan, it follows Mickey, Minnie, and their friends as they try to get rid of Pete. The constant two-and-fro between the black-and-white animation world and the 3D animation world has been pulled off in a most visually appealing manner. The film even uses the archival voice of Walt Disney as Mickey, Marcellite Garner as Minnie, and Billy Bletcher as Pete, each of them being the first people to voice the respective characters and establish them. You can watch ‘Get a Horse!’ here.
12. The Ugly Duckling (1939)
After being disregarded by his siblings and parents since birth due to being different (mismatched), a duckling desperately searches for a new home, but no one seems to accept him. Will he find those he can call a family? Based on the 1843 fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen, the Oscar-winning short ‘The Ugly Duckling’ has been directed by Jack Cutting and Clyde Geronimi. You can watch it here.
11. Geri’s Game (1997)
Directed by Jan Pinkava, this animated film follows an old guy named Geri, who is playing a game of chess against himself. However, the two personalities, one with glasses and one without them, are poles apart. One is aggressive and pro, while another is timid. How the game ends and who wins make for a greatly entertaining watch. You can watch ‘Geri’s Game’ here.
10. Flowers and Trees (1932)
Directed by Burt Gillett, the animated story of Academy-award winning ‘Flowers and Trees’ takes place in a forest where the plants and trees are anthropomorphic. We have two trees who are lovers and are threatened by an old stump who wants to separate the two. For this, he sparks a forest fire only to be killed in it while the lovers survive and get married, surrounded by the other merry natural elements. You can watch ‘Flowers and Trees’ here.
9. One Man Band (2005)
Directed by Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews, this film follows two street performers named Bass and Treble who try to make money out of it and end up battling with each other. The chaos makes a peasant girl lose a coin she wanted to put into a fountain to make a wish. She uses their instruments to earn a tip for herself. Will she be able to? What about the performers? To find out what happens eventually, you can watch ‘One Man Band’ here.
8. La Luna (2011)
A loose adaptation of Italo Calvino’s short story “The Distance of the Moon,” ‘La Luna’ is directed by Enrico Casarosa. It shows a young boy named Bambino coming of age as he sets off on the first day of his work with his father and grandfather. The job is to clean the surface of the moon by sweeping the fallen stars that have crashed. While the father and grandfather quarrel about what kind of broom should be used and how Bambino should wear his cap, Bambino applies his own technique to wear the cap and opts for a hammer to break the large star that has just crashed nearby, thereby setting his own path. You can watch the film here.
7. For the Birds (2000)
Winner of the 2001 Academy Award for Best Animated Short, this film is directed by Ralph Eggleston. It shows a group of tiny arrogant birds who start mocking an “awkward” shoebill-like bird who has just joined them on the powerline. While the group does manage to get the big bird off the wire while it tries to befriend them, the plan backfires in the most humiliating manner as, at the end of it all, the flock ends up taking cover behind the big bird. To find out what happens, you can watch ‘For the Birds’ here.
6. Bao (2018)
A Disney-Pixar production and winner of the 2018 Best Animated Short Oscar, ‘Bao’ is directed by Domee Shi and follows a mother who finds a son in one of the baaos she has made, which has suddenly come to life. She brings up the bow with love and care until it grows up, and one day, she decides to shift to a new place with his fiancée. Not willing to let go, she eats the bao while crying profusely. But that’s not the end of the story. An allegorical commentary on the Empty nest syndrome, ‘Bao’ is short, emotional, and strong. You can watch it here.
5. Paperman (2012)
This black-and-white short shows the journey of a paper plane as it takes its creator, a guy who made it, to send it to a girl he’s smitten by, to that very girl. How a piece of paper takes the guy across town until he ends up right in front of her is what ‘Paperman’ shows in a most beautiful manner. Directed by John Kahrs, this film is a sweet commentary on life, fate, love at first sight, and the little that matters the most. You can watch it here.
4. Destino (2003)
Directed by Dominique Monféry, ‘Destino’ is an animated short, the work which began in 1945 by world-famous Spanish artist Salvador Dalí and Disney studio artist John Hench. Work was halted due to the World Wars, and it remained so until 1999 when Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, decided to bring it to the screens. With Dali’s surrealist paintings as inspiration for the backdrop, ‘Destino’ tells the tragic love story of Chronos, time’s personification, and his love for a woman named Dahlia who too seeks him. You can watch ‘Destino’ here.
3. Piper (2016)
Winner of the 2016 Oscar for Best Animated Short, ‘Piper’ is directed by Alan Barillaro and follows a young sandpiper (bird species) still learning to find food (mollusks) by the sea. While she is hit with fear after a wave hits her and gets her soaked wet, a young hermit crab helps her get over her fear by showing her all the mollusks that are available on the riverbed after they both are submerged by a wave. This, in turn, makes the sandpiper an expert at finding food, a skill she shows off proudly to its mother. With gorgeous visuals, thanks to cutting-edge visual effects, ‘Piper’ is one of Disney’s best shorts and, in general, too. You can watch it here.
2. The Old Mill (1937)
Directed by Wilfred Jackson, this cartoon short follows the non-human occupants of an old mill who have to endure a dangerous storm that is on its way to them. The occupants include an owl, some birds, and mice. Other creatures outside also need to take cover and wait for the storm to pass. You can watch this Academy-award-winning short here.
1. Steamboat Willie (1928)
Directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, this short film marks Mickey Mouse’s and Minnie Mouse’s debut and is one of the first cartoon films to have synchronized sound. Certainly a breakthrough in world cinema, the film shows how mischievous Mickey meets Minnie while working on a steamboat under Pete, who would, in the later years, become Mickey’s arch-nemesis. Mickey’s talent as a musician is also showcased as he uses different animals (livestock on the boat) as his instruments, all to Minnie’s delight. You can watch ‘Steamboat Willie’ here.
Read More: Best Movies on Disney Plus For Adults