Disney-Pixar’s newest short “Purl” includes adult humor and social commentary

in Disney, Movies & TV, Pixar

Pixar SparkShorts

“Purl” from Pixar's SparkShorts series. Credit: Pixar

Pixar fans, you’ve got to check this out. Disney-Pixar just released “Purl,” and while it’s just as adorable as it sounds, the content of this new animated short is more meaningful than we anticipated.

With Disney’s recent move toward more diversity and representation in their films and shows, we weren’t surprised when they released “Purl” as part of their new SparkShorts series. Pixar announced earlier this year that the shorts films in the new SparkShorts series would differ from other Pixar animated shorts in their experimental storytelling. And by the looks of “Purl,” they’re right. The new short film follows a lovable, earnest ball of yarn named Purl as she starts her new job at a “bro-tastic” startup and learns to navigate her experience as the only female in the workplace. Sounds relatable, right? We think so too.

Right off the bat, the animated short shows the harsh realities of being a woman or minority in the workplace. Purl is an eager new employee who quickly discovers that she is the only colorful ball of yarn (and the only female) in a company whose only other employees are white men. The animated short does a great job of portraying Purl’s experience in a relatable way, showing how she is treated differently because of who she is. We won’t spoil the rest of the short for you (you’ll have to watch it yourself), but we were very pleased with the way the short film progresses.

While we can’t ignore the clear adult humor included throughout the short film, we also understand that it is meant to illustrate the “bro-tastic” environment of Purl’s new workplace. The inclusion of more adult-esque jokes serves to showcase the masculinity of this startup, and while it may not be essential to the film, it is an intentional and conscious choice of the writer and director, Kristen Lester. Several comments on the YouTube video mention that it doesn’t seem like a kids’ short film, but that doesn’t seem to detract from the viewers’ ability to enjoy the film for what it is: commentary on diversity in the workplace (or rather, lack thereof).

“Purl” is experimental storytelling in its inclusion of social commentary and adult humor. While it isn’t exactly the perfect kid-friendly animated short that we’re accustomed to from Disney-Pixar, it does share a lesson that kids and adults can relate to and learn from. We hope this isn’t the last Disney-Pixar animated short if its kind.

You can watch Disney-Pixar’s new animated short “Purl” below:

What do you think of the adult humor and social commentary in “Purl”? Share your thoughts with us!


  1. Jim

    Meh. You wouldn’t think this was Pixar if they didn’t tell you that it was. Disappointing.

  2. Kelvington

    So… there were no people of colour in that short. So is the yarn people of colour, or women? I only ask, because I’m confused as to how to hate myself. Maybe John Lasseter would know…

  3. Steve Walker

    Oh good, I was hoping hatred of white men would make it’s way into family entertainment. It’s been at least 12 minutes since the last piece of brave storytelling told me to repent for my privilege.

  4. Tom

    I thought the film Purl was terrific! As mentioned, Purl is part of the new Spark Shorts program at Pixar. The film deals with feelings of alienation that many feel when starting at a new job, school or even a team. The film also deals with the issues of feeling pressured to change just to fit in as well as the negative impact that a lack of gender and racial diversity can have in the workplace. I note that while Purl is characterized as a female (metaphorical pink ball of wool), these social issues can affect both women AND men in the workplace. As a result, the positive messages the film provides (which are: don’t change just to fit in, be true to yourself; respect one another and don’t prejudge people; and, the importance and value of gender and racial inclusion in the workplace) are relevant to both females and males in corporate America today….

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