Every April, Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Month. Disney and Pixar are joining in this celebration by creating a new Pixar Short film series in an effort to increase understanding and acceptance of people with Autism and to support across the globe.
Spark Shorts Program
The Pixar Animation Studios has developed a Sparks Shorts program. This new program is an experiment which allows new and creative voices in the Pixar Studios to share their own unique stories with others.
This is the talented group from Pixar responsible for the production of “Loop.”
Inspiration for Loop
Erica Milsom is the director one of the newest Pixar Sparks Short films entitled “Loop.” Milsom shares that she was volunteering in a non-profit arts program with adults with disabilities and found herself frustrated because she could not communicate with many of them.
Through a simple craft of making a rain stick, she found that many of the adults would come and show their crafts with her to share in the creative process. She felt inspired to share the many ways that we can communicate with others both verbally and non-verbally.
Pixar’s First Non-Verbal Autistic Character
The premise for “Loop” is that two characters are drifting in a canoe. These two children are unable to move until they find a way to communicate with one another.
Through the film both children are able to connect with one another and see things from the others perspective.
Erica Milsom shares that in the disability community they have a movement entitled, “Nothing about us without us.” Meaning that is is vitally important to communicate, learn, and understand from those with the disability and allow them to a part of the telling of their story.
It was important to find an actress to portray the main character, Renee, that was autistic. Madison Blandy is the young voice actress that was truly perfect for the part.
They brought the recording studio to her home to help make her feel comfortable. The end result was a truly authentic representation to help gain understanding and encourage positive interactions.
Positive Light of Autism
It was a concern that sometimes sensory experiences of those with Autism are seen negatively. One beautiful moment that helps to explain this sensory interaction is when the two characters touch the reeds.
The production department also worked to bring vibrant colors into the film to emphasize the positive sensory interactions. The goal is to encourage each of us that we can all interact with one another through many different ways.