What Is the Next Pixar Short About?

Pixar short Lava


Pixar’s current state of the union might be decidedly forward-looking — especially since we’re not getting a new Pixar feature until summer of next year, a major break with tradition that has been punctuated by pushbacks, switcheroos and even a little bit of regular confusion from th beloved animation studio — but that doesn’t mean that the creative giant is hiding what could be their next great film. Pixar showed off five minutes of their next film, Inside Out, to a batch of Los Angeles film journalists last night, and while the reaction to that little slice of footage was universally effusive, we’re far more interested in the other thing the group got to watch — and a complete thing at that.

As is the norm for Pixar pictures, Inside Out (that’s the one about a young girl who is kind of literally battling her own emotions, which are all personified and raging inside her, get it?) will be paired with a brand new Pixar short, a short that was shown in its entirety to that same group last night, who also loved it. But what is Lava about? Well, love, incidentally.

Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan explained it succinctly on his Twitter:

Directed by James Ford Murphy and produced by Andrea Warren, Pixar officially describes the film as such: “Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, ‘Lava’ is a musical love story that takes place over millions of years.”

A Pixar short about love? Surely, you…don’t jest at all, because that’s fast becoming one of the studio’s very favorite topics to explore in both feature-length productions and the shorts that accompany them. Last year’s The Blue Umbrella (which accompanied Monsters University) was about umbrellas in love (umbrellas who, yes, also try to get their human owners to fall in love — but let’s be honest, that umbrella love story was far more compelling that whatever those galoshes-clad humans were up to), and while its photorealistic approach was a departure for Pixar and its large stable of shorts, the feel of its story (you know, charming) fits right into the greater Pixar picture.

Lava, it seems, might do that next — and with the added appeal of music (note that the film is being both billed and described as a “musical,” which is exciting news all on its own), it seems like a can’t-miss venture, tied up in a neat little package. It seems like a good chance for us to all remember why we, ahem, lava Pixar (sorry).

And while we might not be getting a full look at Lava until June, you can still take a look at the short’s official poster below:

Pixar short Lava


No, we don’t think all those happily paired up animals pals are a coincidence. Love, it’s just all around.

Inside Out will hit theaters — paired with Lava — on June 19, 2015.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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