Pixar Animation Studios re-popularized the concept of shorts appearing before animated movies when they placed Geri’s Game before A Bug’s Life in 1998. Ever since then, almost every Pixar movie has included a short subject before it, and rival studios have copied the notion with varying degrees of success.
So the question is, what short are we getting before Onward, Pixar’s newest? Entitled Playdate With Destiny, it’s a sweeping tale of romance, told in silent pantomime, that will surely move you to weep. Also, the main character is Maggie Simpson.
Nothing hammers home the reality of Disney’s acquirement of 20th Century Fox, now 20th Century Studios, more than this: A Pixar film is getting a Simpsons short in front of it. Wild times.
At the time the Simpsons staff put the short into production, they never imagined this kind of fate for it. Executive producer Al Jean tells EW.com “It started because two of our writers, Tom Gammill and Max Pross, pitched the basic idea as part of a Simpsons story [for the show] a couple of years ago.”
“When we did the episode, [executive producer] Jim Brooks thought they could turn that part into a theatrical short. So, we delayed the episode, which will now air April 19.” Jean is over the moon about landing the pre-Pixar slot: “It’s an enormous thrill for us.”
This isn’t even the first time a theatrical short starring Maggie Simpson has been released. Readers may remember The Longest Daycare, the Oscar-nominated short that premiered in front of Ice Age: Continental Drift back in 2012. A few months later it aired on television as part of an episode. Playdate With Destiny serves as a pseudo-sequel to the first short, bringing back the character of Hudson who first appeared in Daycare.
Don’t assume this means we’re not getting a Pixar short at all. Don’t forget that in just three months, a SECOND Pixar movie is arriving, called Soul, and it’s possible we’ll see Pixar’s new short there….unless Olaf’s Summer Adventure is finished.
— The Simpsons (@TheSimpsons) February 28, 2020