13 Of The Best Pixar Shorts To Put On When You Just Need To Distract Your Kid

They’re brief cinematic treats!

Maybe you need to take an important phone call? Or maybe you’re jonesing for a few brief minutes to yourself to go to the bathroom without one of your kids knocking down the door. For the times when a parent is desperate to get just a few precious seconds of alone time, it can be tempting to just give your kid your phone or thrown them down a timed rabbit hole on YouTube (we’ve all been there). Behold the solution: Pixar shorts! These mini-movies are all under 10 minutes, and they’re exquisitely made. They’re the perfect cinematic solutions for those times when you are in a time crunch or just want to watch something super brief with your family.

From tear-jerking allegories on motherhood to a cute baby bird facing her fear, it’s impossible not to be moved by these micro movies. There’s touching love stories between volcanoes and umbrellas, and clever comedies for chess-lovers, aspiring moon-climbers, or even lost souls in search for meaning.

These 13 shorts are a great mom hack for those moments when you need to distract your stage five clinger kid, but also want to feel good about whatever entertainment is actually doing the distracting.


Stream the Pixar short Bao on Disney+.Disney Pixar/YouTube

If ever there was an emotional allegory for the heartbreak of an overprotective mom, Bao is it! At a slim 7 minutes, Bao tells the beautiful story of motherhood and letting go. The short’s opening scene will immediately whet your appetite with an incredibly realistic montage of a mom preparing bao, a delicious Chinese bun with all kinds of tasty fillings. But when she takes a nibble, mom is shocked to watch the little steamed bun let out a cry like a real bitten-into baby. The duo become inseparable as a smitten mama even wears the bun in a makeshift lettuce baby carrier! But nothing can prepare this parent for the passage of time and dealing with her bun’s teenage attitude, and the arrival of some rando blonde sporting a shiny rock. In a fit of desperation and rage (that shall remained unspoiled) — our Hero Mom does the unthinkable. Directed by the same genius behind Turning Red, Bao is a real tearjerker that unpacks the tender and truthful story of a mother’s hunger.

Watch Bao, rated G, on Disney+.

La Luna

Stream the Pixar short La Luna on Disney+.Pixar

A sweet and moony fable about three generations of celestial explorers including a grandpa, mustachioed dad, and grandson who embark on on a rowboat in the middle of the dark ocean. When the boy straps an anchor to his little body and climbs a ladder up the starry sky and into a huge, full moon, it’s a gasp-worthy moment. While gramps and pops sweetly bicker, the boy in the adorbs brown cap ascends the moon, and discovers that it seems to be made out of glass stars. Some moon-sweeping and an unexpected moment with a hammer result in a strange and tender moment of wonder. The closing scene of the glowing sliver in the night will inspire you to reimagine the mystery of the sky like you never have before.

Watch La Luna, rated G, on Disney+.

Geri’s Game

Stream the Pixar short Geri’s Game on Disney+.Pixar

Geri’s Game brings a whole new meaning to the expression: “you are your own worst enemy.” As an elderly man enjoys a day of chess-playing in the park, we soon find out he is playing against his best competition — himself! The animated details in this short are pretty exquisite, from the bursting colors of the leaves on the trees to the intricate details of Geri’s knuckles. The drama of the short really unfolds with Geri vs. Geri when the tables turn, quite literally. The crafty man with a bright red nose has tricked himself into a victory (thereby proving the teen movie cinematic trope that smart people are the ones wearing glasses). Spoiler-alert: the winner of this epic match gets a pair of dentures! It’s a delightfully gross trophy, but Geri’s well-earned teeth will definitely make you grin

Watch Geri’s Game, rated G, on Disney+.


Stream the Pixar short Piper, rated G, on Disney+.Pixar

A little birdie faces her biggest fear in this sweet Pixar short about mustering up the guts to jump into that literal (and figurative) ocean to live your best life. Like an animated nature documentary from the perspective of the world’s most adorable sandpiper, this short is perfect for animal-lovers. It’s also the right pick to watch with little ones who need to overcome any fears or obstacles in their lives. You’ll swell with joy along with the feathered protagonist as she frolics in the sand after finally finding the courage to take on those salty waves and get her beak into that tasty grub already. Piper is a bird movie so uplifting, you’ll definitely want to tweet about it.

Watch Piper, rated G, on Disney+.

For the Birds

Stream the Pixar short For the Birds on Disney+.Pixar

Another take on avian life, this Pixar short definitely bills itself as a comedy. For the Birds follows a bickering clique who take residence on a crowded telephone wire. But when a sweet, big dopey bird dares to join the exclusive club, these little bluebirds turn up their beaks and become seriously snobby mean girls. That doesn’t stop the friendly interloper from cozying up right in the middle of their coveted spot in the sky. As the flock do their best to ice out new bird on the block, the joke is on them. Turns out karma is real for mean birds too!

Watch For the Birds, rated G, on Disney+.

The Blue Umbrella

Stream the Pixar short The Blue Umbrella on Disney+.Pixar

It’s a dreary night in the city, and what could be more lovely than two umbrellas who fall for each other in the rain? High above a sea of fast-walking urbanites, a bright blue umbrella has a meet-cute with a red umbrella set above the head of another city-dweller. Just as the couple is about to be separated by a dip into a subway station, the blue umbrella escapes and flies high above the blinking taxis and city streets. On his quest to find the one, the blue umbrella is literally turned upside down and almost gets hit by swerving cars. Luckily the inanimate members of the city are on the side of amore, because even the potholes conspire to blow some smoke in the direction the umbrella needs to go. Just when all seems lost, a couple with blue and red boots find a way to save this double love story. While The Blue Umbrella has no dialogue and is instead carried along by a wordless song, the language of love is easily understood. Who knew umbrellas could be so romantic?

The Blue Umbrella, rated G, on Disney+.

Red’s Dream

Stream the Pixar short Red’ Dream on Disney+.

It’s not easy being a red unicycle with dreams of being a star juggler in the circus. This heartstring-plucking story of a lonely one-wheeler with big aspirations will definitely send your thoughts spinning in interesting directions. At the start of the short, the rain and saxophone set the scene for what is surely one of the saddest Pixar shorts ever made. Enter a dream sequence and a clown named Lumpy and get ready for some major disappointment in Eben’s Bike Shop. One of the OGs of Pixar shorts, Red’s Dreams was created in 1987, but the feelings it evokes are forever timeless.

Watch Red’s Dream, rated G, on Disney+.


Stream the Pixar short Presto on Disney+.Pixar

The lesson of Presto is clear: don’t mess with a hungry bunny. While a selfish magician perfectly named Presto DiGiotagione, is literally licking his fingers after a tasty meal, the famished rabbit, Alec, is stuck in a cage and can’t reach his dang carrot! So when the curtain rises and it’s time for the know-it-all magician to perform in front of a packed house, the bunny has some surprises in store in the form of an actual egg on the magician’s face, a snapped mousetrap on his fingers, a very undignified moment onstage in striped red undies, and a minor moment of electrocution. Luckily the unknowing audience goes gaga for the entertainment anyway and throws roses at the stage in appreciation of the dazzling act. Turns out this rabbit is one smart Alec.

Watch Presto, rated G, on Disney+.

Luxo Jr.

Stream the Pixar short Luxo Jr. on Disney+.Pixar

A mama and baby desk lamp come to life in this inventive and playful short about the inner worlds of inanimate objects. When a colorful ball appears on top of the brown drab desk, Luxo Jr. has a ball kicking it around and jumping on top of it until it deflates. Just went the plugged-in parent lamp thinks she is done dealing with her exhausting high-energy, mini-me, a bigger ball comes along to stir up more excitement. With a jazzy soundtrack and a remarkably relatable depiction of a parent-child relationship, the humanity of these sweet lamps is nothing short of illuminating.

Watch Luxo Jr., rated G, on Disney+.

22 vs. Earth

Stream the Pixar short 22 vs. Earth on Disney+.Pixar

“What’s so great about a stupid floating rock also known as Earth?” That’s what 22, the curmudgeon-y blue soul wants to know while all her friends are pumped to check out the blue and green planet where the humans are up to all kinds of no good. So 22 goes on a soul-snatching mission to make sure all her floating friends stay put. If the voice of the Earth-hating entity sounds familiar, thats because the cynical protagonist is none other than Tina Fey. With a gang of cool code names (ie. moonbeam and macaroni) Fey’s character initiates The Apocalypse (a pretty funny acronym that stands for the Anonymous Provocateurs and Other Culprits that are Against Leaving Your friends to go to Pathetic Stupid Earth). Their mission: stop souls from discovering their inspiration, so they can’t complete their Earth pass. 22 vs. Earth might sound a little silly, but it’s actually a soulful meditation on loneliness, losing friends, and oh yeah — the meaning of life.

Watch 22 vs. Earth, rated G, on Disney+.


Stream the Pixar short Lava on Disney+.Pixar

From the first strum of the ukulele to the two white birds soaring through the bluest sky, the atmosphere of Lava is immediately set. This Pixar short is told through a song that sings the story of a lonely volcano watching all the lovey-dovey couples in nature (cue the dolphin couple showing off with their heart-shaped waves and the turtles nuzzling in the sand). The ultimate hopeless romantic begins to sing the most adorably punny lyrics you’ve ever heard in your life: “Send me someone to lava.” As the volcano pours his heart out every day, he is also becoming extinct and falling into the sea. Little does the rocky Romeo know that all along another sea-swallowed volcano has been listening to his sweet love song the whole time. These two almost have a pretty devastating missed connection, but the sea and sky explosively collaborate to bring these soulmates together to create the ultimate duet. Lava is a timeless love story that takes place over millions of years, and reminds even the most hard-hearted cynic that The One is worth the wait. You’re gonna lava this one.

Watch Lava, rated G, on Disney+.

Day & Night

Stream the Pixar short Day & Knight on Disney+.Pixar

Opposites (eventually) attract in this comedic short about the healthy (and sometimes unhealthy) competition between the Day and Night. What starts out as a silly conflict amps up into a pretty powerful exploration of empathy, prejudice, and fearing those who seem unlike you. Mostly told visually, Day & Night’s silence is dramatically broken by the sudden inclusion of an audio clip broadcast from Day’s radio tower: “To me, the most beautiful things in all the universe are the most mysterious” (a quote attributed to the late spiritual author Dr. Wayne Dyer and echoed by Albert Einstein too). While these two dueling entities might not seem like they can ever come together, both show off their worthiness. Day has inspiring rainbows, and Night boasts twinkly fireflies. If you can unsee the passé and un-PC part about Day and Night ogling some bikini-clad beach-goers, this short has a terrific message sure to expand some horizons.

Watch Day & Night, rated G, on Disney+.

Knick Knack

Stream the Pixar short Knick Knack on Disney+.Pixar

Knick Knack tells the cold story of a snowman in a “Nome, sweet Nome, Alaska” snow globe with some serious FOMO. While Knick the Snowman is freezing his icy butt off, the rest of the souvenirs from warmer climates like Israel and Miami are having a bouncy blast. When the snowman gets the green light from a ceramic sunbathing knick knack, he does whatever he can to join the fun. He hilariously hurls an igloo against the glass and it doesn’t break. But fear not — our relentless protagonist is shattered, not defeated. But then even a jackhammer, blowtorch, and explosives can’t do the trick! When the snowman finally does escape his lonely predicament, there are some clever-but-cruel ironies in store, worse than any frostbite.

Watch Knick Knack, rated G, on Disney+.

There’s probably no better way to spend less than 10 minutes of your day than to crank up some Disney+ and stream a Pixar short. Whether you’re looking to laugh or fall in love, watch some animals or inanimate objects, this is the high-quality entertainment you can feel good about consuming with your family, especially when you’re low on time.