Disney+’s new shorts are full of love and laughter


Photos from IMDB

A picture of the posters for both Ciao Alberto and Olaf Presents

When I went to a Disney movie as a child, I was always excited to get there early. Not because I wanted to watch all of the ads or be respectful to the other watchers, but because I couldn’t wait to see what surprise Disney or Pixar had in store for me. But that would be the only time I could see it. Most of the time, they weren’t included in the DVDs my family bought, or we didn’t know how to find them. 

However, now that Disney+ is around, I have been able to relive those moments in the theater as I quickly learn to love the characters with such short screen time. 

Disney+ has released many shorts—some old ones that use to accompany movies, and even some new ones that were more recently thought up. On Nov. 12th, otherwise known as Disney+ day this year, there was one new short and one new series of shorts released—Ciao Alberto and Olaf Presents.

Ciao Alberto is a follow up short to the Pixar movie, Luca, that lasts a total of six minutes

At the end of Luca, the main character Luca (Jacob Tremblay) and one of his best friends, Giulia, leave for a school in a different city while Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), the last of the trio, stays behind with Giulia’s dad, Massimo (Marco Barricelli). 

Ciao Alberto begins with a voiceover of Luca and Alberto as they exchange letters. He talks about his life and how he is bonding with his mentor, Massimo—or would be bonding if only Massimo would talk to Alberto. The short then continues as Alberto continuously tries to prove himself to Massimo: cooking dinner, speedy deliveries, and doing extra work. However, everything Alberto tries, he messes up in some way.

The short then goes on as Alberto works his way through a day, and he struggles to find confidence and comfort in what he does. His insecurities show through and, eventually, lead to a big mistake. However, this mistake led to the most heartwarming moment of the show. 

When I first watched Ciao Alberto, I almost started crying. Usually, I am not one to cry for happy moments, but for some reason, this one almost got me. Pixar does have a knack for that. This seemingly innocent short that I thought was meant to let people know what Alberto was up to, gave me more than just a sequel. 

Despite my previous connections to the characters, I could see myself and my friends in the roles and actions of the short. I saw my insecurities every time Alberto said, “Am I fired?” I saw a role model connection like those around me. Though Ciao Alberto was just a short film, it packed a lot into it.

Many movies, like Luca, were released over the pandemic, but Olaf was also pretty busy. He has made many shorts and Josh Gad, in Olaf’s voice, started doing recaps of movies and events on his Instagram to help keep up morale. 

Olaf Presents is a series of six episodes of exactly this. The first five consist of Olaf (Josh Gad) telling one story, and the last is a compilation of all of the episodes, along with what “it all began with,” the recap scene of Frozen from Frozen 2

The stories told in the series include The Little Mermaid, Moana, The Lion King, Tangled, and Aladdin. Each episode starts with a “curtain” with the title of the recap as if Olaf himself wrote it, which makes sense as he, Sven, the Snowgies, and Marshmallow are the only ones in the productions, and Olaf is the only one with opposable thumbs. 

I could see myself and my friends in the roles and actions of the short.”

Each recap includes many Easter eggs—whether they are from the story he is retelling or from something more familiar to Olaf. These range from Sven being in a transformation of Maui (which is an Easter egg to an Easter egg), to the credits of Aladdin, to quotes throughout the series and even to Ursula’s death. 

Not only were there fun Easter eggs and thorough summaries of the movies, but also, as Olaf is, there was just general humor. Whenever someone died or something sad happened in the story, he would turn around and, with a sad voice, relay the news. He sometimes over-explained situations for the short minute to minute and a half that the story was playing, but these were some of the funniest moments. 

I think the only thing that could have made Olaf Presents better would be for Lieutenant Mattias to be in the audience and reacting to everything as he did in Frozen 2. 

These two shorts were great additions to the Disney+ collection and gave me more to watch as I remember the days in the theater giddy for the journey I would soon travel on with whatever character that would lead me somewhere.