February 5-2019
Pixar’s animated short, ‘Purl’ helps in weaving the gender dynamics at workplace

The SparkShorts program by Pixar is designed to discover new storytellers, experiment with the new production workflow and explore new techniques to bring the story out to the audience.

Purl is one such animated short from the same program which highlights the work patterns in any corporate office. Directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, Purl features a ball of yarn who tries to fit in his start-up company job.

An earnest ball of yarn named Purl gets a job at a fast-paced, high energy, male centric start-up. Things start to unravel as she tries to fit in with this close knit group. Purl must ask herself how far is she willing to go to get the acceptance she yearns for and in the end is it worth it?

The story shows the difficulty of fitting into a workplace occupied by human males. Though Purl revolves around a pink yarn ball, the story shows the journey of the title character adapting to the new behaviours of her fellow co-workers to fit in the corporate crowd. In a quest to merge with the crowd, Purl might just lose part of her own identity.

After earning a place in the work group, Purl gets a chance to change the culture in the start up. The short offers a glimpse of what the workplace will look like if there is gender equality. In a meet-the-filmmakers video, Lester said, “It’s based on my experience being in animation.” She also discusses how coming to work at Pixar and being on teams with other women changed her outlook on herself and her work environment.

The animation which looks quite fresh is been created under the supervision of Steven Clay Hunter. Going at par with the realistic animation techniques used by Pixar, Purl too depicts the office world in an enticing way and holds the viewers till the end.

“When Kristen came to me and said, ‘This is a story that I want to tell,’ I looked at her and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I have lived the exact same thing,” Libbert-Duncan said in the same video.

More Pixar shorts from the SparkShorts program, namely Smash and Grab and Kitbull will premiere on 11 February and 18 February respectively. Pixar always delivers some or other message meant for all ages and the production house surely has a lot to offer, to kids and an elder audience too.