Disney+ Hotstar’s Nona (2021) Review: Heartwarming but Underwhelming

Nona is a 2021 animated short film that was recently released on Disney’s online streaming platform. Another one of a Disney and Pixar combined effort, Nona is a seven-minute short film about a grandmother and her granddaughter spending the day together in an unexpected turn of events. It is written and directed by Louis Gonzales.

Trailer for Nona, part of Pixar’s SparkShots series.

Recently, we saw the release of Twenty Something, one of the short animated films from Pixar’s SparkShots series. Nona, part of the same series, is really different, but equally as unique in its voice.

The short film follows a grandmother (Nona) who’s decided to give herself a day off, and stay in watching her favourite wrestling league live telecast. But when her granddaughter Renee comes over unexpectedly, Nona has to change her plans. And, fast.

Disney+ Hotstar describes it as:

A grandmother’s plan for a day alone is upended by an unexpected visit from her granddaughter.

Via the Disney+ Hotstar official site
A still from Nona (2021), part of the Pixar series, SparkShots.
A still from Nona (2021), part of the Pixar series, SparkShots.

– Nona review contains no spoilers –

Disney’s always won the race when it came to heartwarming movies, and it’s been doing a great job with its shorts too. Last year we saw “Hair Love”, a delicious tale of a young daughter trying to adjust to life without her mother, and how much responsibility the father now has to undertake.

When it comes to Nona, you have all your quintessential Disney-esque magic that you come to expect with everything Disney does, whether it is animation or the recent obsession it has with turning them into live actions. The short film has a classic Pixar art style, that looks simple, but of course, isn’t.

With that, the transitions are creative and out of the box with how they use visual animations to bleed from one scene and into the next. It’s a great watch, both with regards to its technical aspects as well as how much it appeals to our human nature.

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nona disney hotstar 1
A still from Nona (2021)

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Character building is something Disney has always been flawless with, and Nona is no different, with both characters and the dog having well-developed character quirks that make them who they are. Nona mostly relies on visual imagery to do this, and there are absolutely no dialogues. the background score, however, complements the animation, and to a great extent adds a much-needed comic touch.

However, even with all of this, the short film is rather underwhelming in its entirety. With a relatively straightforward plot, and nothing amazingly funny about the short as well. Sure, it’s cute, and the story in itself is rather heartwarming, but it certainly isn’t anywhere close to Disney’s shorts that have preceded it.

Despite the high expectations I had gone in with while watching the short, I rather enjoyed it, but mostly so because of how relatable the characters were, and how interesting each scene transition looked like. In fact, I had quite a lot of fun watching the three-minute behind-the-scenes they had as extra footage too!

Final Verdict: Nona

It’s a Disney Pixar collaboration, need I say much more?

Nona is definitely a lot less flavourful than all of Disney’s previous exploits in the genre, but that isn’t to say that the film in itself isn’t great. When it’s only 7 minutes long, there really isn’t much of a gamble either, so really, go ahead and watch it.

Nona is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall Score

SUMMARY

Nona is a cute short film about a grandmother's day-in is interrupted by her granddaughter. But on a scale of one to Disney, where does it rank?

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