In the film, Holly's father, Beechwood Short, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Due to a small mistake at her job for the L.E.P., she got stuck doing tedious work on a prison transport for weeks. Commander Root then asks Holly to track a troll, but not engage one on the surface. She is shot with a tranquilizer dart by Artemis Fowl II and captured while trying to use an acorn to recharge her magic. However, after she escapes at Fowl Manor, she discovers Artemis with Mulch Diggums and Butler, staring at the Aculos, the most valuable fairy treasure of all, inside a safe, a piece of paper beside it. After reading the paper, Holly realizes that both of their fathers were partners and provides Artemis with the information he needs to escape the bio-bomb used on Fowl Manor.
Holly Short was a driven individual and determined to be the best in the Lower Elements Police. Although skilled at the tools of her trade, her greatest assets were quick wit and unorthodox methods of problem-solving. Her skills were useful for many situations, but nothing could quite prepare her for Artemis Fowl.