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This article is about the Disney+ series. For the animated character, see Launchpad McQuack.


Launchpad is a series of live action shorts developed for Disney+. The shorts are helmed by newcomer directors from minority backgrounds and all deal with various uplifting themes relating to family, culture and experience.

Production

The shorts are directed by new and upcoming directors who were provided help and mentored by professional filmmakers from Disney+, Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Mahin Ibrahim, Director of Disney’s Diversity & Inclusion, oversees the project. The first season consists of six shorts that revolve around the theme of "Discover". The first season will be released May 28, 2021.

The series is essentially the live action counterpart to Walt Disney Animation's Short Circuit and Pixar's SparkShorts.

Ibrahim stated, "This first group of shorts by these six gifted filmmakers took our breath away. They are moving, provocative and entertaining, and they each convey a unique perspective on living in America today and the things you learn about yourself and others when you follow your own path. I am excited to share them with you, and I look forward to welcoming a new group of filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds for our next season of Disney's Launchpad.

A second season is in development with the theme of "Connection". Commissions for this season's shorts started to get accepted on May 10, 2021. They are expected to be released in 2023.

Executive producers

  • Julie Ann Crommett, Mahin Ibrahim, Alyssa Navarro, Chris Caraballo, Jason Alvidrez, Adam Nusinow (All shorts)
  • Mary Coleman, Nicole Grindle, Vanessa Morrison (American Eid)
  • Jessica Virtue, Rachel Yeung (Dinner is Served)
  • Osnat Shurer, Halima Hudson (Growing Fangs)
  • Grant Curtis (Let's Be Tigers)
  • Sarah Shepard, Karen Chau (The Little Prince(ss))

Shorts

Season One (Discover)

No. in
Series
No. in
Season
Title Director Air date
01 01 American Eid Aqsa Altaf May 28, 2021
Ameena, a Muslim Pakistani immigrant, wakes up on Eid to find out that she has to go to school. Homesick and heartbroken, she goes on a mission to make Eid a public-school holiday, and in the process, reconnects with her older sister, and embraces her new home, while her new home embraces her.
02 02 Dinner is Served Hao Zheng May 28, 2021
A Chinese student at an elite U.S. boarding school realizes excellence is not enough when he tries out for a leadership position no international student has ever applied for.
03 03 Growing Fangs Ann Marie Pace May 28, 2021
Val Garcia, a Mexican-American teen who is half human/half vampire, has had to keep her identity a secret from both worlds. But when her human best friend shows up at her monster-infested school, she has to confront her truth, her identity, and herself.
04 04 The Last of the Chupacabras Jessica Mendez Siqueiros May 28, 2021
In a world where culture has nearly ceased to exist, one lone Mexican-American struggling to carry on her traditions unknowingly summons a dark and ancient creature to protect her.
05 05 Let's Be Tigers Stefanie Abel Horowitz May 28, 2021
Avalon’s not ready to process the loss of her mother, but when she’s put in charge of a 4-year-old for one night, she finds more comfort than she ever could have expected.
06 06 The Little Prince(ss) Moxie Peng May 28, 2021
When Gabriel, a 7-year-old Chinese kid who loves ballet, becomes friends with Rob, another Chinese kid from school, Rob’s dad gets suspicious about Gabriel’s feminine behavior and decides to intervene.

Season Two (Connection)

No. in
Series
No. in
Season
Title Director Air date
07 01 Beautiful, FL Gabriela Ortega 2023
A teen girl scrambles to get spare parts from her eclectic trailer park neighbors and fix the family RV in time to share her tia abuela’s special flavor in the annual Beautiful, FL Ice Cream Competition.
08 02 Black Belts Spencer Glover 2023
KJ, an offbeat middle schooler and martial arts movie nerd from Compton, challenges the top dojos in South LA, wearing his uncle’s old black belt. But when his former fighter dad gets too involved, both learn there’s more to life than keeping your guard up.
09 03 The Ghost Erica Eng 2023
12-year-old Clarice Cheung feels like she’s invisible in her family—especially next to her older sister Naomi. But when a powerful ghost appears in their house, the estranged sisters will have to team up and stop it before their family is torn apart forever.
10 04 Maxine Niki Ang 2023
Nervous about introducing her first girlfriend to her family, a queer college student gets help from the spirit of a long lost relative during the Hungry Ghost Festival.
11 05 Project CC Cashmere Jasmine 2023
A brilliant child scientist must reconnect with her beauty influencer sister when a cloning experiment goes awry.
12 06 The Roof Alexander Bocchieri 2023
After being sent to stay with his grandfather, a Cheyenne teen uncovers a secret that connects him to his family and community in a way he never thought possible.

Videos

Trivia

  • Production for season one was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cast and crew followed health precautions and wore masks. Many of the behind the scenes footage depicted the crew wearing masks while cast members would wear them only when their faces were facing away from the camera.
  • American Eid was announced as a separate project before being announced as part of the Launchpad series.


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