2018-2019 Arts Slider — 14 May 2019
Animated student plays animated role

OHS senior to appear in short Pixar film

By Selim Jones
It’s a story straight out of Hollywood. Well, actually, straight out of Pixar. Oakland High senior Madison Bandy, who is autistic, will be starring in the upcoming Pixar short “Loop,” which will be released in late 2019.

“Loop,” which is directed by Erica Milsom, tells the story of a non-verbal, autistic girl and a chatty boy who are partnered on a canoeing trip. Madison Bandy plays the autistic girl.

“She’s a good kid,” said teacher Nancy McLaughlin, who’s worked with Bandy since she was a freshman and is also neighbors with her. “She’s very animated, so it makes sense she would be in an animated movie.”

“Loop” is one of the first ever PIxar SparkShorts, a new program that was announced in January of this year, that “is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” according to Pixar Animation Studios president, Jim Morris. “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.” It is also designed to give women and people of color more opportunities in animation.

The first three SparkShorts, “Purl,” “Smash and Grab,” and “Kitbull,” can all be viewed on Youtube. “Loop” will be available on Disney+ in the fall.

Bandy hasn’t let her autism and the fact that she takes classes in a Special Education classroom restrict her. According to McLaughlin, she will walk the stage at the end of this year and is planning on taking adult classes next year. She loves to cook, and has surfed in many places, including Hawaii.

When asked whether she wanted to be a movie star, Bandy responded with an enthusiastic “yes!” Bandy was connected to Pixar Animation Studios by her parents.

Whether or not a Hollywood ending will occur in “Loop” we’re unsure, but Bandy is doing her best to make it possible, in the story and in her own life.



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