Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Poor Pluto

I wrote this short story in wonderful Lissa Rovetch's class at Pixar.  It's a story about Pluto getting kicked out of the planets club for being too small.  He decides to start his own club and has to deal with some unexpected results.  This story was inspired by two things:
1) I grew up with Pluto as a planet and am sad to see him demoted from being an "official" planet.  That must suck.
2)  I heard a story in one of my storytelling classes about a younger brother being excluded from his older brother's friends' club and it stuck with me.  I'm the oldest bro but I've seen the pain on my younger brothers' faces from being excluded from my awesome karate dojo for being "too undisciplined."

The artwork was done unbelievably fast by the super-talented Pixar sketch artist Dan Holland.  One of the many benefits of working at Pixar is that you're surrounded by great artists.  Every night we had class, Dan was constantly sketching.  I don't think he can turn it off, which is how I feel about writing.  He did a couple of two-page interior spreads to communicate the look and feel of the images.

Dan's artwork:
Jupiter playing cometball with Pluto:
Pluto wandering the solar system after being kicked out of the Planet Club:

Poor Pluto
by Mike Sundy

              1  - Deep in the Milky Way, a planet named Pluto loved to
               play cometball.  He never got to play with the other planets
               because he was so small.

               2 - But today was different.  Three planets were out and you
               need six to play, which meant--
               "Aww, we have to let Pluto play," said giant Jupiter.

               3 - Jupiter hurled the huge comet toward Pluto.  VISHHHH--
               Flames crackled out from its tail - KRKK-POP!

               4 - Pluto caught it in his orbit.  But he couldn't hold it -
               ZANG!  It broke free and zapped into--

               5 - A black hole.  "PLUTO!" shouted Jupiter.  "That was my
               favorite comet!  You ruined our game, Stupid."

               6 - Jupiter called the other planets together - they whispered
               and glared at Pluto.

               7 - Jupiter towered over Pluto.  "You're kicked out of the
               Planet Club."

               8 - "But-- you can't do that!  I've always been a planet,"
               said Pluto.
               "We have new rules for being a planet," piped Earth.  "One:
               no funny orbits.  And two: you must be big enough."

               9-10 - Pluto knew the angry planets would never accept him.
               He drifted through the asteroid belt--
               Past the ecliptic plane--
               Beyond the scattered disc.

               11 - He drifted so far the Sun grew dim and cold.  He curled
               up at the edge of an icy rock belt.

               12 - "What's wrong?" said a voice.  Pluto turned around.  It
               was someone a little smaller than him named Eris.

               13 - "I'm not big enough to play cometball," said Pluto.
               "What's that?  Sounds fun," said Eris.

               14 - "It is fun.  But you need a comet to play, and they're
               hard to find--" said Pluto.
               Eris zipped away and back-- with four small comets!

               15 - So Pluto showed Eris how to pick up a comet - SHUCK.
               He showed her how to spin - ZUUU-ZUUU.  He showed her how to
               throw - VOOOM.

               16 - Pluto found he was great with the smaller comets - they
               were just right for his orbit. Some Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs)
               came to watch them.

               17 - A tiny KBO approached Pluto. "Do you think I could play?"
               "Sure.  Anyone can play," said Pluto.

               18-19 - Pluto looked at the dozens of KBO's now gathered.
               "What if you have a wobbly orbit?" said a lumpy KBO.
               "Anyone can play," said Pluto.
               "What if you have strange colors?" said a purply-green KBO.
               "Anyone can play."
               "What if you don't have any moons?" said a moonless KBO.
               "Anyone can play."

               20 - "Yes, anyone can join the Plutoid Club," said Eris.
               "I want to be a Plutoid.  Me too!"  said the KBO's.

               21-22 - Soon the club had thousands of players.  FHWOOSH!
               ZHOOMP!  WUH-RRANG!

               23 - A bumpy KBO fumbled a comet near the Belt's edge.
               When Pluto went to get the comet, he was surprised to see
               Jupiter hiding in a nebula.

               24 - "What are you doing here?"  said Pluto.
               "Tell him to spin more before he releases," said Jupiter.
               "Tell him yourself," said Pluto.

               25 - "You'd let me play with you?" said Jupiter.
               "I thought you had your special Planet Club," said Pluto.
               "We kicked out a couple more planets.  But then there weren't
               enough for cometball," said Jupiter.

               26 - By this time, several KBO's had gathered around.
               "Can I play with you?" asked Jupiter.

               27 - "Anyone can play," said Pluto.

               28 - "Hooray!" said the Plutoids.  Jupiter was good with the
               small comets, but Pluto was the best.  They lit up the sky
               with their fun.  ZING!  ZANG!  KA-ZOOM!

                                         THE END


  1. As a fan of Danny's art from when we were in middle school, I can say this art is my favorite thing thus far, and a great generational bridge story.

  2. Thanks! Yes, Dan is quite the talented artist. I love his stuff.