Next Door is a student film created by Pete Docter, the director of Monsters, Inc., Up, and Inside Out. The short was created at CalArts and completed in 1990. It is featured in the Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 2.
The short begins with a white circle being split into multiple parts as tiny colored circles and squares appear on it. The screen focuses on two shapes: a green square and a red circle. These two shapes transition into houses. A car pulls up to green house, and a grumpy old man walks p to the door. He examines his wristwatch carefully, and when it beeps, he opens the door and walks in. After putting his suitcase down and putting his hat on the rack, he walks over to his couch and examines his watch again. When it beeps, he yawns, and sit down. After getting comfortable, he grabs the TV remotes and examines his watch once again. When it beeps, he turns the TV on.
Next door, a little girl runs out of her house, screaming excitedly. After running around the house once, she stops and runs back inside. She comes back out holding a doll. The girl pretends that she is a queen and the doll is her daughter. Almost immediately, a piece of wood appears next to her, and her doll turns into a hammer. She then pretends that she's nailing rivets on a massive ship. The old man hears the noise outside, and mutters in an irritated tone at how annoying she is.
Soon after, the girl pretends that she's flying in a fighter jet. Due to her yelling, the old man struggles to ignore her noisiness.The girl finds a stick, and pretends that she's battling pirates. When it's actually the girl just swinging a stick while hanging onto a tree The old man, who is still irritated by her excitement, grabs the TV remote to turn up the volume on his TV.
Now the girl pretends she's at a concert, where she plays the violin. In actuality, the girl is really playing the kazoo. The old man takes note of this. On a wall behind him, it is shown that the old man used to be a #1 kazoo champion when he was younger. As the old man looks at the girl while holding his own kazoo, it dawns on the old man that the girl likes the same instrument as him, and his mood begins to brighten, so much so that he feels like joining along with the girl.
The camera begins to zoom out, showing the white circle split into two pieces, with the green square on one piece, and the red circle on the other. When the camera fully zooms out, the two pieces connect, making the circle whole.
- When Pete Docter tried to submit his short to the Mike and Spike film festival, two of the several boxes that contained original drawings of the short were lost, and Docter blamed the U.S. Postal Service for this. Luckily, the drawings were reclaimed thanks to some "expensive electric equipment commandeered by by Flip Phillips."