Lou is a red hoodie-covered creature with eyes of mis-matched baseballs and lost and found buttons who is seen grinning mischievously from inside a school’s Lost & Found bin. Reminiscent of Sid from the Toy Story series, J.J. is a bully who takes his classmates’ stuff and destroying their beloved toys. Lou decides to teach this bully a lesson with some carefully crafted hijinks.
The film is directed by Dave Mullins in his first outing as a director, though he has been with PIXAR for many years. Director Mullins says the film was inspired by many incidence in his own formative years while growing up and moving from school to school. The film is produced by Dana Murray and executive producer is (of course!) John Lasseter.
The film ends with a dedication “For Dad”. Mullins father passed away during the production of the short. Lou’s box also contains a football and a skateboard, which symbolize Mullins’ father and himself, respectively. Mullins was a self-described skater punk growing up, and his father was a big football fan. “The football ended up becoming a device for J.J. to annoy the kids at the beginning of the film and then connect to the kids later,” Mullins said of the story device.