The animated short “Hair Love,” about a self-possessed African-American girl and her loving if slightly overwhelmed father, is the result of some unusual pairings. It’s an indie distributed by a major studio. And it was written by an ex-N.F.L. player who doesn’t have children and who directed in collaboration with veteran animators who do.
On a special morning, Zuri, who has a winning smile and an exuberant mop of curls, wants to put her hair in a complex arrangement of braids, puffs and twists. Her millennial father, sporting dreads and a small tattoo, has never tried to style her locks. He watches a vlogger explain the necessary steps, then tackles a daunting array of products, combs and brushes to fulfill his daughter’s wish.