Disney Premieres ‘Once Upon a Studio’ 100th Anniversary Animated Short at Annecy Film Festival, Will Release Later This Year

Disney has debuted a new short to celebrate their 100th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and has announced when the short will premiere to the world as well!

Once Upon a Studio Short

The news was broken by Variety, who were present at Annecy during its debut today. The short is described as follows by Variety:

A passion project, started on the fly in anticipation of the Mouse House’s centenary this year, the nine-minute short brings more than four hundred characters back to life, throwing hand-drawn, CG and live action characters into a dizzy mix as they collectively buzz around the Roy E. Disney animation building on the Disney studio lot, causing gentle comic mayhem and leading towards a sentimental close set to the studio’s most emblematic song.  

Of course, the short begins with an icon of a different sort, focusing on veteran animator Burny Mattinson (who passed away this February, just shy of his 70th anniversary with the studio – making his association longer than Walt Disney was alive, director Trent Correy pointed out onstage). “Boy, if these walls could talk,” says the legendary animator in his final screen role.   

Soon enough, the walls very much do, as Mickey and Minnie spring loose from hanged photos, rousing Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog,” Peter Pan and Wendy too, Moana, Maui, and Merlin, alongside Elsa and Goofy and Winnie the Pooh. Oh and about four hundred more – with “Zootopia” fan favorite Flash Slothmore drawing the screening’s two biggest laughs.

The studio reportedly brought more than 40 voice actors in to reprise their roles, as well as pulling from the archives to use dialogue from past actors like Robin Williams as the Genie. “Once Upon a Studio” combines 2D and 3D animation alongside live action to create a tribute to the studio’s century-long legacy.

Eric Goldberg, the lead animator on the Genie in “Aladdin” and co-director of “Pocahontas,” oversaw hand-drawn animation for the short, while “Raya and the Last Dragon” supervising animator Andrew Feliciano handled the 3D animation.

Of the short, director Dan Abraham said “This is a love letter to the medium, to Disney animation, and really a thank you to anyone in the audience that’s ever connected with a film over the last hundred years.”

The short will be attached to “Wish” upon its release later this year on November 22.

Are you excited to see a “Once Upon a Studio” on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below.

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