Finally, some of our favorite animated shorts will be available to own on Blu-ray tomorrow! The 12 shorts featured include Frozen Fever, Tangled Ever After, Get a Horse!, Paperman, and many other gorgeously rendered films. On my last blogging event, I had the opportunity to chat with a few of these filmmakers – Peter Del Vecho the Producer for Frozen Fever, Mark Hen who was the Director of John Henry, Dorothy McKim who produced Get A Horse!, The Ballad Of Nessie, Tick Tock Tale, Prep and Landing, Operation Secret Santa, and Mike Gabriel the Director for Lorenzo.
The insight they provided on the importance of shorts and the filmmaking process really deepened my appreciation for this collection and I’m sure you’ll be in affected the same way.
Disney Animated Shorts Collection – Indispensable Value
While inspiration for the various shorts are drawn from many places (previous work, tall tales, etc.), the function of these in Disney’s animation process is very much the same. Shorts are a sort of testing grounds for upcoming features. New talent is given the opportunity to gain experience and new technologies are tried out.
MARK: What has happened though is often times the shorts, from a technical side were done specifically to test out some new process that was implemented into a feature. The Old Mill, for example, was playing with the multiplying camera back in the 30’s and 40’s. There’s a little short called Goliath 2. It was about a miniature elephant, but they were basically testing out the Xerox camera process, which replaced inking painting. So those kind of things get launched in a short and often get implemented in a feature.
MIKE: And the work that you (McKim) did back on “The Ballad of Nessie really helped us when it came time to do Princess and the Frog. You were really pioneering new technology.
Different rules apply to shorts than full-length features, especially when it comes to the style of animation used.
MARK: There’s a lot less risk involved with a short. You have a much more you know freedom to explore and experiment without putting the commitment and the money behind a full feature. There’s something that maybe artistically turns the audiences off in a feature but in the short, it’s a short.
One example brought up was Paper Man. The art was so impressive but staff was unsure if they could do a whole movie in just black and white (and red). But, it worked perfectly in a short.
Disney Animated Shorts Collection – Easter Eggs
We’re used to seeing Easter Eggs being added here and there in animated features. However, there are plenty of fun things to look for in shorts as well.
DOROTHY: Do you guys knows the Easter Egg in and Get A Horse? Oswald peeks through right at the end.
PETER: If you look carefully at one of the Snowgies (in Frozen Fever) it will reflect a movie that came after Frozen. A big movie. Big, big movie. I’ll narrow it down to about 6.
Peter enjoyed teasing us and then shared this.
PETER : There’s still one Easter egg in Frozen (the feature) that no one has ever found. We’re very, very curious to see if anybody ever figures it out.
Do you know what it could be?
Disney Animated Shorts Collection – Making a Difference
What impressed me was the motivation behind making these shorts and the gratitude they’ve received in doing so. The filmmakers shared some of their personal experiences in how working on shorts, and the many features they’ve been a part of, has affected them.
MIKE: Vance Gary was one of our top most revered and respected story men. He’d been there since the 50’s at least. He was just sitting on the side leaning against the wall of the theater and he watched it. And he just said, “When I just saw that I remembered why I came to Disney in the first place. That’s why I came.” You know I wanted to cry.
DOROTHY: That’s my ultimate thing is when we just reach out to the entire world and we can help people. People that are sick or people that are going through certain situations and just to help them and just give them a little lift.
MARK: That’s kind of the fun and the joy as being an Artist and then creating something with fabulous co-workers. Putting it out there in a world that can be pretty tough and to put something out there that hopefully entertains. Maybe take you out of the world for a few hours or whatever. That’s the fun of what we do.
PETER: For me, just coming to D23 and seeing the people who took the time to actually make their own costumes, even the new Anna dress.
Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts Collection
You can hear more from these filmmakers and other on the new Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts Collection. T.J. Miller, the voice of Fred in “Big Hero 6,” also does a mini interview with some of the filmmakers.
Shorts included (and filmmakers appearing in each Shorts Introduction):
- Frozen Fever (2015) – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho, Aimee Scribner
- Feast (2014) – Academy Award® Winner, Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed
- Get A Horse! (2013) – Academy Award® Nominated, Dorothy McKim, Eric Goldberg, Adam Green
- Paperman (2012) – Academy Award® Winner, John Kahrs, Kristina Reed
- Tangled Ever After (2012) – Nathan Greno, Aimee Scribner, Mark Kennedy
- The Ballad of Nessie (2011) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Dorothy McKim
- Tick Tock Tale (2010) – Dean Wellins
- Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Dorothy McKim
- How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Ian Gooding
- The Little Matchgirl (2006) – Academy Award® Nominated, Dave Bossert, Tom MacDougall
- Lorenzo (2004) – Academy Award® Nominated, Mike Gabriel
- John Henry (2000) – Mark Henn
Parents should be aware that the first few are a bit serious and slightly darker in tone but that lightens up by the time you climax with Frozen Fever. FYI, The Ballad of Nessie is super adorable and I so want a plush Nessie with a mini McQuack! Frans was cracking up during How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. Speckles, of course, always cries along with Feast.
The Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts Collection will be available August 18, 2015 on Blu-ray and already out on Digital HD and in Disney Movies Anywhere. It’s definitely a title you’ll want to add to your Disney collection!
I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip as a guest of Disney in honor D23 Expo. All opinions are my own.