'A Kite's Tale' First Look: New Disney Short Combines Hand-Drawn Animation And VR Technology

The sky is the limit for Disney when it comes to experimenting with animation styles and new technology in their short films. The company is set to release their second-ever Disney VR short, titled a kite's tale, which will make its make its world debut at this year's SIGGRAPH, the annual conference on computer graphics. Get the first look at a kite's tale below.

A Kite's Tale First Look: Disney VR Short

Bruce Wright directs Disney's second VR short, a kite's tale, which combines hand-drawn animation and cutting edge VR technology to tell "a whimsical tale of two kites: a playful puppy (with a wagging tail) and a pompous dragon who clash, tangle, and ultimately must learn to live with one another subject to the winds of fate," according to Yahoo. The title is obviously a play off A Knight's Tale, though I'm sure the story will be different from both Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tale and the 2001 action film.

Wright is an effects animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios who has worked on films such as Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and most recently, Frozen 2. a kite's tale, which was created within Disney Animation's innovative Short Circuit program that gives filmmakers the opportunity to direct their short film idea through blind submission, will be his directorial debut. The program has produced 20 short films so far, with a kite's tale being the second VR film following Jeff Gipson's Cycles, which debuted at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Wright posted a picture of the crew hats for a kite's tale, which are adorned with images of the kites from the film.

The director also said in a statement (via Yahoo):

"I'm thrilled that 'a kite's tale' is premiering at SIGGRAPH 2019's VR Theater. Virtual reality has the ability to bring us into new worlds of story, and touch the hearts of the audience in never before dreamt of ways. It's an honor to showcase our film at SIGGRAPH for the innovators and artists who are shaping the future of this medium."

It's exciting to see Disney embrace hand-drawn animation again, even if it's through an experimental short film program. I hope that as new animators like Wright rise through the ranks of Disney, we can see not only experimentation with new technologies, but a melding of the old and new like with a kite's tale.

SIGGRAPH 2019 runs from July 28-August 1, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.