At its heart, the true foundation of the Walt Disney Company are short films. Before there was the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before there was Pixar Animation Studios, and even before classic animated films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Fantasia, there were short films featuring beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and many more that were driven by music instead of iconic, symbolic characters. In the last decade, as Disney Animation continues its status as a standard-bearer of the animated medium, shorts at the studio have had a resurgence.
One such short, Us Again, is now available on Disney+ months after premiering with the latest Disney Animation feature Raya and the Last Dragon in its truncated theatrical release (combined with a VOD approach via Disney+ Premier Access). Written and directed by Zach Parrish, Us Again is the story of Art and Dot, an elderly married couple representing two different approaches to aging. Art’s grumpy and dour, while Dot remains young at heart. During the dialogue-free short, a magical rain washes over the glittering city where they live, making them young again and able to express their nostalgic delight through dance and music.
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On top of missing the theatrical movie-going experience altogether over the past year, it’s been a bummer to miss out on Disney’s tradition of including animated short films before their big screen releases. Thankfully, the short film attached to the theatrical release of Raya and the Last Dragon is coming home with the movie’s digital release today.
Us Again is written and directed by Zach Parrish, who served as head of animation on Big Hero 6 and will be at the helm of an animated Short Circuit movie at Disney. The film follows an elderly couple as they joyously rekindle their youth through the magic of dancing, and a little Us Again clip gives us a taste of the fancy footwork that will take us through the city. Read More »
It’s been five years since Walt Disney Animation last released an animated short to be paired with one of its feature films (that excruciatingly long Frozen short that wouldn’t end was from Pixar, not WDA). And it’s been even longer since Disney earned acclaim for one of its original shorts, like the exquisite Oscar-winning 2012 short Paperman, which screened in front of Wreck-It-Ralph.
And while not many people will likely be heading to theaters to catch Raya and the Last Dragon on the big screen due to the ongoing pandemic, Disney is bringing back the experience of seeing a lovingly animated short in front of a film with Us Again, an ode to dance and aging, which will screen in front of Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters this March and come to Disney+ a few months after that. See the Us Again first look below.
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