Disney animation lovers have something else to get excited about – the all-new Walt Disney Short Films Collection. As part of our D23 Expo experience, we were able to sit down with some great Disney animators/directors/producers and talk all things movie making, especially details on the Disney shorts. On our panel was Peter Del Vecho, Mark Henn, Dorothy McKim, and Mike Gabriel. Their Disney resumes are incredibly extensive, each having directed and/or produced at least one Disney Short, as well as working on some of the biggest Disney movies of the last 20 years (including Aladdin, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Princess and the Frog, Pocahontas, Frozen, and more)! It was such a pleasure to talk with them! Here’s some of the fun Disney animation facts we learned from them…ENJOY!
- Aside from Fantasia which started production as a short film with Sorcerer’s Apprentice, no full-length feature story line has ever been developed from any Disney shorts (we’re really hoping that might change though and we’ll see a full-length Prep & Landing Feature as some point)!
- Get A Horse (the short that debuted in front of FROZEN) is voiced entirely by Walt Disney. During the 1st screening John Lasseter noticed that just one word wasn’t actually Disney’s voice – “red”. In all the archives, there was no audio of Walt voicing Mickey saying that word. So they actually spliced individual letter sounds together to form the word.
- While Get A Horse looks like old animation, it is actually 100% NEW animation (just done in the old style).
- Disney Shorts are often done as a test for new technologies (Walt even did this with the Silly Symphonies in the 1930s). And, sometimes they’re done to give new people experience before directing full-length features.
- Full-length feature films can often be upwards of 5 years in the making, where as shorts tend to range between 5 months and 18 months for production time. The average animated short timeline is about 12 months.
- Disney animators are often turned into cameo/background characters in movies. All the animators/directors on our interview panel have at least one cameo in famous features (the likes of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc).
- Those classic Disney Easter Eggs are often found even in the Short Films. Oswald is an Easter Egg in Get A Horse and look for a Big Hero 6 Easter Egg in the Frozen Fever short. We even found out that there is one Easter Egg left in FROZEN that NO ONE has found yet! How fun?! Who wants to watch it in slow-motion to find it?
- There’s no hard and fast rule to the length of a short film. Most Disney shorts average 7-8 minutes. But some, like John Henry for example, are 10 minutes.
- A LOT of research goes into Disney animation projects – even the Short Films. For Lorenzo, they had Tango dancers come in to the studio. For John Henry and Frozen Fever, research trips were taken. We even heard a story that some Friday fun lunches were done as research for Feast.
- The animators love hearing stories about how their movies have impacted lives. Even seeing costumes made from their productions is a huge compliment to them. All the directors we interviewed were so genuinely thrilled with being at events like D23 and seeing fans that had taken time to make detailed costumes/etc from their productions is really fun for them.
- Frozen Fever
- Get a Horse!
- Tangled Ever After
- The Ballad of Nessie
- Prep & Landing- Operation: Secret Santa
- Tick Tock Tale
- How To Hook Up Your Home Theater
- The Little Matchgirl
- John Henry
I wasn’t sure how interested the boys would be, but they LOVED them. They wanted to watch some of them over and over again! So, this is definitely a great addition to your Disney movie library!!
Buy The Short Films Collection today (affiliate link) and enjoy these great short films at home!! If you haven’t seen them all, we highly recommend Paperman, Tick Tock Tale, Get A Horse, and Feast!!
Disclosure: I attended D23 Expo at the invitation of Disney. No additional compensation was received. All opinions, experiences, and love of Disney are entirely my own.