The Impressive Tribute to Disney’s Rich Heritage in Disney Animation’s ‘Once Upon a Studio’

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest short film, “Once Upon a Studio,” has made its debut on streaming platforms such as Disney+ and Hulu, as part of Disney’s grand 100-year anniversary celebration. Additionally, the short film will be broadcast today on various Disney networks, including Disney Channel, Freeform, and FX. For those who prefer the cinematic experience, “Once Upon a Studio” will also be featured before select screenings of Disney’s special engagement of “Moana,” running in theaters until Thursday, October 26. This enchanting film brings together 543 Disney characters from over 85 feature-length and short films, seamlessly combining both hand-drawn and CG animation. It is a heartwarming gathering of iconic characters, spanning heroes, villains, princes, princesses, sidekicks, and sorcerers, coming together to celebrate ten decades of Disney’s storytelling, artistic excellence, and technological achievements. Mickey Mouse leads this emotional and joyful reunion of beloved Disney characters, who gather for a group photo to commemorate Disney’s 100th anniversary. “Once Upon a Studio” is skillfully written and directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy, with production led by Yvett Merino and Bradford Simonsen. For those eager to delve deeper into the world of “Once Upon a Studio,” read on: The Journey of “Once Upon a Studio”: How a Hidden Passion Project Came to Life This narrative traces the path from a pitch meeting that deeply moved Jennifer Lee, Chief Creative Officer of Disney Animation, to the mobilization of artists and technicians to rejuvenate some of the studio’s most cherished characters. It unveils the remarkable transformation of Abraham and Correy’s personal passion project as it was expedited into production. Acknowledging the Artistry and Technological Advancements in Disney Animation’s “Once Upon a Studio” In the making of this project, Eric Goldberg assumed the role of head of hand-drawn animation, while Andrew Feliciano took charge as the head of CG animation. Both worked closely with Abraham and Correy to ensure they faithfully represented each character’s unique style, ensuring that their interactions on screen appeared seamlessly integrated. Additionally, the filmmakers share insights into their processes, such as capturing live-action plates within the Roy E. Disney Animation Building, enlisting the participation of over 40 original voice actors, and much more. The Heartwarming Account of Richard Sherman’s Revisitation of Walt Disney’s Beloved Song in “Once Upon a Studio” In 2022, at the remarkable age of 94, Disney Legend Richard Sherman returned to Walt Disney’s office in Burbank, California. There, he re-recorded “Feed the Birds” from the classic film “Mary Poppins” (1964). This location held special significance as it was where Richard and his late brother, Disney Legend Robert Sherman, would frequently perform this song for Walt Disney himself on Friday afternoons. Abraham, Correy, Merino, and Simonsen share how this touching nod to that cherished tradition was incorporated into “Once Upon a Studio.” Introducing Two Trainees from Disney Animation Who Contributed to “Once Upon a Studio” Five apprentices in hand-drawn animation, chosen from over 2,000 applicants, marked a significant milestone for Disney as the first new hand-drawn animator hires in over a decade. They made substantial contributions to “Once Upon a Studio.” In an exclusive Q&A session, program supervisor Goldberg and two former apprentices, Tyler Pacana and Austin Traylor, now full-time Disney animators, reflect on their experiences and discuss their aspirations for the future of Disney’s hand-drawn animation department. Honoring the Legacy of Disney Legend Burny Mattinson in Disney Animation’s “Once Upon a Studio” The film opens with Walt Disney Animation Studios’ staff, including artists, storytellers, and technologists, concluding their workday. Notably, Disney Legend Burny Mattinson, The Walt Disney Company’s longest-serving employee, is the last to leave the premises. Clark Spencer, President of Disney Animation, highlights that Mattinson’s extensive experience and lasting influence make him the perfect choice for a cameo appearance in the short film. >>> Check out Disney 100 Once Upon A Studio Poster
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