On Tuesday, August 18th, Walt Disney Animation Pictures will release the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection. This past weekend, I along with 24 other bloggers were able to interview 4 of the filmmakers behind the shorts featured in this new collection.
The panel was intimate, and the filmmakers shared many tidbits, secrets, and interesting facts about the films in this new collection. The Blu-Ray/DVD and Digital HD features these amazing short films:
John Henry (2000)
The Little Matchgirl (2006)
How To Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007)
Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010)
Tick Tock Tale (2010)
The Ballad of Nessie (2011)
Tangled Ever After (2012)
Get A Horse! (2013)
Frozen Fever (2015)
Dorothy McKim actually produced many shorts in the collection, including Get A Horse!, The Ballad of Nessie, Tick Tock Tale, and Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa. When asked which of the shorts she’s worked on is her favorite, Dorothy remarked that while she loves every project she’s worked on, Get A Horse! is the one she leans towards. Dorothy commented that “everything authentically was Walt in that short.”
Quick story about the use of Walt’s voice in Get A Horse!: All but one word, the word red, was genuinely Walt. Once John Lasseter watched the short, he caught that red was not in Walt’s original voice, and the animators had to piece together the syllables for r, e, and d from old footage to create the word red in Walt’s voice. How cool is that?
Mark Henn, director of John Henry, commented that the Tall Tale has been eluded to in other Disney shorts in the past, but was never turned into its own short. Mark was inspired to do something with this iconic story.
I have to say, I was very excited to hear Mark Henn speak. Not only did he direct John Henry, a story that’s near and dear to both sides of our family, but he was the supervising animator of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. Did you know that Princess Jasmine is my favorite princess? Well, she is, and Mark is absolutely awesome in my eyes. He didn’t know it, but he shaped my life through his work. Jasmine was the first Disney Princess I could relate to, and it boosted my love of all things Disney.
With so many amazing shorts in this collection, we couldn’t help but ask if any prior Disney shorts have inspired feature films. While the panel couldn’t think of one immediately, director Mike Gabriel (Lorenzo, Pocahontas) remembered that Fantasia was inspired by the short film “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”
Peter del Vecho, director of Frozen Fever, said that the creation of the short was to share a story that highlighted a new side of Elsa. The team traveled to an Ice Hotel in Canada for research, and immediately decided that the short would take place in the spring. Ha! Frozen Fever took 8 months to develop.
Side note for BIG Disney fans: be sure to look for special Easter eggs in Get A Horse (a classic character wit an O name) and Frozen: Fever (A Snowgie with a BIG background).
The Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection is available August 18th.