Review: Disney Animation’s Beautiful ‘Short Films Collection’ Is a Must-Own for Fans

© Disney

© Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new Short Films Collection is truly a stunner. The collection, which is now available on Digital HD platforms and will be available on Blu-ray August 18th, includes 12 of the studios’ animated short films made between the years 2000–2015. While some shorts are fairly new and have been recently seen in theaters, other titles are older and more obscure. Overall, it’s just great to have all of these beloved shorts in one combined and winsome collection.

The collection includes these shorts (also listed is year of original release and the shorts’ directors/filmmakers who are interviewed on the set):

  • Frozen Fever (2015) – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho, Aimee Scribner
  • Feast (2014) – Academy Award® Winner, Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed
  • Get A Horse! (2013) – Academy Award® Nominated, Dorothy McKim, Eric Goldberg, Adam Green
  • Paperman (2012) – Academy Award® Winner, Kristina Reed, John Kahrs
  • Tangled Ever After (2012) – Nathan Greno, Aimee Scribner, Mark Kennedy
  • The Ballad of Nessie (2011) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Dorothy McKim
  • Tick Tock Tale (2010) – Dean Wellins
  • Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Dorothy McKim
  • How to Hook Up Your Home Theater (2007) – Kevin Deters, Stevie Wermers-Skelton, Ian Gooding
  • The Little Matchgirl (2006) – Academy Award® Nominated, Dave Bossert, Tom MacDougall
  • Lorenzo (2004) – Academy Award® Nominated, Mike Gabriel
  • John Henry (2000) – Mark Henn
© Disney

© Disney

The Blu-ray (which is how I watched the collection) is beautifully done, with elegant menus that highlight the fantastic art of the shorts along with quick introductions from each of the directors and/or filmmakers listed above (directors that have since left the Disney Studios weren’t included as part of the video interviews for the collection). These interviews bring an artistic, refined, and personal touch which I hope will continue to be part of the home entertainment offerings from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Bravo, Disney!

The artistry in the shorts is just outstanding. The animation is such a pleasure to watch and enjoy. While the storytelling in a couple of the shorts falls, well, short with me, overall each short is engaging, interesting, and moving. I can’t wait to watch some of my favorites again and again.

And don’t let the cover art fool you; the collection is not overrun with Frozen stuff like every toy department in every store (not to mention every single retail location in all of the Disney theme parks); Frozen Fever just takes its equal place with the 11 other wonderful shorts included in the set.

© Disney

© Disney

Bonus features include:

  • @DisneyAnimation: A Short Story on Shorts – “Continuing a legacy started in the earliest days of the Studio by Walt Disney, the Shorts Program is thriving today at the Animation Studios that bears his name, producing award-winning shorts that tell new stories and experiment with artistic and technical innovations. This latest chapter in the @DisneyAnimation series gives us an inside look at the process of developing and producing a short. Hosted by actor/comedian T.J. Miller (voice of “Fred,” Big Hero 6), we will meet a few of the artists and filmmakers who make the shorts, and learn why they are such an important part of the fabric of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Round Table Panelists include Lauren MacMullan (Get A Horse!), Mike Gabriel (Lorenzo), Kristina Reed (Feast, Paperman), Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (the team behind The Ballad of Nessie, Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater).” I loved this bonus feature and wanted another two hours of it.
  • Runaway Brain (1995) (Exclusive to Digital HD purchases made via Disney Movies Anywhere, if I’m not mistaken) – Delightful and hilarious short film that first screened in theaters in front of Disney’s live-action 1995 feature A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. It was nominated for an Academy Award® and screened during 1996 Cannes Film Festival. As for its home entertainment history, it was originally released in 2004 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures Collection: Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. 2 DVD set. 

I love this original theatrical release poster for Runaway Brain.

© Disney

© Disney

And speaking of art, if you’re attending the D23 Expo 2015 this weekend in Anaheim, CA, be on the lookout for these beauties.

© Disney

© Disney

Created by Disney artist Joe Dunn, these 12 individual handbills (5″ x 5″ in size) commemorating the release of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection will be passed out at the Anaheim Convention Center throughout the D23 Expo weekend. The first 23 fans at the Expo who collect all 12 individual pieces will win a limited edition uncut sheet of them, signed and numbered by Dunn himself. More info is on the Disney Insider blog.

I hope you’ll consider getting the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Film Collection. It’s truly a delight from start to finish.

wdas short film collection 20150813

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