One hundred years ago, the house of mouse was created, and a short film was lovingly crafted to celebrate.
The Walt Disney Company has survived for a whole century, creating countless beloved stories for people the world over. It’s probably rather difficult to find someone who hasn’t heard of Disney or isn’t familiar with one of their pieces of work.
Iconic characters from across said work united in Disney’s “Once Upon A Studio,” a massive tribute to the long, rocky road that is the company’s animation history. I’m not a Disney super fan by any means, but the short still managed to appease my nostalgia and was quite pleasant all things considered.
The basic premise behind the short was that Mickey and Minnie Mouse try to rally up a wide selection of Disney characters (only from the animated feature films with no Pixar or Disney Channel series in sight of course since we can’t always have nice things) for a big ‘ol group photo. Things go astray when Goofy acts all goofy (as he should) and wrecks the camera. But with the power of magic and help from his friends, the camera is repaired, and they take the photo.
One thing that stood out most from the short was how good the animation was. It’s to be expected given the company’s extensive background in the medium, but it bodes especially well for such a heartfelt production. It didn’t feel cheaply made.
Characters ranging from Moana to Winnie the Pooh, were represented accurately and looked great. Their behaviors and movements look spot on, and it seems like the people who worked on this had a passion for these characters, their stories and personalities.
The voice acting was also top notch, as is expected from the mouse. Not every single character got a moment to speak, but the ones that did delivered. Then there are stand-out moments, like when “Aladdin” character, Genie, famously voiced by the late Robin Williams, spoke. It was brief but hearing Williams’ voice again in a tribute like this well welcome.
And best of all, it wasn’t some shoddy AI rush job or whatever, it was supposedly unused audio clips from the man himself from back in the day.
It’s cool to know clips like those were so well preserved for all these years since this is the same company that almost deleted the entirety of “Toy Story 2” before release, but that’s neither here nor there.
The musical side is nice, but a little underwhelming. Disney has always had a knack for music, and while the sequence where a handful of characters sung a rendition of the Disney “theme,” it still felt a little lackluster.
The short was well-produced both visually and sonically, and overall, it was an enjoyable watch that did right by the century long legacy of the famous (and infamous) house of mouse.
Hopefully next time they show some love for the rest of their properties because not including Phineas and Ferb in the music number was downright despicable. Oh well, maybe in another hundred years.