Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection (2015)
Released by: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Presented for the first time together, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection welcomes a dozen of Disney’s most revered short subjects spanning the last 15 years. From the Hans Christian Andersen inspired The Little Matchgirl to the Academy Award winning Paperman and the most recent Frozen Fever, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection boasts a profound mix of animation styles and masterful storytelling perfected by Disney’s talented artists.
Since Disney’s commitment to resurrect theatrical shorts in 2006, the ability to experiment with groundbreaking techniques and tell unique tales have been met with overwhelming praise. Treating audiences to an entertaining appetizer ahead of the studio’s latest feature film, Disney’s driven talent strives to push themselves to new limits with each new endeavor. From the rarely discussed John Henry pitting the classic figure’s brute strength against machine to the beautifully realized Lorenzo and his cursed tail, each short promises wildly unique executions in their limited runtime. Director Roger Allers’ (The Lion King) The Little Matchgirl is equally breathtaking and heartbreaking while, Goofy’s hilarious attempts to upgrade his home entertainment system in How to Hook Up Your Home Theater stands proudly with other classic Goofy shorts. In addition, Tick Tock Tale, akin to Pixar’s Toy Story, cleverly showcases the mysterious lives of clocks when no one is looking while, Prep & Landing - Operation: Secret Santa finds the expert duo pulling off a near impossible holiday mission on behalf of Mrs. Claus.
Although each short’s animation is gorgeous and ever-changing, the collection’s weaker entries are found in the rather bland The Ballad of Nessie and surprisingly, the prominently promoted Frozen Fever. Unquestionably following up on the box-office success of its feature, Elsa hurries to prep Anna’s birthday bash while combatting a cold that welcomes a slew of miniaturized snowmen to Arendelle. Equipped with a new song by Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, the short pales in comparison to the rest of the collection with an eye-rolling reference to the original film’s popular hit “Let It Go” feeling tacky. Meanwhile, Tangled Ever After finds Maximus and Pascal in a comical misadventure to retrieve Rapunzel and Flynn’s wedding rings, blending high-stakes and sight gags along the way. While the greater majority are vastly entertaining, the Academy Award winning trio of Paperman, Get A Horse! and Feast are the true stars of the collection with their cutting edge techniques paying homage to Mickey Mouse’s earliest roots, a chance encounter of love and the heartwarming appetite of a puppy and his owner. Bursting with originality and charm, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection belongs in all animation buff’s libraries.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment presents the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection with 1080p transfers, boasting a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Bursting with colorful boldness and perfect clarity, the various animation techniques leap off the screen with flawless definition. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, each short relays crisp dialogue levels while, music and sound effects of varying degree are captured with ease and robustness. Special features include newly filmed introductions to each short by their makers, @DisneyAnimation: The Short Story About Shorts Hosted by T.J. Miller (7:18) finds the Big Hero 6 voice actor sitting down for a brief but, informative conversation with several crew members of the various short films. In addition, Sneak Peeks for Disney Movie Rewards (0:20), Disney Movies Anywhere (0:40), Aladdin Diamond Edition (1:19) and Disneynature’s Born in China (1:14) are included along with a DVD edition of the release and a Digital HD Code.
While several of the shorts have already been made available on other Disney releases, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection still makes for a delightful addition into any Disney lovers collection. Comprised of some of the finest works to be released in recent years, each short hosts exceptional animation styles that will leave viewers overwhelmed by their unbounded artistry. Presented with pristine technical qualities, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection captures some of the most beloved short subjects all in one convenient compilation.
Available August 18th from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection can be purchased via Amazon.com and other fine retailers.