Disney Animation is set to release their first animated short in five years with the Zach Parrish-directed Us Again, which will debut in theaters alongside Raya and the Last Dragon on March 5. The short is set to drop on Disney+ in June.
True to the form of Disney’s past shorts, Parrish’s Us Again brings together dance, music, emotional storytelling and inspired animation. The film is Disney Animation’s first new theatrical short since the 2016 release of Inner Workings which accompanied the theatrical release of Moana.
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Parrish is an 11-year veteran of Disney Animation who served as head of animation on Big Hero 6 and directed the Short Circuit film Puddles. Award-winning choreographers/dancers Keone and Mari (known for World of Dance and their work with Justin Bieber and Billie Eilish), and acclaimed composer Pinar Toprak (Captain Marvel) brought their talents to this experimental and musical fantasy. The film is produced by Brad Simonsen (Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet), and executive produced by Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS).
“Working with Keone and Mari was the key to making this film work,” said Parrish. “From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted this film to be music driven. And I felt that dance is a universal language that can translate into any culture.”
He continued, “I loved that their dance style felt like it was made for animation, and that there was this genuine, honest and organic connection between them because they were actually a married couple in real life. The story itself was inspired by my own grandparents, who faced getting older in different ways, along with my own physical limitations in playing sports resulting from getting older and injuries. I started thinking about how someone might look at the world differently as things change and they grow older.”
Us Again is set in a vibrant city pulsating with rhythm and movement. In the short, an elderly man and his young-at-heart wife rekindle their youthful passion for life and each other on one magical night. The years fade away as the joy of dancing propels them across the exciting cityscape of their youth and revives fond memories and ambitions. Us Again is told entirely without dialogue and set to an original funk and soul musical score reminiscent of the mid-60s.
“We’re thrilled to be premiering our first new theatrical short in five years, Us Again, exclusively on the big screen alongside our incredible new feature, Raya and the Last Dragon,” said WDAS President Clark Spencer. “Zach has tapped into elements from his personal life, and collaborated with the very best in the world of dance and music to create this very special film. We are so proud of what they have accomplished and look forward to sharing it with movie theater goers in March, and then in June on Disney Plus.”
Lee added, “One of my priorities has been to bring back theatrical animated shorts and to give artists at our Studio an opportunity to explore new ideas. Us Again has so much spirit and energy, and pushes the boundaries of our short-form storytelling.”
Check out the full first look below.
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