“Walt Disney Animation Studio Short Films Collection” is an interesting batch of short animated movies that range from near-masterpieces to mediocre, but enjoyable shorts.
This collection, which starts off with Disney’s first animated short of the 21st Century “John Henry,” goes from a hand-drawn animation style such as “Lorenzo” and “The Little Matchgirl and progresses to adapting using a Pixar-like computer animated style that the studio first used in 2004 for “Chicken Little.” There is an even a blend of both types of animation technique that was used for their Oscar-winning shorts “Paperman” and “Feast” as those films, along with “The Little Matchgirl,” are the best of the bunch. Other films like “Get a Horse” and “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater,” which pays homage to the past Disney shorts that featured Mickey Mouse and Goofy, are not as touching as the previously mentioned films, but they certainly are entertaining. While all of the Walt Disney Animation Studio short films are different in their stories and animations style, the one thing that they all share is that the filmmakers are quite passionate about animated shorts and experimenting using different techniques to push the boundaries of animated short films.
Disney fans will be satisfy with the way the shorts are presented on the Blu-ray disc. The video quality for “Walt Disney Animation Studio Short Films Collection” is outstanding. The 2D animation that are used in some of the films are perfectly retained in high definition with such a pristine picture clarity that you can see some of the rough sketch lines on the characters in “John Henry.” Whenever there is a short film that features vibrant colors, the high definition video presentation helps make those colors pop up like a comic book.
While the disc is hardly bare bones in the bonus feature department, it could have used more special features. There is an option to watch (or not watch) short introductions from the filmmakers of the short films in this collection such as Patrick Osbourne, Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and the directing duo of Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”). There is also a seven-minute long featurette entitled “@DisneyAnimation: The Short Story About Shorts” where T.J. Miller (“Big Hero 6”) hosts a Disney Animation roundtable that is interesting look at this discussion about making shorts and using technology to create new animation techniques, but it is ironically way too short.
Disney collectors will definitely dig “Walt Disney Animation Studio Short Films Collection” as it has a great video presentation and showcases the different types of animation used courtesy of technological advances in animated storytelling.