Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection Blu-ray Review
The house that Mickey built released a new, collected volume of short films, titled WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILMS COLLECTION, on Blu-ray earlier this month. Featuring 12 animated shorts from every genre and animation style imaginable (and a few new ones) the WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILMS COLLECTION Blu-ray is yet another Disney home video release that doesn’t disappoint. Whether you decide to watch the shorts with their introductions (each about a minute) or you choose to just watch the shorts in order they are presented (a la “play all”) is your choice and though it is one of the only choices you get (besides which language for audio and menus) it feels important and actually significantly alters the viewing experience.
Each short film is presented in its entirety with about half being memorable shorts you probably saw before (relatively) recent releases; indeed some of these are Oscar™ winners. Watching the shorts without the introductions they feel a bit disjointed and you might find yourself wondering what ties them together, why were they grouped on a single disc in this way? This a la carte viewing experience feels like a bad mix tape – uneven and thematically dissonant – and it makes you wonder what the folks at Disney were thinking. Watching the entire Blu-ray with the introductions, however, provides context both for the genesis of the project and for it’s placement on this Blu-ray.
A note of caution to parents – there may be some themes presented in these short films that will require some discussion with your children. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, necessarily, and in this case the stories are expertly told… but that doesn’t mean everything is going to make sense to the young children who will obviously flock to this Blu-ray release (especially given the cover that emphasizes one of the shortest ‘shorts’, based on the characters from the extremely popular FROZEN.
Still, the range of animation styles, the NEW methods we’ve never seen (not to mention the fact that when they’re done right we don’t even know they are doing anything differently), and the brilliant writing all re-legitimize Disney as a broker of quality film product rather than just a company built to push out lowest-common-denominator trash designed to appease everyone and ultimately appealing to no one. My faith in Disney’s animation department has never truly been lacking but now Disney is on a collision course with history once again as they have crafted a cinematic narrative unlike anything I have recently seen by putting together all of these very interesting stories.
The full listing of animated shorts follows:
• John Henry (10:19)
• The Little Matchgirl
• How to Hook Up Your Home Theater
• Tick Tock Tale
• Prep & Landing, Operation: Secret Santa
• The Ballad of Nessie
• Tangled Ever After
• Get a Horse
• Frozen Fever
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.39:1) The video presentation of WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILMS COLLECTION is typical Disney excellence on Blu-ray. The color pallete, the new types of animation – everything is at the gold standard level.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Disney always has things well in hand and WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILMS COLLECTION is no exception. Like the video the audio presentation on this Blu-ray is exquisite.
@DisneyAnimation: The Short Story about Shorts Hosted by T.J. Miller (07:18) Funnyman Miller works a bit without a net interviewing the primary filmmakers featured on WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIO SHORT FILMS COLLECTION. It’s moderately entertaining but nowhere near as interesting as the short introductions before each feature.