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Interview: Disney’s Short Circuit Experimental Films

Get ready for season 2 of Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Circuit Experimental Films! There is something so special about short films. Audiences experience a whole new world and grow to love characters in just a few minutes. Thankfully, Walt Disney Animation Studios is giving fans even more short films!

Be sure to catch the new season of Short Circuit Experimental Films on Disney+ August 4th!

Here is the scoop on season 2 of Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Circuit Experimental Films!

Short Circuit Experimental Films
© 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved

Meet the Directors of Short Circuit Experimental Films

Erin Glover talks to the filmmakers of the new Short Circuit Experimental Films season.

Riannon Delanoy is the director of Songs to Sing in the Dark. She is an animator with a very impressive resume. Delanoy’s works include Oscar-winning films, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, and the Oscar-nominated movie Moana. She’s also worked on Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, Raya and the Last Dragon in the soon to come Disney animation feature, Encanto.

Jacob Frey directs Going Home. Frey’s notable works include Zootopia, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, and Raya and the Last Dragon. Also, he was an animator for the first Short Circuit season. Jacob worked on Cycles and Puddles.

Ryan Green is the director for Crosswalk. He is a story artist who worked on Zootopia, Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto.

Kim Hazel directs Dinosaur Barbarian. Kim is an animator whose works include Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, and Raya and the Last Dragon. 

Liza Rhea is the director of No. 2 to Kettering. Liza works as an environment modeler. Rhea’s works include Ralph Breaks the Internet, Frozen 2, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto.

Jennifer Newfield is the production manager of Short Circuit Experimental Films.

Songs to Sing in the Dark

Songs to Sing in the Dark; Short Circuit Experimental Films
SONGS TO SING IN THE DARK – © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Riannon Delanoy’s Songs to Sing in the Dark is a short film about creatures who live in deep dark caves. They try to out-do each other while making sounds, but learn they are stronger together. Delanoy says the idea comes from her time learning about how animals communicate.

Riannon talks about echolocation and asks, “What if you took those abilities to their logical extreme? What would happen if you took a group of echolocating animals, and let them evolve for millions of years in this totally dark cave, in this massive evolutionary feedback loop?”

Delanoy adds that the inspiration comes from experimenting with these sounds. “Maybe sound could become weapons, and armor, and camouflage, and these big threat displays. Maybe you could reinvent your appearance altogether in that kind of environment and project any image you wanted into the mind of your observer.”

She adds, “That blue sky possibility for visuals and sound really appealed to me.”

Going Home

Going Home; Short Circuit Experimental Films
GOING HOME – © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Jacob Frey’s Going Home is about growing up and coming to terms with change. As the main character visits home over the years, there are many changes that take place. To show the passing of time, the film cycles through the changing seasons.

Jacob Frey says that the seasons, “Definitely added another layer of complexity to the shot, especially from an asset level where we needed different variations of foliage trees for autumn, winter, and spring.”

Frey adds, ‘It also added complexity for editing because we need to lock down those cuts fairly early before we started animating. There was a lot of planning happening before we actually started to animate those shorts.”

Crosswalk

Crosswalk; Short Circuit Experimental Films
CROSSWALK – © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Crosswalk is the story of a law-abiding citizen facing a street light that will not change. Ryan Green shares that his film is something many Disney animators will relate to.

Green explains, “There’s a light right outside of Disney Animation building, and I think all of us have waited there many times. You can see way down the street in both directions, there’s very little traffic and the light takes forever.”

Ryan also shares his personal experience waiting for the light.

“I just remember standing there one day just waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I just pictured my ancestors showing up next to me just be like, “Hey, what are you doing? We wanted to make a better life for ourselves, so we got on a boat and crossed the Atlantic. We didn’t wait for a robot to tell us to do it. Why are you just standing here? You can see, you can cross the street.” That just basically became the seed of the idea.”

Ryan Green

Dinosaur Barbarian

dinosaur barbarian; Short Circuit Experimental Films
DINOSAUR BARBARIAN – © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Kim Hazel’s Dinosaur Barbarian is about a superhero who spends his time fighting evil and slaying enemies. Unfortunately, this leaves him with no time for other important things like personal hygiene or a good night’s sleep.

Hazel shares how she got the courage to pitch her idea for the film in the first place. She says, “It was actually Riannon who encouraged me to submit my idea to the program. I probably wouldn’t have done it without her encouragement.”

Kim Hazel adds that Riannon Delanoy “was really Dinosaur Barbarian‘s number one fan from day one.”

No. 2 to Kettering

no 2 to kettering
NO. 2 TO KETTERING – © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

No. 2 to Kettering is a sweet story about a girl riding the bus. During the bus ride, she learns that laughter and joy can brighten anyone’s day.

Liza Rhea shares that there is not actually a No. 2 bus to Kettering. She says, “When I told my mom the title of my film, her response was, ‘But the number two doesn’t go to Kettering.'”

Rhea explains, “When I went to visit her last time, because we know a lot of bus drivers, my mom used to work in the bus station. We met with her friend, and we were like, ‘We have to settle a bet here, does a number two still go to Kettering?’ They were like, ‘No, no, no, but it used to.'”

Liza adds, “In the ’90s, when I got the bus, there was a number two to Kettering, but I guess there technically isn’t anymore. Things change so fast.”

What To Expect From Short Circuit Experimental Films Season 2

Production Manager Jennifer Newfield shares what makes season 2 different from season 1 of Short Circuit Experimental Films.

Newfield says, “What’s just thrilling about Short Circuit as a program overall is that we’re always looking for new and innovative ideas. All these brand new directors get to bring something different to the table.”

Also, Jennifer shares “I really enjoyed seeing everything evolve and everybody supporting each other as we go through the different rounds of Short Circuit.”

Each cycle of short films grows from the previous one. Jennifer says, “They get to pay it forward almost from their shorts to the next season, and get to bolster each other up and help each other have different creative visions come to the screen.”

Disney Presents Goofy in How to Stay at Home

LEARNING TO COOK – “How to Stay at Home.” © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Short Circuit Experimental Films Season 2 isn’t the only exciting addition coming to Disney+. Everyone’s favorite lovable character Goofy is back in three hilarious animated shorts. Get ready for Disney Presents Goofy in How to Stay at Home.

Goofy comes to life thanks to animator and director Eric Goldberg and Emmy®-winning producer Dorothy McKim. Goldberg is known form his work on Aladdin, Pocahontas, Fantasia/2000, and Moana. McKim’s works include Meet the Robinsons, Prep & Landing, and Get a Horse!

In this trio of shorts, Goofy shows audiences how to keep your spirits up in tough situations. Bill Farmer, who’s voiced Goofy since 1987, once again returns to voice the clumsy and charming character.

Disney Presents Goofy in How to Stay at Home, streaming August 11 on Disney+.

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