Were you expecting a Christmas present from Walt Disney and the frozen North this year? Well get ready, because that is exactly what is under the tree. Disney’s Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short Empty Socks- long considered a lost film- was recently found in a library almost at the Arctic circle. The short, released just over 85 years ago, was the first Disney “Christmas” themed short and featured Oswald plays Santa for a group of orphans. It was a silent cartoon. Prior to this discovery, the only extant copy of Empty Socks was a 25-second sequence preserved at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences- you know, the Oscar people- have released a short list of the ten short animated films that this years nominees will be drawn from. These ten were taken from fifty-eight shorts originally submitted for consideration. Disney made the list, but Pixar was snubbed for the second year in a row. Bill Plympton returns for a third attempt, ex-Disney animator Glen Keane has a short in the fray, and two students-Daisy Jacobs and Réka Bucsi also have works under consideration.
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After Disney’s Oscar-winning Frozen became the highest grossing animated film of all time, it was inevitable that the mouse-house would revisit the arctic kingdom of Elisa and Anna. In a move that will make pre-teens the world over scream for more Icee’s, Walt Disney Animation Studios has announced that in Spring 2015 they will follow the feature film up with the release a theatrical short titled Frozen Fever.
A veteran of Disney, animator James Lopez has a special love for the traditional, 2D, pencil-in-hand style of the art. And in this ever increasingly digital world, he does not want to see that special art lost or forgotten. To that end, Lopez has started up and IndieGoGo campaign to finance a new, 2D animated short Hullabaloo.
Ottawa International Animation Festival is celebrating the world’s most beloved, successful and pioneering animation studio with a series of screenings, talks, exhibitions and legendary Disney animators. Presented with the support of Celebrate Ontario and Walt Disney Animation Studios, OIAF’s tribute to Walt Disney Animation Studios touches upon their impact in feature films with a 25th anniversary screening of The Little Mermaid – a film that revitalized both the studio and the animation feature when it was released.
Who’s up for a first look at the artwork from Pixar’s newest animated short Lava? Although we have known for a while it is to be released with the theatrical feature film Inside Out, we just learned that Lava will actually premiere next week at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan. So even though we only get a sneak, one-frame advance look at the film, the whole thing is done and ready to show.
Glen Kean, who made a name for himself as the late dean of Disney animators, has released his first new animated short from his association with Google and Motorola. Titled Duet, the film was released last week as part of a special Advanced Technology and Projects session at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco. It is the third in a series of shorts called the Spotlight Stories that are designed to explore spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience.
Pixar’s next animated feature film – Inside Out- is due out in one year, and today Pixar announced the short that will accompany the film. The short is titled Lava and is described as a musical love story that takes place over millions of years. Pixar gave LA journalists an early sneak preview last night and by all accounts, the footage shown was stunning. Pixar also showed the new poster for the short, which shows a beautiful, idyllic tropical island, frolicking (and paired!) sea-life, and a background of a smoldering volcano.
The follow-up to Disney’s 2013 Academy Award Winning short Paperman and last year’s Get A Horse! has been announced, and it will premiere at France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Titled The Feast, the short looks to be based on the same stylized CG techniques used on last years Paperman, a more natural and hand-drawn look to computer animation.
Creator of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm has brought his vision of the Dark Knight back again with a new short celebrating 75 years of the crime fighter. The short, titled Batman: Strange Days, features “a lost tale from Batman’s past, the Dark Knight tracks a strange giant to the mysterious lair of Dr. Hugo Strange.” Produced in a tinted black and white, the short runs under 3 minutes but sets quite a mood of dark and dank bat-reality reminiscent of a ’30s serial.