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Short Film Review - Disney's Once Upon a Studio

100 years of Disney magic comes together.

Once Upon a Studio is a 2023 short animated musical fantasy comedy film directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy, written by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It stars Chris Diamantopoulos and Kaitlyn Robrock.


"Boy. If these walls could talk." - Burny Mattison

Plot


On the one hundredth anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Mickey Mouse gathers all of the Disney characters ever created for a picture.


The Sweet


Before I dive into this I just want to provide a quick life update: I am currently applying to colleges because I am a senior in high school and I don't have a ton of time to be pumping out content for the blog, so that's why things have been slow recently and they will most likely continue to be slow until January rolls around.


And, to be clear, I wasn't planning on writing about this, but after I watched it, I realized I had to.


For those of you who don't know, today is the one hundredth anniversary of Disney. Crazy, right? In honor of the anniversary, Disney released this short film (which will also play in front of Wish, Disney's upcoming movie in November).


I've seen a solid amount of Disney short films. This is the best. And it isn't even close.


Whoever wrote and directed this short film has a clear love and passion for Walt Disney Animation, because this is an absolutely beautiful tribute. There was clear hard work and care put into this thing, and it shines through. It's only about eight minutes long, but it is a powerful, nostalgic little short that will remind you of how much you love Disney. I don't even know how to write about this, because I was so thrown off by how much I loved it.


It seems like a cheap gimmick to bring together one hundred years of Disney characters, but each character brought in is given a great little moment. I absolutely loved that they used the real voices for this film. If the actor is living, they are in it. Jodi Benson voices Ariel. The Rock voices Maui. It's all real. If the actor is dead, they used archive voices. I'm not going to spoil the character appearances here, but there are some that were genuinely surprising and just warmed my heart.


The film also manages to pack a great comedic punch in here. The interactions between some of these Disney characters are great. They're done in a really clever way and definitely brought a smile to my face. The writers of this film need to be put on more Disney projects. They clearly, clearly understand the magic.


But the comedy and crossover and voice acting is not what makes this short great. It is the true recapturing of the Disney magic. This short made me cry twice. There are two times where it just hit me. Neither will be spoiled here, because I highly recommend everyone who is reading this review watch this short, but there's a specific quieter moment with Mickey that sent chills down my spine and tears rolling down my face. The second moment is the ending. I will say no more. I don't have words to describe it. It's perfect. It is the quintessential encapsulation of the Disney magic.


Final Thoughts and Score


I skipped the Sour section because this short is perfect. It's an incredible tribute to everything that Walt Disney has done.


And I just want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to the animators and creators that work or have worked at Disney. I want to say thank you to the people who have brought magic into my life for seventeen years. And I want to say thank you to Walt Disney himself. Disney has been such a huge part of my life, and this short just reminded me why I love it. It's magical.


Without question, this gets a Sweet. There's no age range. Everyone should watch this short.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


"Once Upon a Studio"


Fun Factor: 10/10

Acting: 10/10

Story: 10/10

Characters: 10/10

Quality: 10/10


Directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy


Released on October 16, 2023


Not Rated


8 minutes


Chris Diamantopoulos as Mickey Mouse

Kaitlyn Robrock as Minnie Mouse

Renika Williams as The Intern

Burny Mattison as Burny Mattison

Scott Adsit as Baymax

Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck

Awkwafina as Sisu

Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde

Kristen Bell as Anna

Jodi Benson as Ariel

Robby Benson as The Beast

Ravi Cabot-Conyers as Antonio Madrigal

Griffen Campbell as Pinocchio

Auli'i Cravalho as Moana

Jim Cummings as Baloo, Winnie the Pooh

Ariana DeBose as Asha

Richard Epcar as Little John

Bill Farmer as Goofy, Pluto

Keith Ferguson as Prince CHarming

Santino Fontana as HAns

Josh Gad as Olaf

Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps

Jonathan Groff as Kristoff

Jennifer Hale as Cinderella

Jess Harnell as Scuttle

Tom Hulce as Quasimodo

Jeremy Irons as Scar

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Maui

Bob Joles as Cogsworth

Judy Kuhn as Pocahontas

Nathan Lane as Timon

Luke Lowe as Flounder

Idina Menzel as Elsa

Jim Meskimen as Eeyore, Merlin

Piotr Michael as Iago

Mandy Moore as Rapunzel

Paige O'Hara as Belle

Raymond S. Persi as Flash

Ian R'Mante as Thumper

John C. Reilly as Wreck-It-Ralph

Phoenix Reisser as Mowgli

Anika Noni Rose as Tiana

Lea Salonga as Mulan

Lee Slobotkin as Peter Pan Natalie Babbitt Taylor as Snow White

Josh Robert Thompson as Grumpy

Kelly Marie Tran as Raya

Alan Tudyk as The Mad Hatter

Scott Weinger as Aladdin

Richard White as Gaston

Harland Williams as Carl

James Woods as Hades

Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis

Stan Alexander as FLower

Stephen J. Anderson as Bowler Hat Guy

Bill Baucom as Trusty

Peter Behn as Thumper

Eric Blore as Mr. Toad

Pat Carroll as Ursula

Bobby Driscoll as Peter Pan

Cliff Edwards as Jiminy Cricket

Verna Felton as Flora

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jim Hawkins

Robert Guillaume as Rafiki

Sterling Holloway as Cheshire Cat, Kaa, Winnie the Pooh

Billy Joel as Dodger

Charles Judels as Stromboli

Barbara Luddy as Merryweather

James MacDonald as Jaq, Gus

Bob Newhart as Bernard

Robin Williams as The Genie

Clarence Nash as Donald Duck

Adam Ryen as Cody

Chris Sanders as Stitch

Sarah Silverman as Vanellope von Schweetz

David Spade as Kuzco

Mark Walton as Rhino

Frank Welker as Abu, Joanna

Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck

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