So much is happening at D23 this week! There were an insane amount of Parks announcements today, including Epcot’s reimagined “neighborhoods” and the confirmation of the new “Magic Happens” parade at Disneyland. Fortunately, there’s still a bit of D23 left! And with that, we’re seeing six brand-new shorts at the “Short Circuit” panel!
These were all screened in the past couple of weeks at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood as part of a “Short Circuit” series. Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Circuit Experimental Films are part of a program where anyone at the Walt Disney Animation Studios can pitch an idea and potentially be selected to create an original short film with the support of the Studio and their fellow artists. Many of these shorts will also be available on Disney+ in Spring of 2020.
“Lightning in a Bottle” is directed by John Aquino, and tells the story of a boy determined to catch a lightning strike in a jar for a science fair project. It succeeds, beyond his wildest expectations, but he becomes shocked with the consequences of this unnatural accomplishment.
“Puddles”, directed by Zach Parrish, tells the story of a young boy who discovers that puddles can be portals to a fantastical world! But, he struggles to get his sister’s attention away from her phone to see the magic in the world around her.
Brian Scott’s “Elephant in the Room” tells the story of a lost baby elephant taken in by a boy and his father to work on their banana plantation. As the two quickly bond, the boy discovers that his new best friend yearns for her family and home in the wild.
“Exchange Student”, directed by Natalie Nourigat, is a showcase of watercolors and comic-style animation. Life is hard enough for exchange students at a new school. But as the only earthling at a school for aliens, the central character in this fanciful story is the ultimate outsider and must prove her worth to be accepted by her unusual classmates.
Jennifer Stratton’s “Zenith” follows a luminous, ethereal stag as it bounds effortlessly through the dark expanses of the universe, leaving a galaxy of stars in its wake. When it accidentally creates a black hole that threatens to devour everything, the stag is forced to make a decision that will leave a lasting impression.
And in Brian Menz’ “Just a Thought”, an awkward 12-year-old boy named Ollie experiences “Bubble Trouble” when his true feelings for a girl are embarrassingly revealed in the form of a physical thought bubble! The director took inspiration from his love of comics for the style of this short. The team even scanned actual newsprint to be the background of the short!
These new shorts look great, and I can’t wait to watch them on Disney+ next year! Have you seen any of these? Tell us your thoughts!