Friday, September 22, 2023
Disney has unveiled the inaugural trailer for Once Upon a Studio, their upcoming short film commemorating a century of Disney magic. This heartfelt animated short is set to make its debut on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 CT on October 15.
Once Upon a Studio, described by its creators as a warm tribute to the studio, its talented artists, and devoted fans, kicks off with a live-action scene within the Disney animation building's lobby.
In the opening scene of the trailer, a young employee engages in conversation with the late Disney legend Burny Mattinson, whose association with the studio began in 1953 and lasted until his recent passing.
The trailer then transitions to a captivating moment when a picture featuring Mickey Mouse, hanging on the wall, springs to life. The iconic Disney character is soon joined by a remarkable lineup of beloved characters from Disney's extensive animated catalog.
This ensemble includes hand-drawn characters from classics like 101 Dalmatians and Beauty and the Beast, as well as computer-animated stars from modern hits like Zootopia and Encanto.
Additionally, Asha, the protagonist of the film Wish, voiced by Ariana DeBose, also graces the screen as the characters assemble for a special anniversary portrait.
During a recent press preview, Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee fondly recalled the emotional pitch meeting with writers-directors Dan Abraham and Trent Correy. “I couldn’t talk. I was so emotional,” she said, as Abraham added, “I will never forget that pitch. She made us cry, right from the start.”
The project boasts the participation of approximately 40 returning voice actors, including Paige O'Hara (Belle from Beauty and the Beast), Dwayne Johnson (Maui from Moana), and Josh Gad (Olaf from Frozen).
While the animation itself is entirely new, the filmmakers incorporated some archival sound, such as the voice of Cliff Edwards, who lent his voice to Jiminy Cricket in Disney's 1940 animated classic Pinocchio.