Once Upon A Studio premiered on June 11, 2023, at the Annecy Film Festival and will be released on November 22, 2023, alongside the feature film Wish. The American-made live-action/animated short film was created by Walt Disney Animation Studios and published by Walt Disney Pictures as part of the Disney100 Celebration.
The short film was made spontaneously in anticipation of The Walt Disney Company's year-long centennial celebration; directors Trent Correy (Zootopia TV series, Once Upon A Snowman) and Dan Abraham (Once Upon A Snowman, Baymax! miniseries) brainstormed ideas for around eight months during off-work hours.
To capture all of the past and present Disney animation projects, the short incorporates computer graphics, conventional animation, and live-action.
Once Upon A Studio was recently screened this past weekend at the Destination D23 Fan Event which took place at Disney's Contemporary Hotel, which is across the street from the Magic Kingdom. The audience gave the film a long and loud standing ovation after the credits rolled.
The 9-minute film will feature archival recordings of Robin Williams as the voice of Aladdin's Genie, Josh Gad as Frozen's Olaf, and over 500 other Disney live-action and animated characters.
Abraham and Correy stated that despite the large number of characters appearing in the short (both live-action and animated) they couldn't quite fit everyone they wanted given the film's runtime and the deadline of getting the project completed in time for the centennial.
Previously speaking about the film, Abrahman teased, "Yeah. We still, to this day, you'll see Stitch, and you'll see Ariel, and you'll see the Beast and that, but there's somebody out there that loves Johnny Appleseed. And there's somebody that loves Gurgi and Chicken Little, and they don't get to see those guys very much. So we wanted everybody to see their pals because that's what this was. It's a family reunion that hopefully you want to go to."
Correy added that it was really difficult to stop working on the project and that even though there are over 500 Disney characters in Once Upon A Studio, they wanted to include even more.
"And I'll say, it was really hard to stop wanting more characters in there. There was some point in the production where they were like, "No more, Trent and Dan. Pencils down." And we're like, "What about, just one more."
Once Upon A Studio should make its way to Disney+ following its premiere alongside Wish's theatrical release on November 22.