Walt Disney Short Films Collections

Walt Disney Animation Studios: Short Films Collection | Rating: 7.9 / 11 |

Release Date: August 18, 2015

It’s hard to give a rating to a collection of works as some shine more brightly than others, but as a whole the Walt Disney Short Films Collection doesn’t entirely satisfy. While these twelve shorts do include a little something for everyone, that leaves plenty of room for boredom when a short that isn’t your cup of tea starts.

Let’s begin with the highlights: John Henry, Tangled Ever After, Paperman and Feast. Each of these shorts is to be appreciated for very unique reasons. John Henry showcases the classic hand drawn Disney animation style, but without the final polish. The non-erased pencil lines provide character to John’s story and add to the Mary Blair-inspired patch work quilt styling of the piece. Pair that animation with some delightful gospel numbers, much like ones heard in 1997’s Hercules, and you’ll finish this short begging for more. Tangled Ever After is just comedy gold from start to finish and the perfect teaser for the Tangled television series. Then you have Paperman and Feast, the only two shorts on this collection to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Paperman for its brilliance in developing new animation techniques while depicting the perfect urban fairytale; Feast because, well, who doesn’t want to watch human life through the eyes of a sympathetic-yet-very-hungry dog?

Then you’ve got a few take-it-or-leave-it short options: Tango, Tick Tock Tale, The Ballad of Nessie and Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa. All four of which could be appropriately summed up as “cute” with added points for various accent marks. For example, the use of Scottish tartans in the background imagery during The Ballad of Nessie was subtle and brilliant. And, of course, who wouldn’t want to hear Betty White as Mrs. Clause (Prep & Landing)?

Other than that, the main excitement of the Short Films Collection came from all the filmmaker introductions before their respective short, often full of production insight (you’ll definitely want to select ‘on’ when the disc prompts you). Maybe in the future Disney will release a more extended interview with each of those filmmakers, the behind-the-scenes process is often more fascinating than the short itself.  For now, this 79 minute collection will have to do.