Animation is ripe for experimentation and Disney is capitalizing on the medium’s potential. The studio is bringing back its experimental short film program, Short Circuit, with season 2 premiering later this week. The series allows creatives to put together a team of animators and create an original short, with no other guidelines restricting them. That’s where things get fun.
The directors have nothing but room when it comes to their stories and techniques — except that they have to be under 4 minutes. Based on today’s sneak peek, this really pays off! Each short looks distinctly different, offering to bring audiences into the mind of each individual director.
Check out the trailer for season 2 of Short Circuit below.
Short Circuit Season 2
The trailer is short (which is pretty fitting) but from what we see, the 5 films are incredibly diverse in their techniques and approaches to storytelling. Their protagonists range from a young girl on a train to a dinosaur-riding barbarian, so we’re guessing they range pretty widely in tone too.
The Short Circuit program prides itself on this kind of innovation. Created in 2016, Short Circuit allows anyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios to pitch an idea and, if chosen, helm the production as director of the short. This marks the fifth anniversary of the program’s inception, with season 2 premiering on August 4.
Here’s a closer look at the shorts featured in season 2 of Short Circuit.
Kim Hazel‘s short is exactly what it sounds like: the life and times of a dinosaur barbarian. Except, instead of focusing on his wild adventures, the short will see the barbarian domesticated as he figures out how personal hygiene works. Hazel’s previous credits include Zootopia and Frozen II.
Director Jacob Frey has been with Disney for many years now, with his prior credits including Zootopia and Moana. With this short, he explores the idea of growing up and the bittersweet feeling of returning home only to find that things have continued to change without you.
Director Ryan Green has worked on many Disney features over the years, including Moana, Frozen II, and the upcoming film Encanto. His short follows a law-abiding citizen faced with the vicious crosswalk, continuously denying him the opportunity to make it across the street. Determined, if anxious, he is pushed to find his inner strength and get himself across that street.
Songs to Sing in the Dark
This short is an exploration of sound and size, delving into the depths of a cave to meet creatures battling for dominance, Songs to Sing in the Dark comes from director Riannon Delanoy, whose previous credits include Big Hero 6, Frozen, and Frozen II.
No. 2 to Kettering
Director Liza Rhea experiments with color in this short, which follows a young girl, desperately trying to liven up her dreary morning commute. Rhea most recently worked on Disney’s 2021 release, Raya and the Last Dragon.
More Disney Shorts Coming Soon
Overall, this is a good month for Disney animation lovers. While these innovative shorts launch all at once on August 4, another new crop of shorts will be available on August 11. This trio of stories is unrelated to Short Circuit and in fact features a fan-favorite Disney character: Goofy. The miniseries is titled How To Stay Home and, as you can imagine, was inspired by life in lockdown. The shorts, coming from award-winning animator Eric Goldberg, will feature Goofy doing all the Quarantine essentials — wearing his mask, learning to cook, and binge-watching TV.
Short Circuit season 2 will be available to stream on Disney+ on August 4 and How To Stay Home will be available on August 11.
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