WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS SHORT FILMS COLLECTION  [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD] 12 Celebrated Disney Shorts Together For The First Time! Loaded With Humor and Heart!
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes an extraordinary new collection of award-winning and beloved short films featuring Disney's ‘Frozen Fever,’ starring Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven and Kristoff, and the Oscar(R)-nominated ‘Lorenzo’ (Best Animated Short, 2004). The SHORT FILMS COLLECTION includes contemporary shorts starring classic cartoon characters, such as the ground-breaking 2013 Mickey Mouse Cartoon ‘Get A Horse!’ as well as celebrated Oscar winners ‘Paperman’  and ‘Feast’ . Enjoy them together for the first time in this must-own collection, with all-new extras, including introductions and interviews with the Disney Animation filmmakers themselves. "This clever collection of modern era Disney animated shorts is a must-have for any serious film fan." (Jim Hill, Huffington Post).
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 and 2.35:1
Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, English: 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Portuguese: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Portuguese: 2.0 Descriptive Audio [Descriptive Audio on Selective Shorts]
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese [on Selective Shorts]
Running Time: 79 minutes
Region: Blu-ray: All Regions + DVD: NTSC
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment / PIXAR
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: The Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection is totally awesome, terrific, breath-taking and very touching emotional shorts, as per example with ‘The Little Matchgirl’ and ‘Paperman.’ There are also mini-sequels to recent feature animation films, such as ‘Tangled Ever After’ and ‘Frozen Fever.’ But also television special tie-ins like ‘Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa’ and theatrical animation shorts for home video laughs like ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater,’ and a variety of musically-inclined animation shorts like ‘John Henry;’ ‘Lorenzo;’ ‘Tick Tock Tale;’ ‘The Ballad of Nessie’ and ‘Get a Horse!’ But the one thing that unites them all is their total passion for the animated short art form, also for pushing animation to brave new places, for experimenting in ways feature films are often unable, and the passion of Walt Disney Animation Studios and the equally awesome PIXAR Animation, who continue to produce animated shorts in an era that questions their value, relevance and importance.
Even the most stringent critics must admit that the Walt Disney Animation Studios has come a long way since the late 1990’s and most of the 2000’s, with a string of critical and commercial successes restoring much of the studio’s lost lustre. However, along with a healthy feature film division, Disney has also revived its animated shorts program, accumulating enough of them for a decently sized home video collection. The home video premiere of ‘Frozen Fever’ may be what lures a lot of casual buyers of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection, but the other 11 shorts on the disc are not to be missed. Disney has always pushed the boundaries of animation technology since the founding of the studio in the 1930’s, and the shorts on this disc continue in that fine tradition.
With all of the Animation Short Films Collection, you can either “PLAY ALL” in one go or alternative you can play them individually. But what is unique with these brilliant animation shorts is that you get a personal introduction from the people that were personally involved in producing these very unique and special animation shorts and they are as follows:
01. John Henry  [1080p] [1.77:1] [10:18] Here we are introduced to Mark Henn [Director], who talks about the process on how they came to produce ‘John Henry.’ This short is another animated retelling of the familiar American folk tale of the steel-driving John Henry and his famed competition with a steel driving machine. True to its folk origins, the early part of the short is a wonderful animated quilt chronicling John Henry’s early years, followed by more traditional hand-drawn animation for the competition. The hand-drawn animation looks deliberately rough, with pencil guidelines and scratchy line work peeking through, similar to the earliest Xerographic animation used in 101 Dalmatians. To its credit, the short doesn’t sugar coat elements like slavery or the way the story ends.
02. Lorenzo  [1080p] [1.77:1] [4:50] Here we are introduced to Mike Gabriel [Director/Writer] who gives the low down on how he produced this animation short. A wonderfully wicked hand-drawn short where the title character is a selfish cat that crosses the wrong black cat and earns a curse that brings his tail to life. What follows is an extended tango of Lorenzo and his own tail, and while the implications get surprisingly morbid, the brief pre-end-credits curtain call for Lorenzo, his tail, and the black cat ensure we know it was all in fun. The short is set so perfectly to a bought Tango CD and chose the first track which was entitled “Bordoneo y 900″ that it’s hard to believe the director Mike Gabriel didn’t commission the tune for the short. On a technical level, the innovation on display here is in transforming early watercolour paintings of Lorenzo into his animated character on-screen. Mike Gabriel says he is totally thrilled that you are finally going to view it this “purrfect” animation short.
03. The Little Matchgirl  [1080p] [1.77:1] 6:40] Here we are introduced to Dave Bossert [Artistic Coordinator / Visual EFX Supervisor] here Dave explains that this animation short was part of a project entitled “The Music Project” and also included is Tom Mc Dougal [Music Production Supervisor] who explains that the music is the star and that there was no dialogue or sound effects were needed. Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic fable brought to life by director Roger Allers with perfect hand-drawn animation and no dialogue. A desperately poor orphan girl sells matches in the street during the Russian winter with little success. Alone as night falls, she is driven to slowly burn her own product to try and keep warm, but each match she lights brings on a new vision of warmth and the comforts of home until the short’s inevitable end. You’d need a heart of solid stone not to be moved by this short. This animation short is a totally unique emotional experience.
04. How to Hook Up Your Home Theater  [1080p] [1.77:1] [6:20] Here we are introduced to Kevin Deters [Director/Writer]; Ian Gooding [Art Director] and Stevie Werners-Skelton [Director/Writer] who were all involved in this animation short. We find out that Kevin Deters is a big fan of the Goofy cartoon shorts and some of the original background drawings were re-used in this animation short. While some Disney shorts are experiments in storytelling or animation techniques, others are a chance to visit old friends again; with this one reviving the classic Goofy “How to” shorts. Shorts like this and ‘Get a Horse!’ nicely highlight the difference between Disney and Warner Brothers when it comes to their classic cartoon characters. ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’ updates the setting but retains the same charm and chaotic comedy of the classic versions. The short works specifically because director Kevin Deters and his crew don’t attempt to reinvent Goofy in the way that Warner Bros. keeps trying to reinvent Bugs Bunny and friends.
05. Tick Tock Tale  [1080p] [1.77:1] [6:02] Here we are introduced to Dean Wellins [Director/Writer] This CGI short directed by Dean Wellins feels a lot like some of the earlier PIXAR shorts, going without dialogue in a tale where inanimate objects come to life when people aren’t looking. Set in a clock shop, the short centres on a tacky little clock that is the laughing stock of all the other clocks in the store, until a late-night turn of events changes everything. ‘Tick Tock Tale’ is short on dialogue but long on beautiful charm. Dean Wellins feels that clocks have a distinct personality and that they used trainee animation artists and that they all did a very professional job.
06. Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa  [1080p] [1.78:1] [6:45] Here we are introduced to Kevin Deters [Director/Writer]; Dorothy McKin [Producer] and Stevie Wermers-Skilton [Director/Writer] and here we find out that some of the looks and personalities of the people mentioned were put into the elves. Another visit with old friends, this short is a spin-off from the successful Prep and Landing TV specials. Crackerjack Prep and Landing elves Lanny and Wayne are sent on a top-secret mission from Mrs. Claus herself, where they find risks and dangers in a most unexpected place. The existence of the Prep and Landing franchise is evidence of the peculiar sensibilities that draw people to be animators, because only animators could treat commando elves in night vision goggles assisting Santa as their own justification for making a film.
07. The Ballad of Nessie  [1080p] [1.77:1] [5:32] Here we are introduced to Kevin Deters [Director/Writer]; Stevie Werners-Skelton [Director/Writer] and Dorothy McKim [Producer]. The introductory sequence from the filmmakers reveals that this short is drawn heavily from a student film by co-director/co-writer Stevie Wermers-Skelton, who finally managed to bring the dragons she’d been doodling all her life to bring to the screen. This origin story of the Loch Ness Monster reveals her to be a gentle, sensitive soul driven from her original home by greedy land developers, while also underscoring the downside to the famed British stiff upper lip. The charming animation, wonderful music, and expressive storybook narration by Billy Connolly all unite for a bite-sized delight.
08. Tangled Ever After  [1080p] [1.77:1] [6:30] Here we are introduced to Nathan Greno [Director/Writer]; Mark Kennedy [Head of Story] and Aimee Scribner [Producer]. More old friends, this time from the feature film ‘Tangled.’ Ostensibly about the wedding between Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, the stars of this short are really the horse Maximus and the chameleon Pascal, who end up on a slapstick adventure when their role as ring-bearers is interrupted by an extremely inopportune sneeze. Maximus was easily one of the best characters in ‘Tangled’ (if not one of the best supporting characters in the Disney animated canon), and Pascal was somewhat under-utilised in the original film, so it’s nice to see them both getting a bit of time in the spotlight. The short is a hilarious six-and-a-half minutes of highly concentrated insanity, mostly at the expense of Maximus and Pascal’s dignity. One fascinating fact that is revealed, is that when they were involved in producing ‘Tangled Ever After,’ the actual wedding of William and Kate was happening in London, and they all tell us that they all had a lot of fun producing this animated short. Out of all the animation shorts in this Blu-ray disc, out of all of them, it is one of my all-time favourites, as it has so much going on and is very inventive, as well as a very funny cartoon and it is just a crying shame they could not of produce it in 3D, like the animation film ‘Tangled.’
09. Paperman  [1080p] [1.77:1] [6:34] Here we are introduced to Patrick Osborne [Head of Animation] and Kristina Reed [Producer]. One of the most innovative shorts on this disc especially on a technical level, ‘Paperman’ uses CGI to mimic hand-drawn animation beautifully. This Oscar-winning silent black-and-white short tells the tale of a man and a woman and their perpetual missed connections in a big city. In addition to being perfectly executed and entirely winning, the radical and inventive use of CGI in this short and the next one truly push the medium of animation in brave and wonderful new directions. I can only hope that an entire feature done in this style is on the way. To produce the ‘Paperman,’ they had to use a lot of experimentation to get it looking just right and when you view it, you can see how much love and devotion went into this very emotional brilliant animation short.
10. Get a Horse!  [1080p] [1.77:1] [6:00] Here we are introduced to Dorothy McKim [Producer]; Adam green [head of Animation] and old school Disney animation artist Eric Goldberg [Head of Animation]. Another innovative use of the medium, ‘Get a Horse!’ mixes hand-drawn animation with cutting-edge CGI for a movie-in-a-movie that’s a love letter to the earliest Mickey Mouse shorts of the 1930’s. Like those earliest Mickey shorts, ‘Get a Horse!’ is short on plot and long on animated monkey business, starting with a perfect mimicry of Uncle Walt and Ub Iwerks’ classic “rubber hose” shorts until Mickey gets thrown out of the film screen to turn into a 3-D CGI rendered version of himself. The playful chaos that ensues appropriately captures Mickey at his anarchic best from his early years. As with ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’ and ‘Get a Horse!’ it shows that Walt Disney Studios understands how to update their classic characters to bring them up-to-date without losing what makes them appealing in the first place.
11. Feast  [1080p] [2.35:1] [6:12] Here we are introduced to Patrick Osborne [Director] and Kristine Reed Producer]. This short feels like is a melding and updating of the living painting in ‘Lorenzo’ and the CGI-as-hand-drawn techniques in ‘Paperman’ to showcase how food reflects the different stages in our lives. The short centres on a very food-motivated Boston terrier named Winston and the way he and his owner pass through bachelorhood to marriage and what comes after. Disney Animation has always had a keen eye for canine characters like the title characters of ‘Lady and the Tramp’ and Pongo and Perdita of ‘101 Dalmatians,’ and Winston can happily join their company from this lovely and heartfelt short. This personally was my least favourite of the bunch of animation shorts. We find out a fascinating fact that actual puppies were brought into the studio and had several “Puppy Days” and were a great deal of fun, which you see a clip of the puppies running about.
12. Frozen Fever  [1080p] [2.35:1] [7:56] Here we are introduced to Peter Del Vecho Producer]; Chris Buck [Director]; Aimee Scribner [Producer] and Jennifer lee [Director]’ The runaway success of ‘Frozen’ guaranteed that we’d see the characters again, and thankfully this last short isn’t just a phoned-in cash-in. Like ‘Tangled Ever After’ and ‘Frozen Fever’ is highly concentrated comedic mayhem that wouldn’t have fit in the original movie without stopping the plot completely cold. However, it’s ideal for a short film, as Queen Elsa tries to fight her way through a growing cold to give her sister Anna a perfect birthday. The entire major cast is back for this short, with Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez also returning to provide a perfect new song to narrate the action. Disney could easily have shovelled out anything with Frozen emblazoned on it to capitalise on the properties incredible and on-going popularity, but ‘Frozen Fever’ is a self-evident proof that the shameful era of direct-to-video is definitively over. But one bit of information that is quite interesting is that they created two new dresses for the sisters, that look spectacular, plus they wanted the animation short to look a really beautifully visual storytelling and they certainly succeeded, as it looks totally amazing, but what a shame they could not have produced it in 3D like ‘Frozen.’
Blu-ray Video Quality – The video quality for the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection is, across the board, is totally outstanding and without doubt not a flawed bunch among them. The rough style sketch-work of ‘John Henry’ has been perfectly preserved. The fluid, freeform explosiveness visual dexterity of ‘Lorenzo’ is brilliant. The soft subtle colour-drained beauty of ‘The Little Matchgirl’ is stunning. ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’ is very impressive. The rich hues and absorbing shadows of ‘Tick Tock Tale’ is very charming and draws in the viewer. The vibrant red-and-green festivity of ‘Prep & Landin – Operation: Secret Santa’ is a total delights and the watercolour palette, plus the crisp and tartan patterns of ‘The Ballad of Nessie’ is very nice and charming. ‘Tangled Ever After’ is every bit as impressive as was the Blu-ray presentation of the animation film ‘Tangled.’ And with ‘Frozen Fever’ is totally impeccable, especially the colourful, vivid and wonderfully crisp images. Fans of these types of animation shorts could not ask for a more flawless presentation of the shorts, especially from the likes of the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and PIXAR that has been assembled on this awesome Blu-ray disc.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Each animated short in the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection features an excellent 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mixes which accompany the shorts are all quite wonderful with music in all of them weaving expertly through the front and rear channels and split atmospheric effects peerless where appropriate, especially with lots of sound gags with ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’ and the wonderful dexterity in the sound mix with ‘Tick Tock Tale’ and ‘Get a Horse!’ Dialogue in those shorts which contain it, have been superbly recorded and has been placed in the centre channel. Nothing will disappoint you and the sounds will be a total joy to what you experience sound wise. Likewise, voices are clean, clear and precisely prioritised within the already engaging soundscapes you can experience.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special feature: @DisneyAnimation: The Short Story About Shorts. Hosted by T.J. Miller [Comedian]  1080p] [1.77:1] [7:16] At the start of this special, we have T.J. Miller, who announces he is a so called “comedian,” boy this guy is a jerk and a total embarrassment and I so glad he is in America and not here in the UK and he is the animation voice of "Fred, in the ‘Big Hero 6’ . Here we are at the Walt Disney Animation Studios to look at the continuing legacy started in the earliest days of the Studio by Walt Disney, the Shorts Program is thriving today at the Animation Studios that bears his name, producing award-winning shorts that tell new stories and experiment with artistic and technical innovations. This latest chapter in the @DisneyAnimation series gives us an inside look at the process of developing and producing an animation short. We meet a few of the artists and filmmakers who make the shorts, and learn why they are such an important part of the fabric of Walt Disney Animation Studios. At the Round Table Panellists we have 5 talented animation artists and they include Mike Gabriel (Director of the animation short ‘Lorenzo’); Lauren MacMullan (Director of the animation short ‘Get A Horse!’); Kristina Reed (Producer of the animation shorts ‘Feast’ and ‘Paperman’); Kevin Deters (Director/Writer of the animation shorts ‘The Ballad of Nessie;’ ‘Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa’ and ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’) and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Director/Writer of the animation shorts ‘The Ballad of Nessie;’ ‘Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa’ and ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’). We get lots of animation clips shown, which include ‘Big Hero 6’ ; ‘The Old Mill’ ; ‘Flowers and Trees’ ; ‘Feast’ ; ‘Tangled Ever After’ ; ‘Frozen Fever’ ; ‘Lorenzo’  which for some unknown reason is shown squeezed of the aspect ratio of 1.77:1; ‘Paperman’ ; ‘How to Hook Up Your Home Theater’ ; ‘Get A Horse!’ ; ‘Prep & Landing – Operation: Secret Santa’  and ‘The Ballad of Nessie’ . But one fascinating part of this special feature, is the Group of 5 animation artists were allowed to visit the Walt Disney Animation Research Library and look at some of the rare animation original drawings and the animation cell’s, so delicate were the animation cell’s, they had a lady with a plastic instrument to lift each item, because they were so rare and delicate. So all in all this is a very nice special feature and well worth a look.
Sneak Peaks: Disney Movies Anywhere Promotion   [1.77:1] [00:40]. Disney Aladdin – Diamond Edition [Blu-ray]  [1080p] [1.77:1] [1:18]. Disneynature: Born in China  [1080p] [1.77:1] [1:14]. Anti-Smoking Campaign Video [1080p] [1.33:1] [00:18]. Disney Movie Rewards Promotion  [1080p] [1.77:1] [00:18]
Finally, Walt Disney’s Home Entertainment division is to be commended for not skimping out on stunning audio and the equally brilliant video quality, because in ‘The Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts Collection’ on Blu-ray. All the shorts are presented with the same high quality as the animated features get. Unfortunately, the only bonuses are short introductory comments to each of the shorts. It is understandable that animation shorts collection is not for everyone. However, this collection of the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and PIXAR shorts provides the ultimate and easy way to see some of these lesser known animation films. One can marvel at the endless variety of animation techniques and technology, while becoming involved in a dozen different amazing stories. With a wonderful visual presentation, and some awesome stellar audio sound mixes, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection comes top of my Blu-ray Animation Collection and especially from the Walt Disney Studios and PIXAR. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom