More About Disney’s New Shorts Program

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From Business Week, this article offers a few new details about Disney’s shorts program. Among the tidbits:

* The budgets for these shorts are “$2million or less.”

* One of the six shorts in development, The Ballad of Nessie, is “partly an exercise in helping animators improve their skills at drawing fabric in a naturalistic way.”

* Another interesting item from the article:

There’s even a piece of this new program that’s aimed at employees who don’t draw for a living. By joining the “Shorts Club,” anybody from a secretary to a tech help-desk employee can gain access to a computer workstation in their off-hours to make a five-minute cartoon. These likely won’t make it to a theater. But they could help get everybody in the organization excited about what they’re doing.

And what would a mainstream article about animation be without poor research and misinformation. The writer of this piece obviously has no concept of animation history when he writes, “In the 1930s, Walt Disney pioneered the animated short as a way of keeping his animators sharp while waiting for the script for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to finish.” Wow!

(via Seward Street)


  • http://www.chadtownsend.com Chad

    “* The budgets for these shorts are “$2million or less.â€?

    Now is this on a per short basis? or is this for the lot of shorts?

    2Mil per short sounds excessive to me. I’d imagine a studio could get episodes worth of content for that much. Anyone able to answer this?

  • Steve Gattuso

    I think the fact that it’s Business Week explains everything. And makes me rather wary of any investment information they give…

  • http://www.mickeystrailer.com Tommy

    Haha. Silly writers.

  • http://itsthecat.com Mark Kausler

    The Roger Rabbit shorts I worked on cost much more than that! Roller Coaster Rabbit cost 8 million, mostly because they changed directors on the short and had to start over. This short was the Florida studio’s first completed project.

  • http://anibationfantasy2.blogspot.com Anibator

    When it comes to wasting money, nobody beats Disney.

  • http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com Jenny

    I’d add, without irony, that 2 million is a very realistic budget for a Disney FA short made entirely in Los Angeles, not excessive.

  • http://afrokids.com Floyd Norman

    Oh, my lord! Two million dollars?!

    If it’s traditional animation — we’re talking about pencils and paper. Plus, they’re not paying animators a fortune, are they?

    Board it — animate it — wrap it. This ain’t rocket science.

    When the hell did animated film making suddenly become so difficult and expensive?

  • http://blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com Jenny

    I think it’s likely the reporter for this piece misunderstood accurate historic information and kind of mangled it as shown here. What would have made sense would be if he’d written:

    “In the 1930s, preceeding the production of “Snow White”, Disney used some of his shorts as a training/testing ground for the much more sophisticated effects he wanted to get onscreen in his first feature”. That would have been true, although as far as which shorts were used in that way, “The Old Mill” is the only one I can remember reading about for certain–not sure if or what the others would have been.

  • Chris

    Well the short, The Tortoise and the Hare, was the first one in which lipsync was done to such a high standard and it really set the bar animating dialogue.

  • John A

    At 2 mil, we know they’ll animate the crap out of it. More important: is it actually going to be funny?

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com GagaMan

    ‘The Goddess of Spring’ was a short they produced to see how they would go about animating a realistic human female character, so I guess that could have been considered a testing ground for Snow White as well.

  • Mr. Semaj

    One source said that the Mickey Mouse short, The Worm Turns, was a test for the special effects used when The Queen transformed into a Witch.

  • http://www.christianziebarth.com Christian

    Can I join the Shorts Club?

  • http://thompproject.blogspot.com Chris Thompson

    Flowers and Trees is another short to test technicolor, Three Little Pigs was used to develope character, and there was definantly others but I’m not 100% sure as to what they were.

  • Daniel Mata

    Why do shorts have to be funny?