Short Circuit: A program for animation fans
“My job is to ensure that the animators who propose to develop a short film have the means to complete them on time, First explains the production manager of the entire project, Jennifer Newfield. We agree on a defined budget, a creation period and on the number of collaborators who can help them, then it’s up to me to do everything so that they can make the film they had in mind. Sure, sometimes there are changes along the way, but usually they know exactly what they want to say.
It’s open to all animators in the studio, no matter if they have 50 years of experience or 6 months, and it’s an opportunity to connect very experienced artists and novices according to their common tastes. . It’s great to see them help each other and create these mentor-student relationships. Another cool aspect of this project is that it allows people who are not strictly speaking animators to develop their ideas by finding the right team to support them.
The challenge is to manage to entertain and move in a very short time: the courts of this season 2 last between 90 seconds and 4 minutes. It may not seem like much, but it takes months, even years of work, because they all work on Short Circuit alongside their main job on feature films or series from Disney studios. “
Short Circuit: Dinosaur Barbarian
Animator at Disney studios since The New Heroes (released in 2014), Kim Hazel has been involved in the creation of several key scenes from the studio’s recent feature films, such as Zootopia Where Frozen 2, and she is currently working on Baymax!, the series precisely inspired by the hero of Big hero 6. In parallel with these projects, she imaginedé Dinausaur Barbarian, a rock and funny sequence directly inspired by the cartoon credits of his childhood: we are of course thinking of Denver the last dinosaur in front of his court, or even at the video game of Jack Black, Brütal Legend. “I think we share the same musical tastes!, she exclaims before explaining that she was lucky enough to be supervised by Randy Haycock, the creator of Princess Kida Nedakh in the animated film Atlantis to create this short. It was amazing to receive his advice, I love this character, and I was able to pay tribute to him somewhere with my story. I also took the ‘scribbled’ side of 1960s classics, like The jungle Book, whose outlines are not quite smooth. It took 18 months to create my short, in part because we had to stop everything at the start of the pandemic, then resume little by little, sometimes working from home. “
Short Circuit: Song to Sing in the Dark
“Two creatures of the night who live in the depths of a dark cave are fighting an acoustic one-upmanship battle.” Here is the pitch of this pretty short signed Riannon Delanoy, who had already created What a toupee for the first season of the program, broadcast on Disney Plus in 2019. Each story took him about a year of work, in addition to his animation on key scenes of Frozen 2 and of Raya and the last dragon. “I already knew more or less what to expect, as it was my second short, but here, the big change is to have been able to work closely with Eric Goldberg. He is the creator of the Genie. ofAladdin, it’s crazy to ask such an artist to work on YOUR film. He was preparing the new courts on Goofy at the same time, but he was very attentive to the evolution of my two creatures. In terms of inspiration, I mainly drew on Fantasia, because the sequence ofOne night on the Bald Mountain is my favorite of all the Disney animated films. This way of raising the tension, of building the stage according to the music … that’s exactly what I was looking for. “
Short Circuit: No. 2 to Kettering
With her story of a playful little girl who climbs aboard a gloomy bus, Liza Rhea offers to literally bring color back to the lives of passengers … and spectators. An idea that is both simple and relevant, which she has been able to develop in parallel with her work as a modeler: she is not an animator strictly speaking, unlike most other directors, but she creates characters or objects digitally. from the directors’ descriptions and concept art, bringing them to life in 3D. An essential process to find the final design to animate, which she has so far developed mainly at Dreamworks (on a series derived from the Puss in Boots and on Voltron). She was hired to work full time on an unreleased Disney feature film, which has so far been kept under wraps.
“Obviously, I needed more advice than the others, because animation in the literal sense is not what I know best. Besides, the court has changed quite a bit compared to this that I had imagined. Initially, my little heroine was getting on a bus full of passengers, but I was pointed out that they would all be very long and tedious to create, so I limited to the essentials. As far as the script is concerned, I love Merlin the Enchanter so much that it inevitably inspired me, I think about it in everything I do. “
Short Circuit: Going Home
This is one of the most touching shorts of this season 2, inspired by the own journey of its creator, Jacob Frey, who left Germany for California when he was hired by the studio to work on Zootopia (released in 2016), then stayed for Vaiana, Ralph 2.0, Encanto… He then began to imagine this story of a young man who “returns home”, and of which each visit is superimposed on another, revealing in passing the passing of time. “My biggest challenge was playing with the seasons like that, I had a lot of changes in textures, colors, it was a big job. As I work in Rhea’s same office, I asked her for some advice on how to create my hero. At the start, I would have liked more realistic characters, but that added difficulty, I completely changed my graphic style. Both of us were lucky to be able to shoot our lessons without a break , it took us 4 or 5 months of non-stop work. “
Short Circuit: Crosswalk
Relating the inner struggle of a passer-by who feels taunted by a red light, Crosswalk challenges by strong and original concept. Not surprisingly to note that its creator is not directly animator, but a “story artist”, attached to the creation of the characters, in particular for Frozen 2, Raya and the Last Dragon and Encanto. “We were inspired by stop motion to create this bubbling little character immersed in a setting much larger than him. I studied the work of modelers, creators of all kinds of miniature characters. I wanted a made it quite ‘tactile.’ I started working on these shorts three years ago, then I was absorbed by Frozen 2, and I did not come back to it until then. I think I am suddenly the slowest of the group? (laughs) “
Season 2, made up of 5 mini-films, has just arrived on Disney Plus. Its creators tell us about their manufacture.
They only have a few minutes to move with their very short stories, and they do it brilliantly: accompanied by production manager Jennifer Newfield, animators Kim Hazel, Riannon Delanoy, Ryan Green, Liza Rhea and Jacob Frey present their short films to us. Dinosaur Barbarian, Songs to Sing in the Dark, Crosswalk, No. 2 to Kettering and Going Home, which they directed for season 2 of Short Circuit, a program of short films offering the possibility to artists passionate about animation to get into directing, thus developing their idea from A to Z thanks to the support and advice of more experienced animators. They tell us more about their babies, on the occasion of their arrival on Disney Plus, and while waiting for season 3 …