The three sublime Disney short films that made Wish possible

The three sublime Disney short films that made Wish possible

Paperman, Feast and Far From the Tree were an experimental laboratory for new animation.

You may have noticed if you’ve seen the movie or the trailer, Wish: Asha and the lucky star offers a whole new animation aesthetic. Disney’s centenary event film is not the first to try to renew the animated image since recent months have seen the succession of several feature films like Puss in Boots 2, Spider-Man: Next Generation and its sequel, or Ninja Turtles: Teenage Yearswho proposed a new style of animation halfway between modern technique and artisanal rendering.

Disney is not left out and is trying to align itself with competitors with the will assumed by the directors Chris Buck And Fawn Veerasunthorn to create an image reminiscent of a watercolor painting. However, faced with the technical challenge that this represents, the studio first experimented with this type of development on short films before moving on to the long format.

We have met the creators of wishwho told us specifically what were the three short films that allowed the animators to refine this new aesthetic before working on Asha and the lucky star. Note that all three are visible on Disney+.

There are over 100 hidden references in Wish: Asha and the Lucky Star

Paperman : Origamour

Far from being the story of an A4 superhero, Paperman tells the tender encounter between two characters. Exchanging a first electric glance on the metro platform, they lose sight of each other, before the young man meets the young woman again on the other side of the street, working in the building opposite. He then decides to transform his pile of files to be processed into an armada of paper airplanes which he launches in the hope of attracting the stranger’s attention. Many attempts will be necessary before a sweet conclusion.

Directed by John Kahrs in 2012, the studio chose black and white, reviving the entire heritage of classic Hollywood romantic comedies.

Feast : At dog height

Feastdirected by Patrick Osborne (chief presenter on The New Heroes) in 2014, takes the side of telling the life of a couple from their meeting to the founding of a family, through the eyes of the pet dog. This adorable doggie is characterized by a voracious appetite, first flourishing when he lives alone with his master, then undermined upon the arrival of his girlfriend who gradually puts him on a diet. Reluctantly, the dog ends up swapping the tasty junk food for bland herbs.

Here, the animation is very colorful, playing on the full chromatic range that the theme of food can provide. To emphasize the dog and his bowl, there is no need for black outlines: the film is constructed with flat areas of color, which give it its very particular style. The little hero stands out from the background and the human characters by playing with blur effects.

Far From the Tree : skip school

As tender and touching as the two previous ones, Far From the Tree is made by Natalie Nourigat in 2021. Highlighting a very pastel color, the short film tells the story of a young raccoon’s learning about life with his cautious and authoritarian mother. She sternly teaches him that a lack of vigilance can be fatal to him, to the detriment of the innocence specific to childhood. Having become an adult and a parent himself, the raccoon now has the choice as to the example he wishes to show to his little one.

Annecy 2021: Meeting with Natalie Nourigat, director of the Disney short film Far from the Tree

These three short films do not present exactly the same style of animation but were decisive in the studio’s aesthetic research for Wish: Asha and the lucky star. Disney’s centenary also celebrates the innovations of its animators and these short films demonstrate how far we have come since the very first Mickey Mouse films in the 1920s.

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