One thing that I always loved about seeing a Disney movie in theaters were the animated shorts. Sometimes having a ton of previews before your movie can feel like they would take forever. These shorts always brought unique stories, sometimes fun and sometimes touching. For the first time in five years, a new animated short will premiere with a Walt Disney theatrical release.
Us Again, a short directed by Zach Parrish, will debut alongside Raya And The Last Dragon only in theaters on March 5th. Described as bringing together “dance, music, emotional storytelling and inspired animation,” you can see in the image above that this will be a visually stunning short. Parrish is no stranger to Disney. The eleven year veteran was the head of animation for Big Hero 6.
So what is it about? Us Again is: “Set in a vibrant city pulsating with rhythm and movement, an elderly man and his young-at-heart wife rekindle their youthful passion for life and each other on one magical night. The years fade away as the joy of dancing propels them across the exciting cityscape of their youth and revives fond memories and ambitions. Us Again is told entirely without dialogue and set to an original funk and soul musical score reminiscent of the mid-60s.”
Choreographers/dancers Keone and Mari, frequent contributors of Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber, helped bring the project to life along with composer Pinar Toprak. The film is produced by Brad Simonsen (associate producer on “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet”), and executive produced by Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios. According to Parrish, the choreography was a big part of what makes this short work.
“Working with Keone and Mari was the key to making this film work,” said Parrish. “From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted this film to be music driven. And I felt that dance is a universal language that can translate into any culture. I loved that their dance style felt like it was made for animation, and that there was this genuine, honest and organic connection between them because they were actually a married couple in real life. The story itself was inspired by my own grandparents, who faced getting older in different ways, along with my own physical limitations in playing sports resulting from getting older and injuries. I started thinking about how someone might look at the world differently as things change and they grow older.”
So yes, Us Again will debut only in theaters with Raya And The Last Dragon on March 5th. So if you plan to watch Raya on Disney+ with Premier Access, you won’t get the short. Good news is, if you miss it in theaters, Us Again will hit Disney+ in June.
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios