Sunday, January 10, 2016

Short on Shorts: Will 'Zootopia' and 'Finding Dory' Have Short Films Attached?

One of the coolest things about new Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar films are the included short films...

For years, one of Pixar's traditions was to put a roughly 6-minute short film before each new feature, revitalizing the idea of the theatrical animated short subject, and usually we know of the short itself a little while before the main attraction hits theaters.

Since 2011's Winnie the Pooh, the current Walt Disney Animation Studios' features have had shorts attached to them on a consecutive basis, and we also knew of said shorts long before they debuted. Zootopia, their newest and 55th feature overall, looks it won't have a short film attached. Or maybe it does, and Disney has opted not to tell us about it for some weird reason... And the film's release is less than two months away! However, Zootopia isn't the only film that the Burbank crew are putting out this year.

The other is Moana, which is sure to be the "prestige" picture out of the two films, the one that is going to get all the hype and marketing love... Though they aren't slouching with Zootopia, that's for sure. I'm actually more excited about Zootopia, really, but you know the general public will go gaga for what appears to be another 90s Renaissance-styled picture. Me? I'm more about the buddy cop picture, because I just love seeing the studio try new things and not topping pigs with pigs.

Moana also happens to be a November release. The past three films - Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6 - were also November releases, and the shorts attached to each all premiered at Annecy in the summer before. So I think Moana will carry a short, and that very short will be announced sometime next month or during March, then it'll debut at Annecy in June. I think that adds up...

In that scenario, we at least get one short from the studio that year, but I would've really liked if Zootopia had a short before it too. Disney Animation is essentially making up for their absence last year. Had Pixar not scheduled two films for 2015 first, Zootopia probably would've debuted this past Thanksgiving... But perhaps it's good that the studio let Pixar take up the fall slot with a second feature, giving the studio a little extra time to iron out any kinks that could've been present in their animal picture. Also, Zootopia doesn't have the misfortune of facing a massive box office juggernaut like that... Ummm... Rodent picture that's current playing right now.

(On a side note, I was kind of thinking for a little while that if Zootopia had a short attached to it, it would be none other than a Wreck-It Ralph short, a little appetizer before the eventual sequel.)

But I find it highly unusual that Pixar hasn't said what short will play before Finding Dory, a film that just might become their highest-grossing release as it is a sequel to their most-attended film. It's five months away, you'd think we'd know by now. Pixar isn't releasing anything else this year, and also... Why would Finding Dory not have a short before it?

If it doesn't, here's my theory: Doing two features and one short for last year (I say one short because Lava was completed and shown at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival a full year before Inside Out was released) was probably a lot of work, so one feature for 2016 - a sequel no less - was "cooling off" work. Maybe they want to just do that for the year, and save the new short for Cars 3 in summer 2017. (By the way, that movie's director and writer still haven't been announced. Maybe with Finding Dory coming soon, we'll start to hear more? Because a teaser ought to show up before it, right?)

Do you think Zootopia will have a short before it? Do you think Finding Dory will have a short before it? Sound off below!


  1. I think Disney needs to attach a Donald Duck short to Zootopia, what would be better is if it were a spiritual successor to Der Fuehrer's Face and had Donald Duck working for Kim Jong-un.

  2. can not waith for the cars 3 teaser

  3. In my country Zootopia goes with "Bear Story" a Chilean animated CGI short film (oscar nominee 2016). It is a beautiful short (very sad as well). Hope in other countries can see it.