Us Again, Disney’s first theatrical short in 5 years, debuted with feature Raya and the Last Dragon.
Set in a vibrant city, Us Again tells the story of an elderly man, Art, and his young-at-heart wife, Dot. They eventually rekindle their passion for life, and each other, on one rainy, magical night. The short runs entirely without dialogue, relying instead on the power of dance to tell its story.
It’s absolutely beautiful, and feels deeply personal to watch – which makes sense, since Us Again director Zach Parish drew inspiration from his real-life grandparents to create the story.
“I realized that I had this dichotomy within my grandparents in my family,” Parish explained. “On the one side, I had a set of grandparents named Art and Dot, who the characters are actually named after. When they retired, they sold their home and bought an RV. They traveled the entire country, they went to every national park, they followed their passions, and they got out and kept moving.
On the other side, I had a set of grandparents who I was incredibly close with. They were a little more homebodies, especially my grandfather, who was a lot more sedentary. So with that dichotomy, I felt like I had the beginnings of a story. And I felt like I could tell a story about an older couple who showcase this dichotomy, and have this amazing fountain of youth experience.”
Parish also drew on his own relationship and struggle with aging to inspire Us Again.
“A few years back I started to feel some physical signs of aging. Now, I know that I’m not that old, but it really snuck up on me. I was feeling this desire to have my younger self back again, or to go back in time to a part of my life that I felt like I had lost,” recalled Parish. “And every year on her birthday, my wife would always talk about, “Oh, I can’t wait to grow up.” It really made me stop and think about my perspective on aging and where my focus was. I realized that if I spent all of my time focused on the past, then I was gonna miss the beauty in the present. And that really started to become the thematic premise for this film.”
Experience all the magic and emotion for yourself – You can stream Us Again now on Disney+.