Disney has long been at the forefront of cultivating young artists and filmmakers. Their original series Short Circuit which premieres its second season on August 4th, allows some of their up-and-coming creators a showcase for their work. This season consists of five original short films from five different filmmakers. And while they do vary in quality, it is a breath of fresh air to get to experience new and exciting voices in the field.
WHO ARE THE FIVE FRESH NEW VOICES IN THE ANIMATION MEDIUM?
The five short films that consist of season two are helmed by Kim Hazel (“Dinosaur Barbarian”), Jacob Frey (“Going Home”), Ryan Green (“Crosswalk”), Riannon Delanoy (“Songs to Sing in the Dark”) and Liza Rhea (“No. 2 to Kettering”). They range in plot from a man stuck at a crosswalk to a girl on a bus who just wants to brighten everyone’s day… all the way to an echolocation symphony of sounds, a traditionally animated 80’s nostalgia-trip and finally to a heartbreaking film about the passage of time. While some are more memorable than others, all five of these filmmakers have created something special. And it will be so exciting to see what they have up their sleeves next.
WHAT ARE THE STANDOUT SHORTS?
For me, there are two shorts that come to mind that I had to watch over and over again. The first is Riannon Delanoy’s “Songs to Sing in the Dark”, a highly-experimental short film that blends science and art, sound design and animation styles. I couldn’t help, but think that Delanoy’s work here is exactly what we need in animation. It was the definition of ingenious and I would love to see this whole idea expanded into something more.
The other film that really blew me away was Jacob Frey’s Coming Home, about a man who journeys back home every year and must deal with the passage of time and the changes it brings. This piece is not only gorgeously rendered, but it tells a universal story that will hit home for every viewer. The profound storytelling Frey was able to accomplish in such a short period of time is astonishing.
ANY LESS MEMORABLE SHORTS IN THE BUNCH?
With any collection of shorts or anthologies, there are going to be pieces that might not be as memorable. Everyone involved in all of these movies should be commended, as they are all beautifully rendered. Each one has its own unique voice and style. And it is thrilling for all of these up-and-coming filmmakers to get to show off what they are capable of. With that being said, Ryan Green’s Crosswalk, while quite funny, seems like the slightest and least-realized of these shorts. If only he had a couple more minutes to really flesh out this idea, I think it would have left a more lasting impact.
At the end of the day, Short Circuit Season 2 will only take up about twenty minutes of your day to enjoy them all. I think anytime new voices are given the chance to share their vision, it should be celebrated. And while some of these shorts are a bit forgettable, just due to the sheer fact that they are so very short. It is unbelievably exciting to get to see such ingenuity and creativity laid bare, right before your eyes.
Short Circuit Season 2 will be Streaming on Disney+ Wednesday, August 4th.
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