To celebrate 100 years of Disney, directors Dan Abraham and Trent Correy put together something special to honour the studio’s impressive storytelling legacy. Once Upon a Studio is a 9-minute movie on Disney+ that brings together 543 characters from over 85 movies and short films.
Where can you watch Once Upon a Studio in the UAE?
Once Upon a Studio is streaming on Disney Plus in the UAE. There is no free trial currently available for Disney Plus in the UAE, and you’ll have to sign up for it to watch it.
Once Upon a Studio starts at the end of the workday for Walt Disney Animation Studios employees, including the late Burny Mattinson, who spent more than seven decades working for the company. As the door closes behind them, none other than Mickey and Minnie Mouse come to life, check with Tinkerbell that the coast is clear, and yell out for all the other characters to join them for a group photo.
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As all the new and classic characters gather around for their group shot, Goofy, being… well, goofy, accidentally falls and breaks the camera. Disappointed, everyone else starts walking back inside. But could a musical interlude save the day and give Mickey the picture-perfect shot?
A magical Disney moment
The Disney characters making appearances in this short film are far too many to count, but some include Peter Pan, Moana, Elsa, and her sister Anna, Ariel, Winnie the Pooh, and Pinocchio. Almost everyone, heroes and villains alike, come to life to get their picture taken. (Ok, maybe not all the villains, Elsa makes sure of that).
Some voice actors recorded their parts for the film, but archival voice recordings were used for many others. In one particularly emotional cameo, we get to hear the great late Robin Williams as the Genie from Alladin.
The short film was made using a blend of live-action, hand-drawn animation, and digital animation, and the result offers a perfect dose of nostalgia for those of us who grew up watching Disney movies. From Snow White to the upcoming Wish, all of the studio’s eras of storytelling are represented in this sweet short.
Interestingly, the film didn’t include any characters from the more recent (and critically panned) live-action remakes. It’s almost like Disney knows fans don’t love those as much as the originals. Or maybe the photorealistic animals would have ruined the cute group photo with their lack of facial expressions.
If you grew up watching Disney movies, this little film will likely tug at your heartstrings. It’s perfectly nostalgic, and while watching it, I made several mental notes of classic movies that deserve a rewatch.
The film also serves as a reminder of how much magic and fairytale joy Disney Studios brought to the silver screen over the past century. It’s a beautiful ode to an animation studio and lovable characters many of us spent our childhoods watching.
What are the other critics saying about Once Upon a Studio?
Aldone believes the short is proof that Disney still “has something magical to offer.”
Schaffrillas Productions loved Once Upon a Studio and described it as a “labor of love” by the talented creatives at Disney.
Lori C. is an entertainment writer who studied Film and Television at University. She watches and reviews films and series from most genres, but some of her favourites include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and True Blood.