Disney’s ‘Once Upon a Studio‘ Review
On October 16th, 1923, two brothers, Walt and Roy Disney, founded their own animation studio. Fast forward a century later, and there’s not a person in the world that doesn’t know the name Disney. From beloved cartoons to mega-blockbusters, Disney has seen it all, and made it all to boot. It’s got fingers in almost every pie in the entertainment industry, something that might become a cause for concern one day. However, no matter what happens to Disney the company or what people might think of it, I think people will remember what it created. Therefore, it seems only fitting that Disney celebrates a century of stories with this tribute to the past and future, Once Upon a Studio.
The premise to this ten-minute short is simple: after everyone at the Disney Animation studio’s gone home for the day, Mickey gathers everyone together for a commeorative photo. That’s really the whole story. The appeal is the fact that when we say everyone shows up for this photo, we mean everyone.
I’ll be upfront about this: I lost count of how many characters I recognized. Having grown up watching Disney movies on VHS, I had seen most of the characters appearing on-screen. It wasn’t just the big stars that everyone knows, either. Characters from animated films that never got the recognition they deserved, like Atlantis: the Lost Empire and Treasure Planet appeared. Heck, my jaw dropped when I saw the cast of the 2000 CGI film Dinosaur in the group photo. In other words, Disney went all out on this, bringing in everyone from its century of creation. They even brought in Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Disney’s first big success, as part of the group photo!
The one complaint that I had about this short is the fact that it didn’t include anyone from the animated cartoons the show created. There were characters who got their own animated series thanks to the success of their films, like Lilo and Stitch, Emperor’s New Groove, and a few more. However, the Disney original cartoons were absent. It’s a little sad knowing that we didn’t get to see the likes of Star vs., DuckTales, and The Owl House mingling with the movie stars.
Despite this shortcoming, though, at the end of the day, Once Upon a Studio is a love letter to Disney. Regardless of what I think about the corporate entity itself, I love the characters it created. Mickey Mouse is an embodiment of good and kindness, and the big business that owns him can’t take that away. Will Disney survive another hundred years? Who knows, but at least we’ll have the good memories.