While we could all sit here and talk for hours about which feature-length animated Disney film we all love, I find it equally interesting to watch their animated short films as well! Whether old or new, there’s always something particularly impressive about them, and sometimes a short can be just as effective as an actual film. Disney’s latest short, which was previewed before this year’s Raya and the Last Dragon before ending up on Disney+, proves that!
Us Again runs about six minutes long, but those six minutes are ones full of passionate animated craft and an emotional journey to experience. It centers on an old couple, with a grumpy husband and a wife who is very much young at heart. During a magical night, they rediscover their passion and love for dancing, as well as each other. While completely free of dialogue, director Zack Parrish uses visual storytelling very well to make a resonant story that takes you on an emotional roller-coaster while also giving you an uplifting end. We see the couple go through some initial struggles due to how to handle their age, but by the end, we see that their love has never died. I’m not the hugest fan of romance stories, but to me, this is how you do them right.
Moving on from the story though, the animation here is world-class! Disney has been no stranger to using the latest technology to their advantage to make their animation special, and Us Again is no different. This animated world feels vibrant and alive, with humans that almost feel real. It’s richly detailed, something we see with each piece of animated media they put out. The other area where this short excels is with the music. The upbeat, jazzy soundtrack is a wonderful companion to the story that is being told. Each move from the characters is matched up perfectly with sections of the music, and the actual dancing choreographed in this short is fast-paced and never boring. If nothing else, that’s a technical achievement that needs to be recognized!
I’ve kept this review short, partially because I’m reviewing a short film, and partially because I want anyone reading this to experience Us Again for themselves. It truly is something special, and while I have seen better shorts and more historically important ones for Disney as a company and brand, I can fully guarantee more than half of them don’t contain the emotional resonance that this one does. It’s six minutes I was glad to give my time too, and hopefully, you can appreciate it as I did!