Last year, Disney Animation released its first virtual reality short film, Cycles, the work of animator Jeff Gipson (Frozen, Zootopia). It was part of a new program called Short Circuit, where animators could submit ideas for short films with the chance of seeing them come to life.
The studio has announced that three new short films have been created as part of the program. After they debut on the festival circuit, they’ll find a new home on Disney+.
According to Oh My Disney, the Short Circuit program has produced three new animated shorts from select Disney animators and creators, which will debut at the Annency animation festival before heading to Disney+ in autumn 2020.
There’s Jing Hua (Flower in the Mirror) from Disney technical director Jerry Huynh (Moana, Ralph Breaks the Internet); Just a Thought by animator Brian Menz (Big Hero 6, Bolt, Coraline); and Exchange Student by Disney story artist and professional comics artist Natalie Nourigat (Deadpool).
In a statement (as reported by Cartoon Brew), the studio said the goal of Short Circuit is to find and encourage new voices within the company, as well as take both technological and narrative risks (makes sense that it started with Cycles, as it was an animated short that used virtual reality to explore 50 years of life in a single house).
The program, which launched in 2016, is similar to Pixar’s Spark Shorts, which have featured animated shorts such as Purl and Kitbull. However, while Spark Shorts have typically been released on YouTube, Disney is putting its new shorts on its new streaming platform. According to Cartoon Brew, at least 20 creators have already started or completed work on their own shorts for the program.