Water tower with Mickey ears

New “Once Upon A Studio” Released From Disney

Once Upon a Studio is a new 9-minute animated short film released by Walt Disney Animation Studios in October 2023 to celebrate the studio’s 100th anniversary. The short film features beloved Disney characters coming to life in the Roy E. Disney Animation Building for a celebratory group photo. It was directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy.

Plot Summary

  • The short film begins at the end of a workday at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California. Legendary Disney animator Burny Mattinson is the last to leave the building.
  • After Mattinson departs, the Disney characters in the paintings and posters covering the studio’s walls start to come to life.
  • Mickey Mouse emerges from a poster and calls for all the characters to gather for a group photo to celebrate the studio’s 100th anniversary.
  • What follows is a joyful reunion as 543 Disney characters from over 85 films, both old and new, come together.

Highlights of the Disney Characters Featured

The short features an impressive array of Disney characters, including:

  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy
  • Snow White, Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Dopey
  • Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket
  • Cinderella, Prince Charming
  • Alice, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit
  • Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy Darling
  • Baloo, King Louie, Mowgli
  • Simba, Timon, Pumbaa
  • Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder
  • Belle, Beast
  • Aladdin, Genie, Jasmine
  • Pocahontas, Meeko
  • Woody, Buzz Lightyear
  • Mulan, Mushu
  • Tiana, Louis
  • Rapunzel, Pascal
  • Anna, Elsa, Olaf
  • Moana, Maui
  • Mirabel, Antonio, Bruno

And many more! It’s a nostalgic blast seeing so many favorite characters together.


Robin Williams’ voice returns as the Genie from “Aladdin” in the new short film, using archival recordings. The filmmakers got approval from his estate to use his original voice tracks. The short film features 543 characters from 85 feature and short films, all recreated without the use of AI. The project took over eight months to complete and includes the voices of at least 40 original voice guests including Jodi Benson (Ariel), Jeremy Irons (Scar), Idina Menzel (Elsa), and Kristen Bell (Anna).

Review of Once Upon a Studio

  • The short film is beautifully animated, seamlessly combining hand-drawn 2D animation with modern 3D CGI animation.
  • It’s joyful and emotional to see the characters interacting, like Donald Duck and Flash from Zootopia.
  • The score features the iconic theme songs and music from the characters’ original films, adding to the nostalgia.
  • The ending scene with Mickey looking into Walt Disney’s office is especially poignant.
  • Overall, Once Upon a Studio is a magnificent and heartwarming celebration of Disney’s 100-year legacy in animated filmmaking. It’s a must-watch for any Disney fan.

Once Upon a Studio is now streaming on Disney+ and is an unmissable treat, bringing together almost a century of cherished Disney characters and memories.