Disney Reveals It’s Returning to Its Roots for Disney100

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Mickey Mouse sits on Walt Disney's shoulder

Credit: Disney

It’s official: Disney is unlocking the vault for its Disney100 celebrations.

As of 2023, the Walt Disney Company is 100 years old. That means a century of animated projects, from the days of Walt Disney’s Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit all the way to modern classics like Frozen (2013), Encanto (2021), and Walt Disney Animation’s upcoming release Wish (2023).

Oswald stands at the door in an animated short
Credit: Disney

The studio’s output has, of course, changed over the years. In the early days, its primary focus was animated shorts – from which we got legendary icons such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Today, it’s more focused on movies, with occasional short-form projects such as The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse and one-off shorts produced to premiere before the studio’s latest movies.

Now, however, the studio’s animators are turning their hands back to Disney’s origins. Disney just announced that it is restoring 28 classic shorts from throughout the studio’s history – featuring characters such as Mickey and Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Chip n’ Dale, Oswald, and more.

Pluto stares at Mickey wearing a hat in an animated short
Credit: Disney

The first of the “newly restored” shorts will drop on Disney+ on July 7, 2023. More will premiere on the platform through October 16. The shorts in question will range from “classics to lesser-known titles,” with Chips Ahoy – a  1956 CinemaScope short starring Donald Duck and his chipmunk rivals Chip and Dale – premiering last.

Disney restorations typically resolve visual and audio issues presented through the passage of time. The studio routinely restores its older media – sharpening details, recoloring scenes, removing film damage, and eliminating dirt.

Donald Duck looks at Chip and Dale carrying a miniature boat
Credit: Disney

This round of restorations was led by the Walt Disney Studios Restoration and Preservation team, led by director Kevin Schaeffer and creative advisors from Walt Disney Animation, including special projects and 2D animation producer Dorothy McKim.

Several members of the team were responsible for the latest restoration of Cinderella (1950) and the upcoming restoration of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

Cinderella's dress sparkles as it transforms
Credit: Disney

“We are thrilled to be working with Kevin Schaeffer and the Studio’s restoration team in presenting these beautifully restored versions of classic Disney animated shorts,” said McKim in a Disney press release. “Two of our top artistic talents have lent their expertise and passion to the project to make sure that the films look their very best and are authentic to the creative intentions of the original filmmakers. We’re very excited to be sharing these wonderful shorts with the Disney+ audience. They have never looked or sounded better.”

The first batch of restorations drops on July 7 and will consist of The Skeleton Dance (1929), Building a Building (1933), Bath Day (1946), Figaro and Frankie (1947), Goofy Gymnastics (1949), and Aquamania (1961). Check out the full list of upcoming releases here.

What’s your favorite Disney short? Let us know in the comments!

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