Before watching Disney’s newest film, Frozen, moviegoers will get a chance to see the newest short film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, “Get a Horse!” The film takes you back in time with Disney’s most beloved characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The film brings back the classic black-and-white, hand-drawn animation and follows Mickey, Minnie Mouse, and their friends Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow as they enjoy a wagon ride that gets interrupted when Peg-Leg Pete shows up and tries to run them off the road.
I had a chance to sit down with the director of the film, Lauren MacMullen, who knew she wanted Mickey Mouse as the star of her film, “For me, immediately, I start thinking of the earliest era of Mickey because it has this freshness, and light. And it’s actually an era of animation that I really love.”
Although the film brings you back to those early eras, the hand-drawn animation is all brand new. As Eric Goldberg, an animator in the film, told me, making new 2D animation look older isn’t that easy.
“We added gate weave, we have dust, scratches, ink blobs, gloom around the blacks to make it look like over exposed high contrast film, and we even went forward and did a mistake pass,” said Goldberg
But even though all of the animation is new, there is still a classic element that still left me with chills after watching the short. The voice of Mickey Mouse is Walt Disney himself.
“We had our editorial staff take all the shorts from 1928 through 1946 and pull all of Walt’s dialogue from the shorts. Sometimes it was just a word or a line. Then we changed up the reels a little bit just to make sure that we could stay, have it authentic to Walt’s voice,” said MacMullen. “With the exception of one word, um, that we couldn’t find the word ‘red’ anywhere. So we had our associate editor spend about two and a half weeks, and pulled an R E D from three different places of Walt’s voices and made the word ‘red.’”
And if Walt’s voice isn’t surprise enough, the film also gives us something we’ve never seen from Walt Disney Animation Studios ever before. Without giving anything away, I will tell you that the film uses both 2D and 3D animation. It’s a mix of hand drawn animation and computer graphic animation that will have you watching in amazement.
If you haven’t had a chance to get out and see Frozen or “Get a Horse!” I encourage you take the time to do so. But for now I’ll leave you with a clip from “Get a Horse!”