Disney’s Us Again Review (Short Film): After 2016’s much-loved six-minute short Inner Workings (screened before Moana), Disney thought it would be a great idea (spoiler alert: it wasn’t) if they can just go and make another one of 22 minutes.
Enters Olaf’s Frozen Adventure in 2017, which was planned to surprise the audience who came in to watch Coco. People were more shocked (and annoyed) than surprised and all that because they had no idea of how long this short was going to be.
It’s been three and a half years since then, and the criticism has brought in a tremendous amount of changes to the way Disney approaches its short films sans Pixar. Us Again, a six-minute short film coming with Raya And The Last Dragon is the alternate ending many La La Land fans would’ve wanted Damien Chazelle to consider. And at first, I thought this might be a sequel to Jordan Peele’s horror film Us.
It’s the story of an elderly couple dealing with the ghosts of old-age. It’s about a guy, Art, who seems to be pretty tired of life, and his lovely wife, Dot, who is still full of life and hope. But then, on one magical rainy night, Art finds his lost spark back as he starts dancing his heart out with his wife. But, all of this is because of that magic rain (or is it) and once that’s gone, it’s not lively any more.
Why did I choose this story to connect with La La Land, you might ask? Because of two significant connections – the feel of the film and its ‘oh-so-jazzy background score by Pinar Toprak. LLL fans, let me take you back to the
‘what it could’ve been’ finale of the film. Just stitch Dot and Art’s story with Seb and Mia’s and see what you can get. An elderly tired-of-life Seb with still a very wholesome Mia trying to reminiscent how it wasn’t really a waste of a lovely night.
Directed by Zach Parrish, Us Again is what he rightly describes as ‘a fountain of youth story’. There’s not a single dialogue that helps to smooth the watching experience. Zach makes the best use of the limited time he gets speaking a whole lot of things without saying a word. Pinar Toprak’s music is as important a character as the animation is. Okay, I couldn’t help, but the musical notes during the dance remind you of Another Day Of Sun from La La Land.
The dance choreographed by Keone and Mari Madrid is so beautifully brought to life digitally by multiple storyboard artists like Louie del Carmen, Michael Herrera, Teny Aida Issakhanian, Chris McKane, Ken Morissey, Lindsey St. Pierre and Jeremy Spears.
All said and done if you’re wondering what’s the best you could do with those spare eighteen minutes of your life? Binge-watching Disney’s Us Again 3 times back to back should be your answer.