Chris Buck

the small one

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. I can’t actually confirm that Frozen co-director Chris Buck had a hand on The Small One, an animated short released 35 years ago this month. Only his Wikipedia entry connects him to the film, noting that it was uncredited work. And he’s not included in any extended credits to be found for the production, which is known to have involved other new recruits like Henry Selick and Jerry Rees. In one interview, Buck acknowledges that he was a trainee at the studio starting in the summer of 1978 but that his first assignment was as an “in-betweener” for The Fox and the Hound. Well, maybe he still breathed in an area in which Don Bluth and his team were making this little-remembered movie. If it’s not really either his short start or his earliest work for Disney, which he’s worked for on and off over the decades, just skip ahead to another possibility I’m featuring this week. This is still a good time to look at The Small One, regardless. The anniversary of its debut will be December 15th, the date it arrived in theaters attached to a re-release of Pinocchio. The pairing seems a bit strange considering The Small One is about a cute little donkey, whose drawn appearance resembles the jackasses in the 1940 classic, and the latter is the stuff of nightmares. For kids […]



When it comes to group movie-going, it’s not always a question of who you can take to see a film (as we previously explored with Blue Is the Warmest Color), but who you should take to see a film. Such is the case with the week’s expanding Disney release, Frozen, which has “holiday weekend crowd pleaser” written all over it. The latest entry in the Disney princess canon (we are still partial to The Little Mermaid, but what can you do) has some familiar elements – Princesses! Dead parents! Fairy tale magic! Singing! – but it’s also nicely rounded out with some sassy humor and the occasional twist on a trope (let’s put it this way, one character very keenly scoffs at another’s chattery depiction of falling in love at first sight and it provides some very welcome respite for Disney’s romantic notions). But does that mean that the film has an appeal that will reach beyond the usual Disney fans? We think so – simply because there plenty of people you should take to see Frozen who will enjoy it immensely, thank you for making a solid holiday weekend film pick, and spend the next five weeks loudly asking strangers if they want to build a snowman. The magic of Disney! And also of getting out of the house and away from leftovers!


Jennifer Lee

Seeing as Wreck-It Ralph was Disney Animation’s most well-received movie in quite a while, the studio has wasted no time in getting one of its main creative talents to work on a new project. Today they announced in a press release [via ComingSoon] that Ralph co-writer Jennifer Lee is not only going to be handling some writing duties on their upcoming animated feature, Frozen, but that she will also be serving as co-director alongside studio vet Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up). Frozen is an adventure tale about a magical kingdom that’s suffering under a spell that keeps it trapped in a perpetual winter. Its main characters are a brave young girl named Anna, a burly mountain man named Kristoff, and a reindeer sidekick named Sven. The main thrust of the film’s narrative is said to be this trio’s journey to find the Snow Queen and find a way to reverse her spell, which of course leads to them encountering treacherous mountain passes, all sorts of magical whatsits, mystical trolls, comical snowmen, and who knows how many other examples of weirdness along the way. Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Kristen Bell and Enchanted’s Idina Menzel are already on board to supply voices.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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