Disney fans all over the world are eagerly awaiting their first chance to see Once Upon A Studio, a new short from Walt Disney Animation Studios celebrating Disney’s 100th anniversary. MouseInfo was invited to hear from the creative team, and see an early screening of the short at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

ONCE UPON A STUDIOOnce Upon A Studio shows us just what happens after hours on the Burbank studio lot when characters from the company’s legacy of animation gather to take a group photo. The cameos come fast and furious as dozens and dozens of beloved faces cross the screen, interacting with each other in hilarious and touching ways. This is one you’ll watch again and again to catch every little thing. We were shown the short twice, and still can’t wait to see it again.

Co-writers and co-directors Dan Abraham and Trent Correy, and producers Yvett Morino and Brad Simonsen told us the trials and tribulations that came with pulling off something this herculean.


No one asked for this (but we’re so glad it exists!)

The short was conceived by Abraham and Correy between projects, without any prompting or directive. The team pitched to short cold to Jennifer Lee (Chief Creative Officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios), who was moved to tears: “I couldn’t talk, I was so emotional.” She insisted that the studio move forward with it right away.

Forty actors were able to recreate their voice roles

The team was careful to note that not only did every actor they reach out to agree to participate, but no AI was used in any capacity to make up for characters whose voices have passed on. Archival material, original cuts, and soundalike actors were used to help bring characters to life. Disney mainstay Alan Tudyk voices the Mad Hatter, while cut material from Robin Williams is used for the Genie, and direct sound from Pinocchio was used for Jiminy Cricket to preserve Cliff Edwards‘ performance. “We realized you only get seconds with each character, so they needed to look and sound exactly how you remember them. And that was very, very important to us,” Abraham said.

In total, 60 different people are credited with voice work on this short. Below are all the names listed in the end credits, alphabetized by last name.

  • Peter Pan / Bobby Driscoll
  • Jiminy Cricket / Cliff Edwards
  • Little John / Richard Epcar
  • Goofy, Pluto / Bill Farmer
  • Flora / Verna Felton
  • Prince Charming / Keith Ferguson
  • Hans / Santino Fontana
  • Olaf / Josh Gad
  • Judy Hopps / Ginnifer Goodwin
  • Jim Hawkins / Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Kristoff / Jonathan Groff
  • Rafiki / Robert Guillaume
  • Cinderella / Jennifer Hale
  • Scuttle / Jess Harnell
  • Cheshire Cat,  Kaa, Winnie the Pooh / Sterling Holloway
  • Quasimodo / Tom Hulce
  • Scar / Jeremy Irons
  • Dodger / Billy Joel
  • Maui / Dwayne Johnson
  • Cogsworth / Bob Joles
  • Stromboli / Charles Judels
  • Pocahontas / Judy Kuhn
  • Timon / Nathan Lane
  • Flounder / Luke Lowe
  • Merryweather / Barbara Luddy
  • Jaq, Gus / James MacDonald
  • Himself / Burny Mattinson
  • Elsa / Idina Menzel
  • Eeyore, Merlin / Jim Meskimen
  • Iago / Piotr Michael
  • Rapunzel / Mandy Moore
  • Donald Duck / Clarence Nash
  • Bernard / Bob Newhart
  • Belle / Paige O’Hara
  • Flash / Raymond S. Persi
  • Thumper / Ian R’Mante
  • Wreck-It Ralph / John C. Reilly
  • Mowgli / Phoenix Reissner
  • Minnie Mouse / Kaitlyn Robrock
  • Tiana / Anika Noni Rose
  • Mulan / Lea Salonga
  • Stitch / Chris Sanders
  • Vanellope / Sarah Silverman
  • Peter Pan / Lee Sobotkin
  • Kuzco / David Spade
  • Snow White / Natalie Babbitt Taylor
  • Grumpy / Josh Robert Thompson
  • Raya / Kelly Marie Tran
  • Mad Hatter / Alan Tudyk
  • Rhino / Mark Walton
  • Aladdin / Scott Weinger
  • Abu / Joanna / Frank Welker
  • Gaston / Richard White
  • Carl / Harland Williams
  • College Intern / Renika Williams
  • Genie / Robin Williams
  • Robin Hood / Daniel Wolfe
  • Hades / James Woods
  • Louis / Michael-Leon Wooley
  • Scrooge McDuck / Alan Young



Characters from shorts got love too

Everyone would expect to see Mickey, Cinderella, Elsa, and Peter Pan in a short like this, but eagle-eyed fans will be rewarded by keeping their eyes peeled for long-lost short stars like John Henry, Paperman, and the skeletons from The Skeleton Dance. Correy joked that not only was everyone crying from the emotion of seeing this come together, but Morino and Simonsen were crying for different reasons: “I think I saw you both cry when Dan and I kept trying to add more characters…just one more puppy!” (Yes, there are a LOT of Dalmatians onscreen and even Nessie!)

Disney’s longest tenured employee has a speaking role

Late Disney Legend Burny Mattinson appears in the short at the very beginning, symbolizing a passing of the torch after his 70 years of service at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Mattinson was hired in 1953, and worked until his passing in February 2023. Mattinson started as an in-betweener, and eventually served as an animator, storyboard artist, producer, and director for dozens of projects, including one of his most beloved achievements, Mickey’s Christmas Carol.


See it for Yourself

Once Upon A Studio premieres tonight, October 15 on ABC at 8/7 Central before debuting tomorrow on Disney+. You can also catch it in theaters with Wish starting November 22, 2023!