When Raya and the Last Dragon arrives in theaters next month, it's not coming alone. Disney Animation will release their first animated short in five years, Us Again, along with the feature. Directed by Zach Parrish, Us Again is the first new theatrical short from Disney Animation since Inner Workings, released in theaters with Moana in 2016. The short will also debut on Disney+, though fans will have to wait until June as opposed to it being released as part of Premier Access with Raya and the Last Dragon on March 5th.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Us Again tells the story of an elderly man, Art, and his young-at heart-wife, Dot, with the pair rekindling their zest for life one magical night through dance. The short will have no dialogue with its story instead being told entirely through dance. Captain Marvel's Pinar Toprak provides the funk- and soul-infused score. Parrish explained that the idea for the short came from personal inspiration, specifically his own feelings about aging when, in his mid-30s, he realized some of the physical limitations he was feeling when it came to playing basketball.
"It made me realize that if I spent all my time focused on what I thought I was missing, then I was going to miss the beauty in the present, and that really became the core idea," Parrish said.
Parrish worked with dancers Keone and Mari Madrid, who he had seen in a viral video of the pair dancing as an older couple in 2016.
"Story is something that Keone and I are really drawn to in movement, and we love to do that without words all the time so that's why this intersection was so perfect," Mari Keone said. "There's something so magical, being able to bring that kind of relationship and make it physical and make it visual."
Written and directed by Parrish, Us Again is produced by Brad Simonsen (Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet) and is executive produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer Jennifer Lee.
The approximately six-minute Us Again will play alongside Raya and the Last Dragon when that film is released in theaters on March 5th. Us Again will also be released on Disney+ in June.
Raya and the Last Dragon will be released in theaters where available and on Disney+ Premiere Access on March 5th.