In 2023, The Walt Disney Company celebrated its 100th anniversary. It was founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy Disney and went on to become one of the biggest and most acclaimed companies on the planet. Disney pulled out all the stops to mark the occasion, and it all culminated in a nostalgia bomb of a short film called Once Upon a Studio.
The short debuted at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 11, 2023. A few months later, everyone got a chance to see the short when it debuted on ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney on October 15, 2023. The short then made its way to Disney+, but if you didn’t have a subscription, there was no other way to watch it.
That changed this week when Walt Disney Animation Studios put the full short on its YouTube channel. If you didn’t get a chance to see it live on ABC and don’t have a Disney+ account, you can now watch it for free as many times as you like:
Once Upon a Studio features 543 characters from Disney movies, old and new, as they gather to take a group picture for the 100th anniversary. Mickey Mouse leads the charge while Goofy is tasked with taking the photo. The short film was written and directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy and produced by Yvett Merino and Bradford Simonsen.
Whether or not you have a deep affinity for Disney’s animated movies, Once Upon a Studio is a clever and wildly impressive celebration of the studio’s storied history.
If nothing else, it’s worth watching to hear Robin Williams as Genie from Aladdin one last time. After getting permission from his estate, the filmmakers sifted through hours of unused outtakes from the actor’s recording sessions for Aladdin to find the perfect clip for his appearance in the short alongside Josh Gad’s Olaf (via Entertainment Weekly).