Why Are Disney Short Films So Successful?

From hungry puppies to brave little clocks, Disney’s short films are both entertaining and heartwarming. For years, Disney has kept us amused with their humorous, and at times, tear-jerking mini movies. Disney’s films have the uncanny ability to deliver, time after time.

The question is, how does Disney do it?

What’s their special recipe? Through extensive and dangerous research, as well as years of analyzation, I believe I have finally discovered the answer. In full disclosure, I shall now pass this information onto you.

Disney’s short films pull on your heart strings.


An important aspect of storytelling is finding a way to make your audience care. Disney does a great job at this. The Little Match Girl is a perfect example. We see a little girl who lives on the streets, trying to sell matches and time after time, we watch her get ignored.

An important aspect of storytelling is finding a way to make your audience care.

This causes us to instantly sympathize with her. That night, she sits alone in the cold, using the very matches she tried to sell in attempts at warming herself. With each match she lights, she imagines a better life – one that’s warmer and involves someone who loves her.

Impressively, the film involves absolutely no dialogue. Without uttering a word, the character of the little girl draws sympathy from us as the viewer. I can personally say, I almost cried watching this film.

Each film has a creative storyline. 

Disney has another thing going for them  — they know how to tell a story. They’re also able to tell a wide variety of stories. Some of their short films are fun and upbeat with slapstick humor. Get A Horse is a perfect example of classic, slapstick humor. 

Presto is another example. Disney also knows how to tell a dramatic story as well, one of them being Paperman. Once again, using no dialogue, we are drawn into the story and the characters  almost instantly becoming immersed in what’s happening.

One of my favorites would be Feast, the story about a dog and his owner. We see the ups and downs of the owner’s life through his dog’s eyes. The film uses food to creatively push the story.

Disney uses various animation styles. 


Disney uses a wide variety of animation style. Disney isn’t afraid to try different animation techniques and this results in a various amount of film styles. If you were to watch Paperman and then were to watch Piper, they look like two very separate films. Disney’s animation consistently proves itself to be cutting edge. Their short films are the perfect opportunities for them to try out new animation techniques.

Video production school attendee Evan!Christine Roe is a 20-year-old Digital Marketing/Production apprentice at The Center for Creative Media, who also enjoys editing, photography, and writing. She is from the hockey-loving, maple syrup drinking, ice-cold land of Canada — though ironically hates both hockey and snow. Christine’s long-term goal is to become a missionary and using her gifts and abilities to draw people closer to God.

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