One Small Step by Taiko Studios is a beautiful short film by alumni out of Disney and Pixar, about a girl who wants to be an astronaut. Via Short of the Week:
Yes, yes it’s pretty standard stuff in a lot of ways, but the execution is quite exquisite. The use of a 2D style upon 3D models is reminiscent of Disney shorts like Feast and Paperman, and is no less charming here. The storytelling style of condensing lengths of time via montage has of course been employed across mediums and forms several times before, but its use here is similar in tone and emotion to the memorable sequence in Up.
The Disney DNA of the project is present in more than just its style. Taiko Studios is the brainchild of Shaofu Zhang, who worked at Disney for years and has credits on Big Hero 6, Moana, and Zootopia among other projects. He wanted to create a true international powerhouse in animation, and the studio uniquely straddles China and America. While much of the production of the piece happened in the studio’s Wuhan facility, the directors, fellow Disney vets Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, directed the film from the company’s Burbank headquarters. A recent profile in Cartoon Brew digs more into the company and the unique work-style they needed to develop to accomplish this.