Bowled Over


There's a six-minute animated short called "Feast" showing before Disney's Big
Hero 6
, which opens this weekend, and I'm not being insensitive to the cost of movie tickets when I say it's worth the price of admission all by itself.


Winston, a small gray-and-white terrier, at a food bowl full of kibble
Screencap © 2014 Disney Enterprises.

Luckily, Big Hero 6 is good enough that you don't really have to test that premise,
but this little not-so-shaggy dog story really is a treat. "Feast" was directed by Patrick Osborne, head of animation on the acclaimed, Oscar-winning 2012 Disney short "Paperman" and co-head of animation on Big Hero 6, from which he was allowed to take a sabbatical to produce "Feast" as part of Disney Animation's Spark program.
It focuses on a Boston terrier named Winston and the food he enjoys with his person, their life together glimpsed almost exclusively from a sort of "bowl's-eye view" that places the gleefully gluttonous Winston center stage. You needn't be a dog lover, I think, to be moved by their bond.

"Feast" is another in a growing line of shorts and features, from 2012's Wreck-It
Ralph
and "Paperman" to 2013's Mickey Mouse meta-mashup "Get a Horse" and the Frozen juggernaut to Big Hero 6 itself, marking a renaissance at Disney Animation since John Lasseter was named its chief creative officer in addition to his duties guiding Pixar. While I still believe that 2009's The Princess and the Frog was terribly underrated and I'd love to see a return to traditional line animation, there's no denying that Walt's house is turning out some exciting, moving, creative work worthy of the Disney name in its best light.

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