“There’s something special about dinner.” According to director Patrick Osborne, that’s the simple inspiration for the charming new Walt Disney Animation Studios short Feast that debuts in front of Big Hero 6 this Friday, November 7.
With its graphic shapes and bright colors, Feast, as the title suggests, is a tale about food. But it’s also a love story and a life story experienced through canine eyes, as peppy pup Winston accompanies his human on a relationship roller coaster. “It is one of the first actual shorts done at Disney through our new shorts program,” Patrick says. “Over the past couple years, we’ve had shorts go in front of movies and it became clear that that was something that the studio wanted to keep doing.”
The seven-year Walt Disney Animation Studios animator’s main source of inspiration for the short was the app 1 Second Everyday—albeit with a twist. In describing the idea, Patrick adds, “It felt like maybe we could get a dog under the table and show his life with this new family and kind of let the human life be in the background.”
The concept for the short was simple, but the planning was complex. “The first couple iterations ended up being more conventional, camera-wise,” Patrick notes. “It wasn’t until we came back to the focus of the pitch that we realized food should be the center of every shot.” The team chose iconic favorites like pepperoni pizza—as opposed to a barbeque chicken pizza, for instance. Everything had to be boiled down to its most essential form. “You want to tell as much story as you can in as little time as possible,” Feast production designer Jeff Turley explains.
As Winston joins the dogs of Disney past (and future), Patrick reflects on the influences of what’s come before. “There’s this idea of a story that can be told through pantomime, that doesn’t need the words at all,” he continues. “It’s all part of a Disney tradition: You can show it to people and they can connect to it in any language.”
Feast’s epicurean storyline aptly transcends language. After all, what’s more universal than food?