Short Review: “Us Again” Reminds Audiences That You’re Only As Old As You Feel

How old do you feel? Does it align with how old you actually are? If you’re over the age of 35, you can probably relate to feeling younger inside than you look. As you age, it just gets worse. In Us Again, the first animated short from Walt Disney Animation Studios to play in theaters in five years, this topic is explored through music and dance. Premiering exclusively in theaters attached to Raya and the Last Dragon, Us Again gives theatergoers an advantage over seeing Disney’s newest animated film at home through Disney+ Premier Access.

(Disney)

(Disney)

The short follows an elderly couple, the husband feeling too tired to use his walker to get out of his La-Z-Boy recliner while the wife still has the energy to go out. On a rainy night in the city, forced out of their apartment, they discover that they can be young again as long as they remain in an enchanted rain storm. With their renewed youthful bodies, they’re both reminded that you’re only as old as you feel.

Told entirely without dialogue, Us Again blends together animated pantomime acting with expressive dance. Employing the talents of World of Dance champions and real-life couple Keone and Mari Madrid, who provided the choreography used in the short, Us Again finds new ways to connect with a worldwide audience. The themes are universally relatable to most adult viewers, while the energy and colors of the animation will entertain kids.

Set in what could be any large city adjacent to a body of water, Us Again uses contemporary jazz music by composer Pinar Toprak (Captain Marvel), which is very upbeat and vibrant. Similarly vibrant is the city itself, with wet pavement reflecting back the colorful lights that shine from buildings and signs. There’s a beautiful dichotomy between the energy of the city and the music juxtaposed against the tolls our bodies take as we get older and the limitations that puts on your spirit.

Directed by Zach Parrish, whose directorial debut, Puddles, premiered last year on Disney+ through the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Circuit program, Us Again has a lot to say about life without using a single word. In an unexplainable enchanted rainstorm, an elderly couple is reminded of their youthful exuberance, a rare gift at a time when they needed it most. It’s beautiful and charming and if you can’t make it to the theater to see it on March 5th, it will thankfully make its Disney+ debut in a few months starting June 4th.

I give Us Again 5 out of 5 brown hats.