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Entertainment Weekly has provided an inside look at Walt Disney Animation Studio’s first ever virtual reality short film Cycles.

  • EW has released four images (seen in the gallery below), showing some of the landscape and concept art for the animated short, as well as the characters.
  • Cycles debuted at the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from August 12-16.
  • There are plans in motion for the short to also be featured at the New York Film Festival this fall, according to EW.
  • The short was directed by Jeff Gipson, who served as lighting artist on numerous Disney Animation projects, including Big Hero 6, MoanaFrozen, and Zootopia.
  • Gipson says the short was inspired by his childhood, spending time with his grandparents, and later helping them move to an assisted-living residence.

What they’re saying:

  • Director Jeff Gipson on the idea of a space telling a story: “The materials weather and fade, people hang pictures, furniture leaves indentations in carpets, and over time, spaces become characters of who lived there.”
  • Gipson on using his relationship with his grandmother as an inspiration for the short: “Growing up, I loved being around my grandmother and seeing old photos. Eventually, my grandfather passed away and we had to have the hard conversation, much like many families do, about moving her into assisted living. And eventually we put the house up for sale, and I remember looking over it one last time and seeing the indentations in the carpet where the furniture sat, and knowing that my name was etched into the back cabinet in the music room, and my handprints in the driveway. It was just like the homes that I go to in Los Angeles, except this home held the story of my family.”
  • Production lead Lauren Brown: “I remember every time he would pitch it around the studio, we would get people crying just hearing it. I knew something was really special about this one. We had eight core members that Jeff picked out, but on top of that, people would pop their heads into the room and check in, and we picked up collaborators along the way.”

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