The New York Times have announced Disney's plans to return to making short cartoons for cinemas after a break of almost 50 years. Don Hahn is quoted in the piece as saying "The impetus comes from John Lassetter, who takes the idea from Walt Disney and 100 years of film history". Of course, he also takes the idea from himself and his work at Pixar, where Lassetter's been getting shorts out there with their features for a few years now.
The four shorts revealed to be in development are: The Ballad of Nessie, about the famous Scots monster; Golgo's Guest, detailing the close encounter between an Alien and a Russian frontier guard; Prep and Landing, which is a slapstick-festooned festive toon surely set for cinemas this time next year; and - best of all? - Goofy in How to Install Your Home Theatre.
It seems that all four are to be hand-animated, on cel, and reportedly with rather small crews - which makes the prospect sound, at least, rather more cosy, warm and human than the CG filler material knocked out by many of Disney/Pixar's rivals. This news says, pretty clearly, that the Golden Age of Disney is coming around again, whether that's true or not. Furthermore, I suspect the announcement of these shorts may have been rushed out through the pages of the New York Times to reduce bad press surrounding the fresh Disney redundancies. All the same, four new short films, each one of them likely to be pretty darn good... why should anybody complain?