Second VR Short from Disney to Bow at SIGGRAPH


For the second year in a row, Walt Disney Animation Studios is set to debut an all-new VR short film at the SIGGRAPH conference, and this year’s title is a kite’s tale.

Directed by Bruce Wright, a kite’s tale combines hand-drawn animation and the latest innovations in VR to tell a whimsical tale of two kites, a playful puppy and a pompous dragon, who ultimately must learn to live with one another. Part of the third annual SIGGRAPH VR Theater, the experience hails from within the studio’s Short Circuit experimental program.

The program gives anyone within the Walt Disney Animation Studios the opportunity to participate in a blind submission and be selected for the opportunity to direct their short film idea. The program has produced 20 short films thus far, with a kite’s tale being the second VR film (the first, Cycles, debuted at SIGGRAPH 2018).

Wright has had a long career at Disney, beginning his association with the company in 1996 as a live-action visual effects animator at Dream Quest Images, where he worked on Armageddon and George of the Jungle. His Disney Animation feature credits include effects animation on Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Ralph Breaks the Internet and, most recently, Frozen 2.

The SIGGRAPH conference is an annual interdisciplinary educational experience for inspiring advancements across the disciplines of computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2019, the 46th annual conference hosted by ACM SIGGRAPH, will take place from July 28 through August 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“I’m thrilled that a kite’s tale is premiering at SIGGRAPH 2019’s VR Theater,” said Wright. “Virtual reality has the ability to bring us into new worlds of story, and touch the hearts of the audience in never-before-dreamt-of ways. It’s an honor to showcase our film at SIGGRAPH for the innovators and artists who are shaping the future of this medium.”

“We’re still on the cusp of a powerful new medium, and I cannot wait for audiences to experience what Disney has done with its second VR short,” said SIGGRAPH 2019 VR Theater Director Maxwell Planck. “It’s encouraging and exciting to see studios and artists with proven success in more traditional computer graphics contribute to the next evolution of storytelling, and further proves that the seeds we are planting are strong.”