Take a deep breath, unplug, and relax in a moment of calm with a new original series from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Zenimation, airing exclusively on Disney+ on May 22.
Inspired by the beautiful, iconic scenes across the worlds of Disney animated films, the 10 episodes of animated shorts offer viewers moments of relaxation and mindfulness. Zenimation releases on Disney+ at a time when families are looking for a relaxing, soothing escape, and it offers viewers an animated soundscape experience.
Each episode is themed. For example, the episode titled “Water” explores the sea with Moana, Ariel, and Elsa, while the “Cityscapes” episode visits iconic locations like New Orleans, Mt. Olympus, San Fransokyo, and Atlantis. The “Discovery” episode allows viewers to discover the world around you with beloved characters like Tarzan and Rapunzel.
These animated soundscape experiences were created and edited by David Bess, an editor at Disney Animation. The series had its origins at the 2019 D23 Expo, Disney’s largest fan event, and in its original form Zenimation were one-scene vignettes where only the sound effects could be heard.
“Why unplug from the music and dialogue? When I started looking at those scenes without the music and dialogue,” says Bess, “especially the ‘Try Everything’ train sequence in Zootopia, as incredible as that song is, when you only hear the sound effects, it’s almost startling to hear the rich layering of the sounds and think of the work that goes into that.”
Adds Bess, “We used scenes such as the moment in Big Hero 6 when Baymax and Hiro are seated atop this wind power generator, taking in the sunset. They’re not saying a word, but it’s such an important moment between the two of them. There is also the moment in Frozen where Anna and Kristoff walk through this icy forest. The characters are enjoying the view, looking around. Kristoff takes his hand and brushes the icicles and walks by. It’s beautiful.”
Take a step back, take a breath, and find your moment of mindfulness with Zenimation, premiering May 22 exclusively on Disney+.