On October 16, 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. This was the beginning of a legacy that has now officially lasted 100 years. October 16, 2023, marked Disney’s 100th anniversary, celebrating 100 years of filmmaking, storytelling, and magic.
Each Disney Park across the globe is celebrating Disney’s 100th anniversary in unique and special ways. From the Disneyland Resort in California to Shanghai Disneyland Park, Guests are experiencing a one-in-a-lifetime celebration.
Once Upon a Studio
In celebration of Disney’s centenary, Walt Disney Animation Studios released a new short film, Once Upon a Studio. This short film features 543 Disney characters from over 85 feature-length and short films released in the last 100 years. Once Upon a Studio was released yesterday, October 16, 2023, on Disney+ and Hulu. Fans could also catch the short film when it aired on Disney networks, including Disney Channel, Freeform, and FX.
We won’t spoil too much if you haven’t had the chance to watch the new short film yet, but in just 13 minutes, this film captures the true essence of Disney magic. The characters of Walt Disney Animation Studios gather together to capture a 100th anniversary photo, including Disney princesses, villains, and sidekicks, both big and small.
The film is dedicated to Burny Mattison, the Walt Disney Company’s longest-serving employee of 70 years. Burny even has a cameo in the film’s beginning, as he’s the last Cast Member to leave the studio. Mattison filmed his cameo in August 2022, six months before he passed away. The Disney legend was, however, able to view the short film before his passing, sharing his gratitude for the film and the company.
100 Disney Characters Celebrate Together
Once Upon a Studio isn’t the only Disney event bringing characters together. Disneyland Paris celebrated the 100th anniversary by welcoming 100 Disney characters to surprise Guests in the Park yesterday, October 16, 2023. The characters were anything but alone, escorted by 100 Disney VoluntEARS.
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Credit: @maine.disney, TikTok
TikTok user @maine.disney captured a video of 100 Disney characters arriving through the Disneyland Paris Castle. From the Castle, the characters and VoluntEARS continued down Main Street, U.S.A., dancing to the iconic Disney anthem, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.
Disney VoluntEARS are Cast Members who have donated time to Disney’s philanthropic initiatives. Many VoluntEARS donate tens to hundreds of hours a year to provide special opportunities for families and kids and give back to their communities. This event was a unique way to celebrate the Cast Members giving back throughout Disneyland Paris.
Some may think 100 characters are more than enough, but many Guests noticed iconic Disney characters missing from the Disneyland Paris celebration. Many favorites, including Baymax from Big Hero 6, Remy from Ratatouille, Piglet from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Bruno from Encanto, were missing from the 100th Anniversary parade lineup.
While many fans loved the tribute, several were sad to watch and miss their favorite characters. Maybe next time, Disney will host a parade with all 543 characters from Once Upon a Studio!
Was your favorite character included? Let us know in the comments below!