Star Wars Visions was the unsung hit of the 2021 Disney+ lineup, so fans should be hyped to know that the anthology series is coming back in 2023 with 9 new shorts from 9 new studios! The series will premiere on Disney+ on Star Wars Day, May 4th 2023.
Volume 1 of Visions features solely Japanese animation studios, but this year, the 9 studios involved come from 9 different countries:
- El Guiri (Spain)
- Cartoon Saloon (Ireland)
- Punkrobot (Chile)
- Aardman (United Kingdom)
- Studio Mir (South Korea)
- Studio La Cachette (France)
- 88 Pictures (India)
- D’art Shtajio (Japan)
- Triggerfish (South Africa)
All of the studios worked with Lucasfilm to create and and craft unique stories that both incorporate elements of animation and storytelling that is unique to each studios’ DNA and feel authentically Star Wars.
Below are the episode titles and a little about their creators for each of the 9 shorts:
Studio: El Guiri
Writer-director: Rodrigo Blaas
Rodrigo Blaas is an Emmy Award®-winning director who has spent more than 20 years in animation. After co-founding Stromboli Animation in 1997, Blaas joined Blue Sky Studios in 2000, working on the feature film Ice Age, before transitioning to Pixar Animation Studios. There, he worked on such projects as Finding Nemo (2003), The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), and Wall-E (2008) and on the Oscar®-nominated short film La Luna (2011). More recently, Blaas partnered with Guillermo del Toro to develop the award-winning series Trollhunters, served as creative director for Mikros Animation Paris and, in 2021, created El Guiri Studios in Madrid with his partner, Cecile Hokes. He also wrote and directed 2009’s award-winning short film Alma.
Title: “Screecher’s Reach”
Studio: Cartoon Saloon
Director: Paul Young
Paul Young is a co-founder of Cartoon Saloon, an IFTA winner and Oscar®, Emmy® and BAFTA nominee. He produced the animated features My Father’s Dragon, WolfWalkers, The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner as well as award-winning TV series including Puffin Rock, Dorg Van Dango, and Viking Skool.
Title: “In the Stars”
Writer-director: Gabriel Osorio
Gabriel Osorio majored in Fine Arts at Universidad de Chile, later specializing in 3D animation. After working in commercials, movies and television series, he founded Punkrobot Studio. Since 2008, he has directed projects for children’s television including Flipos, Muelin y Perlita, Soccer Girls, and television spots. In 2016, his short film Bear Story became the first Latin American project to win an Oscar® in the animated short category.
Title: “I Am Your Mother”
Director: Magdalena Osinska
Magdalena Osinska is an award-winning director who has been with Aardman for eight years. She has directed stop-motion, CGI, 2D and live-action commercials including Wallace & Gromit’s “The Great Sofa Caper” and “Share the Orange.” Osinska directed development of the children’s series Joyets and has also directed films including Spirits of the Piano and Zbigniev’s Cupboard. A graduate of the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK, as well as the Polish Film School in Lodz and Art College in Warsaw, Osinska is currently developing the feature film Jasia, based on her grandmother’s memories of WWII Poland.
Title: “Journey to the Dark Head”
Studio: Studio Mir
Director: Hyeong Geun Park
Rising star Hyeong Geun Park had already made a name for himself when he entered the Korean animation industry in 2017, thanks to his strong drawing and animation sensibilities. He has directed animation for dozens of cinematic game trailers and has since expanded into animated series, working on projects including Dota: Dragon’s Blood: Book 3 (2022) and Lookism (2022). Journey to the Dark Head is the first title he has executive produced from start to finish.
Title: “The Spy Dancer”
Studio: Studio La Cachette
Writer-director: Julien Chheng
Julien Chheng is CEO of Studio La Cachette, an Emmy Award®-winning French animation studio he co-founded in 2014 with fellow Gobelins school’s alumni Oussama Bouacheria and Ulysse Malassagne. Chheng was trained in visual development at Disney and has worked as a character animator on acclaimed 2D animated features The Rabbi’s Cat, Mune, and the Academy Award®-nominated Ernest and Celestine. In 2021, he won an Emmy Award® as animation executive producer of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, for which he also served as animation supervisor. In 2022, Chheng directed with Jean-Christophe Roger the Cesar-nominated feature Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia.
Title: “The Bandits of Golak”
Studio: 88 Pictures
Director: Ishan Shukla
Ishan Shukla started his career as a CG artist in Singapore. For more than a decade, he spearheaded projects ranging from TV commercials to series and music videos. His 2016 animated short, “Schirkoa,” was long listed for the Academy Awards® after receiving dozens of awards and playing at 120 international festivals, including SIGGRAPH Asia where it was named Best in Show. He then set up his own animation studio to work on adult-oriented animated feature films including a feature-length version of Schirkoa, set to hit festivals in summer 2023.
Title: “The Pit”
Studios: D’art Shtajio and Lucasfilm Ltd.
Writer-director-executive producer: LeAndre Thomas
Co-director: Justin Ridge
LeAndre Thomas is an award-winning writer and director from Oakland, Calif., whose most recent film won Best Director at the Pasadena International Film Festival. In addition to his independent films, Thomas is a part of the franchise studio team at Lucasfilm Ltd. where he has worked for more than 11 years being credited on recent titles such as Light & Magic, The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, and many more.
Justin Ridge executive produced the Emmy®-nominated series Star Wars Resistance. His credits also include Star Wars Rebels, Storks, The Cleveland Show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Title: “Aau’s Song”
Writer-directors: Nadia Darries and Daniel Clarke
Nadia Darries is a director, animator and co-founder of Goon Valley Animation, with an avocation for songwriting. Born in the Cape Flats in South Africa, Darries has worked on high-end animated film and motion design as an animator, project manager, creative director and director since 2015. Her experience includes animating at Triggerfish Animation Studios on the award-winning BBC films Stick Man, Revolting Rhymes, and Highway Rat.
Daniel Clarke is a Cape Town-based director and artist working in animation, film and illustration. He started his career in animation in 2008 at Triggerfish Animation Studios, where he has served as production designer, art director and director on projects such as the feature film Khumba, BBC’s Stick Man, and The Snail and the Whale. In 2018, along with James Clarke and Daniel Snaddon, he completed the graphic novel Kariba.