These “Dog Days of Summer” have inspired us to think about some of our favorite Disney dogs—whether live-action (The Shaggy Dog), animated (Pluto), or even Audio-Animatronic® (we love that pup holding the prison keys in his mouth inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland!). Disney’s latest captivating canine is Winston, the star of the Walt Disney Animation Studios short Feast. The Academy Award® -winning film depicts the relationship between a voracious, lovable Boston terrier puppy and the largely unseen young man who loves (and feeds) him.
According to Feast director Patrick Osborne, Winston’s eating exploits were influenced by the idea behind video compilation apps; one of Patrick’s early “one-second-a-day” videos was all about his dinner, each evening throughout 2012. “You could just see so much life and interest,” Patrick told Disney twenty-three magazine in 2014. “There was all this context. You could tell if it was a date or a family meal.” He’d actually started sketching ideas for telling tales through food back in 2006; “The idea that you could tell a life story through a couple different dinners had been sitting in my head for a long time,” he explained.
The visuals for the film were a mix of hand-drawn 2-D artwork and 3-D animation, which gave Patrick—a first-time director—the chance to try out new technology. He and his team brought in food stylists “to see what they do to make it look so delicious.” Feast production designer Jeff Turley told Disney twenty-three, “You want to tell as much story as you can in as little time as possible, and the only way to do that is to strip things down. Our style celebrates what is the iconic part of a certain thing.”
And that includes the dog himself! Brian Scott, the film’s head of animation, recently told the capacity crowd at “The Shorts of Walt Disney Animations Studios” panel at D23 EXPO 2015 that their team brought in several Boston terriers (owned by story artist Raymond Persi) to not only observe their behavior, but also “to capture their performance and get it up on the screen.” Check out a clip of the puppies’ exploits, below!
Wanna take Winston home? Pick up WDAS’ new “Short Films Collection,” which includes Feast, Frozen Fever, Get A Horse!, Paperman, and six more award-winning and fan-favorite animated shorts. The compilation DVD, digital HD, and Blu-ray is on sale now!
Take a look at a bunch of great Winston visual development images.