One of the biggest surprises on Disney+ of 2021 was Star Wars: Visions. The combination of Japanese Anime mixed with the Star Wars Universe was amazing in visualization and storyline. Star Wars: Visions is an animated anthology series of independent Star Wars short stories created by different studios. These stories were not tied to any canon of Star Wars but incorporated the lore of the universe using lightsabers, space battles, laser blasters, and even pod racing. The popularity of the series led to the immediate green lite for a second volume.
Today, Disney+ and Lucasfilm announced that the second volume of the animated anthology series “Star Wars: Visions” will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on May 4, 2023. Following on the Emmy Award®-nominated success of “Star Wars: Visions,” the newest volume will continue pushing the boundaries of “Star Wars” storytelling, with nine new shorts from 9 studios around the globe. Employing the most captivating animation styles from various countries and cultures, the second volume offers a dynamic new perspective on the storied mythos of Star Wars.
The shorts included in Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 were created by the following international animation studios: 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), and Triggerfish (South Africa). D’Art Shtajio’s short was created in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. (United States).
“The reaction to the first volume of ‘Star Wars: Visions’ blew us away. We were delighted that this project inspired and resonated with so many people,” says James Waugh, “Star Wars: Visions” executive producer and Senior Vice President Franchise Content & Strategy at Lucasfilm. “We always saw Star Wars: Visions as a framework for celebratory expressions of the franchise from some of the best creators working today. Animation is in a global renaissance, and we’re constantly staggered by the amount of creativity pushing the medium forward. With Volume 1, the imaginative minds of Japan’s anime industry were on full display. With Volume 2, we expanded our canvas to take audiences on a global tour of some of the most talented creators from around the world. We’re so proud to be able to reveal the line-up of studios we’ve assembled. Every short is incredible, full of heart, scope, imagination, and the values that make stories distinctly‘Star Wars’— all while opening up bold new ways of seeing what a ‘Star Wars’ story can be.”James Waugh Executive Producer and Senior Vice President Franchise Content & Strategy at Lucasfilm
Waugh executive produces Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 along with Jacqui Lopez and Josh Rimes.
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Details on each short and filmmaker follow:
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.”
“Star Wars: Visions” Volume 2 streams exclusively on Disney+ beginning May 4, 2023.