• Loren Javier

REVIEW: Zenimation


As a surprise, Disney+ also released Zenimation, a 10-episode series of 5-7 minute short films celebrating the "visual and sound artists who have created Walt Disney Animation Studfios' legacy of films."


Since I didn't know what I was watching at first, I found the experience disorienting before I slowly slipped into my moment of zen. Each episode is basically stripped down to the visuals and sound. There is something truly calming about not being burdened by music and dialogue. You have to pay attention more, for one. No looking at your phone while watching lest you miss the experience. If you submit, the whole thing creates "autonomous sensory meridian response" or ASMR.


The ten episodes are packaged into various themes, including:


  • Water

  • Cityscapes

  • Discovery

  • Flight

  • Explore

  • Night

  • Nature

  • Serenity

  • Water Realms

  • Levity


I think my favorites were "Discovery," "Nature," "Serenity" and 'Levity." I found myself at my most zen with those, although, to tell you the truth, they were all pretty fantastic.There is a moment in "Serenity" where the leaves swirled around Pocahontas and I felt one with the universe. "Levity" reminded me of how storytelling can often be at its best when it doesn't require dialogue.



My only gripe was that they over used footage from Moana, Frozen 2 and Zootopia in particular. There was basically no films before 1953 and, even then, the footage before the 80s and 90s renaissance was pretty bare. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the way those films were recorded where they only had one track which included dialogue and music. But, that gripe is fairly minimal.


If you've had a rough day and just need to unwind, pop on one of these shorts and just...as Elsa tells us...let it go.

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