Us Again is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first short to appear before a film since 2016. Told entirely through music and dance, it’s the story of an elderly couple trying to recapture their youth in the big city.
After the husband looks out his apartment window to see everyone dancing in the streets, his wife tries to get him to participate. Discouraged by his age, he begrudgingly dismisses her.
After she leaves, he begins to have second thoughts. He makes his way onto their balcony and starts to feel the music move him. It begins to rain, and suddenly he transforms into his younger self. Making his way down the fire escape, he dances through the neighborhood and runs into a woman in the park.
She turns around and it’s his wife who has also been transformed into her younger self. They proceed to dance a duet together, making their way across the city where everyone else is also dancing.
As the storm begins to pass, they realize that once they’re out of the rain, they’re no longer young. They continue to chase the storm through the streets until they finally reach a pier. The wife stops running but the husband continues to the end. The storm passes and both of them are no longer young in appearance. But they rejoin hands and continue to dance together.
All of this is, of course, a metaphor for accepting your age but continuing to feel and be young at heart. Everyone grows up and eventually grows old, but it is possible to hold on to your adolescence. Without words, using dance as a symbol for one’s youth was both unique but easily recognizable and understood.
The music and visuals were paired beautifully. Overall, it was a sweet story and a great way to tell this kind of life lesson.
Score: 8 / 10