Us Again (2021) – REEL Review

Director: Zach Parrish | 7mins | Animation, Family, Short

A elderly couple rekindle their more youthful days during a rainstorm in a city full of dance.

Zach Parrish’s newest short film for Disney is the first of the studio’s to be released in cinema’s in 4 years (the last being a Frozen short attached to Coco in 2017), playing with Raya and the Last Dragon – which you can read our review of here – as well as Disney+. Not reaching the 7 minute mark means this is a brisk short, but even that runtime will flyby without you noticing.

Set in an unnamed city, everyone is dancing. Old or young is irrelevant as the city bounces and pops with every beat of the dynamite soundtrack – contemporary jazz is likely the best way to describe it, almost feeling like a spiritual relationship with Soul from December last year. The animation might not be quite the same standard (understandably so), the visual style is equally as lively, vibrant neon colours fill every street as the pedestrians dance their way around.

Enter our leads – an elderly couple disconnected from life outside. The wife attempts to push the grumpy husband on (think Carl is 2009’s Up). The film is completely dialogue free, using an emotive and expressive form of dance to convey its message, and beautifully so – choreographed by dancers and directors Keone & Mari Madrid.

Once outside, they notice the rain is making them young again, exciting the pair and reigniting the lively passion. They chase the weather around the city, flowing beautifully with every beat as we realise the husband is desperate to keep his youth, whilst his wife is OK accepting her age.

It’s a lovely story of living in the moment and coming to terms with aging, and the realisation that age doesn’t have to be negative. The visuals are incredibly well done, once in the rain the reflections are stunning and make use of the colours and lighting wonderfully. It easily tells a story purely through dance, even for young audiences to follow along, and is surprisingly emotional for a film so short, well worth a watch for anyone with a spare 7 minutes on their hands. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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