May the 4th be with you! Star Wars and animation fans were in for a treat in 2021 when Star Wars: Visions first dropped. The series featured animated shorts from different studios in Japan and gave us unique glimpses into worlds and characters we wouldn’t get to see otherwise. Star Wars is doing it all over again with Star Wars: Visions Volume 2. Only this time, we will see stunning shorts from studios worldwide. Let’s dive into these studios and their works.
El Guiri Studios
Based in Spain
Founded in 2001
Co-Founder Rodrigo Blass posted the photo featured directly above on Twitter when discussing his studio’s new short. He said it shows the elements they experimented with for their new animation.
If you’ve spent hours on YouTube watching animated shorts, chances are you’ve already seen some work from this studio. Co-founders Cecil and Rodrigo wrote, directed and produced a famous animated short called Alma. It was wildly successful on the internet and in film festivals, resulting in several awards in 2009. In Star Wars: Visions Volume 2, we will see their first official project since the release of Alma in a new short named Sith. The character design truly captures the Dark Side like no other.
Based in Ireland
Founded in 1999
Best known for its amazing feature films such as The Breadwinner and Wolf Walkers, Cartoon Saloon is a studio that has perfected the craft of 2D animation. They have also won countless awards for their movies and shows. Their work ranges from simple and innocent, like Puffin Rock, to brutally realistic, like The Breadwinner. No matter the mood, their animations are remarkably charming.
That charm carries over in their new Star Wars short, Screecher’s Reach. When watching the trailer, their contribution sticks out immediately with the signature look we have come to expect from this studio. It has an eeriness to it, including elements such as caves and endless galactic skylines. What adventure will this young girl and her companions have?
Based in Chile
Founded in 2008
Punkrobot is one of the studios on this list that may not be as known in the US, which is a shame because they blow me away with their diverse portfolio of work. From felt-soft-looking animals to paper animals or even nearly Pixar-quality people, this studio isn’t playing around. With no two projects alike, fans aren’t sure what to expect from this studio.
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First glances are showing it may be one of their best works yet. Their short, In The Stars, looks grittier than anything they’ve attempted, with raw expressions that ooze genuine emotions.
Based in the UK
Founded in 1972
Aardman Animations’ short is one of the most anticipated animations from the second volume. It is also one of the oldest studios on our list and has been in the animation game for over 50 years. Famous for Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Shawn the Sheep, this studio has won the hearts of animation fans worldwide via nostalgia and fantastic use of stop motion and 3D stop-motion. This studio brings humor to everything they do, which rings true for their new short. Titled I Am Your Mother, after the infamous Darth Vader quote, “I am your father,” this short has the classic Aardman look, complete with funny expressions and lovely stop motion.
Based in South Korea
Founded in 2010
Studio Mir has worked on extensive projects ranging from The Legend of Korra to the new WEBTOON-inspired anime Lookism. Starting as a small studio, Mir has significantly impacted international audiences. The fight scenes and the character expressions in their works are unmatched.
Many Star Wars fans first learned about their new short on Twitter, where it was revealed that their animation would center around a Sith and Jedi war as we’ve never seen before.
Studio La Cachette
Based in France
Founded in 2013
I know La Cachette from their episode in Netflix’s short-film animation series Love, Death, and Robots. While their work varies from dark and serious to light and heartwarming, they share a similar feel. Their signature look for their animated projects is 2D with rough black outlines. I expect the style to carry over into Star Wars: Visions with their animated short, The Spy Dancer.
Based in India
Founded in 2016
88 Pictures is most recognizable for its work on the hit Netflix animated series Trollhunters. In addition to that show, they’ve also done special effects for live-action projects. From explosions to fighter jets, is there anything this studio can’t do? Get ready to find out with their Star Wars short, The Bandits of Golak.
D’art Shtajio (In collaboration with Lucasfilm)
Based in Tokyo, American owned
Founded in 2016
Fans, including myself, were over the moon to see D’art Shtajio would be working on this series. For those of you who don’t know, this amazing studio is the first Black-owned and operated anime studio in Japan. They care about anime in their work but also carefully incorporate Western elements. Their projects are cool, edgy and hard to look away from.
Triggerfish Animation Studios
Based in South Africa
Founded in 1996
Triggerfish specializes in 3D animation and is better known for their work in TV shows. This also isn’t their first time creating for Disney. Other projects available on Disney+ include the TV series Kiya and the Kimoja Heroes and Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire. These projects focus on human characters, though the studio isn’t afraid to work with animals or fantastical creatures, too.
This time, we will see how the studio tackles aliens. Based on the trailer, we are already sure it will be stunning. With such dazzling works and a history with Disney, it was no surprise the studio would pitch in for Star Wars: Visions Volume 2. That said, I’m dying to know what they tackle next.
Star Wars: Visions Volume 2 will stream all nine episodes on Thursday, May 4, 2023, only on Disney+.
Are you excited about Star Wars: Visions Volume 2? Let us know in the comments!