Lorenzo (film)

Directed by Mike Gabriel
Produced by Baker Bloodworth
Written by Mike Gabriel
Story by Mike Gabriel
Joe Grant
Music by Juan José Mosalini and Big Tango Orchestra
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release dates
Running time
5 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English

Lorenzo is a 2004 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation about a cat, Lorenzo, who is "dismayed to discover that his tail has developed a personality of its own." The short was directed by Mike Gabriel and produced by Baker Bloodworth.[1] It premiered at the Florida Film Festival on March 6, 2004,[1] and later appeared as a feature before the film Raising Helen;[2] however, it did not appear on the DVD release of the film. It is based on an original idea by Joe Grant, who started working on the film in 1949, but it was eventually shelved.[3] It was later found along with Destino. The short intended to be one of the segments for the proposed but never completed Fantasia 2006.[4] It was included on the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection Blu-ray/DVD set released on August 18, 2015.[5]


The short opens with Lorenzo lounging on the cushion. A black cat passes by, and Lorenzo can't help but express his glee that the stray is missing his tail. He flaunts his own luxurious backside accessory, and goads the cat with expansive displays of tailery. As Lorenzo laughs the black cat casts a hex, bringing Lorenzo's tail to energetic life. Lorenzo is little more than perturbed until the tail's incessant motion begins to take its toll. The pampered cat grows both exhausted and desperate, as it becomes apparent that even the most extreme measures (such as high voltage electrocution, drowning, and being run over by a train) will not quiet his tail. At junctures the black cat appears and offers Lorenzo a knife, his intentions clear. Lorenzo resists him just as strongly as he does his tail's advances. Lorenzo is however, finally driven to capitulate and severs his own glorious tail.


Lorenzo is based on an original idea by Disney artist and writer, Joe Grant.[1] He came up with the idea after he saw his cat dive into the middle of a fight between his two poodles. He wondered, what if that cat lost its tail?[6] Grant began developing Lorenzo in 1949.[3] It was written, designed and directed by Mike Gabriel,[1] in collaboration with Grant.[3] Don Hahn suggested Gabriel to use tango music as an inspiration when conceptualizing the film.[7] In search for a tango music, he went to a Virgin Megastore, where he spent $346 of his own money buying 40 tango CDs.[8] The first song he listend—"Bordoneo y 900", performed by Juan José Mosalini and his Big Tango Orchestra—took his attention that he searched no further.[8] For the final film's score, the creators hired Mosalini and Big Tango Orchestra,[7] who recorded in France a new version of "Bordoneo y 900."[9] Baker Bloodworth produced the film, along with Roy E. Disney and Don Hahn who served as executive producers.[1] Gabriel hand painted all of the short's backgrounds with Tempera paint on a black construction paper.[1] A painterly renderer called Sable, created by Daniel Teece, was used to create 3D brush strokes on the backgrounds.[1] Traditional animation and clean-up were done at the Paris-based division of Walt Disney Feature Animation, while all painting, digital work, and post-production were performed at the Burbank studio.[1]

The short was developed as a potential segment for Fantasia 2006, the third installment following Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.[10] After several years of funding and staff cutbacks at Walt Disney Feature Animation, the project was shelved by November 2003.[10] In addition to Lorenzo, two other potential shorts that could be included in Fantasia 2006 were also completed before the projects cancellation – Destino and One by One – and were subsequently released as individual short films.[10]


Lorenzo was nominated for the Academy Award for Short Film (Animated) at the 77th Academy Awards in 2005.[11] The short won the 2005 Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject.[12] It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2004.[13]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Desowitz, Bill (February 19, 2004). "New Disney Short Lorenzo to Premiere at Florida Film Fest 2004". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  2. Desowitz, Bill (April 29, 2004). "Disney Attaches Lorenzo to Raising Helen". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 Solomon, Charles (May 10, 2005). "Joe Grant, 96; Disney Artist Helped Make Films That Became Classics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  4. Hill, Jim (November 29, 2010). "Wanna learn more about Disney's "Musicana" ? Then go pick up a copy of the "Fantasia" Blu-ray". Jim Hill Media. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  5. Doty, Meriah (June 4, 2015). "'Frozen Fever' (and Easter Eggs!) Coming Soon on Disney Shorts Blu-ray (Exclusive)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  6. Desowitz, Bill (April 15, 2004). "A Talk with Disney Legend Joe Grant". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  7. 1 2 Barbagallo, Ron (2004). "Lorenzo". Animation Art Convervation. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  8. 1 2 Desowitz, Bill (March 23, 2004). "'Lorenzo': A 'Moving Painting' with a Wild Tail". Animation World Network. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  9. Marsh, Doug (May 16, 2008). "Newport Beach Film Festival Offers Rare Disney Shorts Served Up with Expert Commentary". LaughingPlace.com. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 Hill, Media (April 8, 2004). "Why For?". Jim Hill Media. Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  11. Street, Rita (February 25, 2005). "Mike Gabriel Talks Oscar Nominee Lorenzo". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  12. "32nd Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". Annie Awards. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  13. "ASIFA Animation Show of Shows Screening". Animation World Network. November 11, 2004. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
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