In 2008, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced an initiative to re-introduce the practice of animated shorts, particularly leading into full-length theatrical features due, in part, to the success of Disney/Pixar’s famed shorts lead-ins.
One of the announced projects was one that immediately caught the attention and affections of many a Disney fan, that being of The Ballad of Nessie. Directed by Stevie Wermers and Kevin Deters, the 2D short is described by the studio as having ‘art direction evocative of the Disney shorts from the 1940s and 50s’ and being ‘the honest to goodness true tale of Loch Ness and its most famous resident.’
The reason for our speculation that The Ballad of Nessie may open the July 15, 2011 release of Winnie the Pooh is that the 32-page hardcover complementary book is slated to be released on May 3, 2011 according to pre-orders now being accepted by Amazon.com. This makes perfect sense as far as timing is concerned as Disney film-related books are often published around two months prior to the film’s release. In fact, although there are several Winnie the Pooh titles slated to be released between now and then, almost 10 titles are scheduled to be released the same day alone as The Ballad of Nessie.