My name is Andrew Simmons. I worked at the Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida Studio for many years on a wide range of Disney animated feature films, from The Little Mermaid to The Lion King to Brother Bear. During my time at the Florida Studio, I found myself greatly influenced by Pixar’s early short films and by Akira Kurosawa’s immersive samurai epics like Ran and Kagemusha. These films inspired me to gather a team of talented feature animation artists to bring life to my animated short film project, The Flower. The film wordlessly tells the poetic story of a flower as it flows down a river in 15th century Japan and the encounters it has along the way. At the time, most Disney shorts were slapstick and comedic, but I wanted to focus on something deeper – a tale of beauty and life.
We were deep into production on The Flower and had created more than 50% of the animation when the Orlando studio was closed in 2004. However, I was granted permission by Disney to keep the rights to the film, as well as all the artwork created up until that time. Years passed, but I kept dreaming of the day when I could resume production on The Flower as an independent film. Then, several years ago, I started compiling and transferring all of the traditionally-drawn artwork to rebuild the project files. It took me many late nights, and many thousands of hours, but I am pleased to say all the previously-completed artwork was scanned and could be used. With that initial work done, I reunited much of our core team from the Disney days, and in mid-2021, we resumed production on the film.
Now is the time to finally complete this beautiful story. And this is where we need you! We invite you to be a part of resurrecting this long-lost Disney project by donating funds to complete production. Much of the film was animated at the Orlando studio, however, there is still work to be done, and all donations go directly to funding the rest of the needed work, which includes new animation, clean-up and effects, background painting, coloring, and final compositing.
We have already raised the majority of the funding we need to complete the film; we’re now looking to push the rest of the way over the top, and to further improve the quality to ensure the timeless standards established by our Disney origins. This is the final film of the Orlando studio, and we want to make it a legacy that honors everyone who worked there and created great art.
That’s why we are so honored to receive each and every donation from our backers. After all, it’s you who are making this film possible and keeping this legacy alive! Each person who donates, regardless of the amount, will be listed here on our website in thanks. And for those who are able to donate more, we have some very special bonuses for you.
- For $250 or more, you can receive an original piece of hand-drawn artwork from the film, produced at the Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida Studio during the original production period (from 1998-2004). We have original animation drawings of all the characters, as well as pre-production artwork. You can choose what you’d like from a wide selection of artworks, so if you are interested in donating and receiving art, please email us ahead of time and let us know what you are interested in.
- For $1,000 or more, you will receive a credit as an Associate Producer of the film. This will include a screen credit, a credit on the film’s website, and on IMDb. You will also receive an original piece of Disney-produced artwork from the film of your choice.
- For $5,000 or more, you will receive a credit as an Executive Producer of the film. This will include a screen credit, a credit on the film’s website, and on IMDb. You will also receive an original piece of Disney-produced artwork from the film of your choice.
We are privileged to receive your help in bringing this dream to life, and we’re counting on you to take us over the finish line. So please, use the donation button above and be a part of finishing a piece of traditional animation history. Thank you so much for your support!
Diane Zabaly and John Schreiner
Mary Jo Zabaly
Gemma and Stephen Matoesian
Shannon Lee Clair
Eleanor, Mark, Cere, and Indi Yeager
Josie and Paul Kilde and Family
Julie and Ron Prazuch
Scarlet and John Sweeney
Debbie and Heinz Mende
Maryanne and Mathew Clair
A huge thank you to everyone that has made a financial contribution to help finish this film!