Customer Review

98 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 shorts - with commentary - and 7 student films. Fun (and serious too!), November 12, 2012
This review is from: Pixar Short Films Collection 2 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is the second collection of Pixar Shorts, but the first one that I've seen. I have to admit that I loved the Toy Story films and "UP" was one of my favorites but I've missed "Cars" and it's sequel and the others.

The Bluray at hand contains a dozen shorts, clocking in at 75 minutes. Each can be played with, or without, the Directors' commentaries. (So you get about 2 ½ hours of entertainment in the base package). The other bonus is really neat. It's a selection of seven "Student Films" from the three top Pixar directors: John Lassiter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Doctor. These were made in the late 1980s and each one (they run about six minutes each) is introduced by the Director. Some are just animated line drawings with sound while others are more fully realized and were shown in the Mike and Ike Animation festival. All were new to me and I found them fascinating and fun.

As to the "core dozen", there are both what I'll call "funny" and "serious" shorts and not all use the CGI method of animation. Two are offshoots of the film "UP". The first features Dug, the dog. It's okay. The other "George & AJ" shows that the senior, Carl (Ed Asner) in "Up" was not the only one who wanted to escape the retirement home. I liked that one.

There are two offshoots of "Cars" with the hayseed pickup, Mater, telling "tall tales". Clever.

"Toy Story" has two offshoots too and they are a hoot! "Hawaiian Vacation" does a real job on Barbie and Ken (especially Ken) as they try to leave the toy chest for Hawaii. The other "Small Fry" takes digs at Fast Food "meal deal prizes". Wonder where all those outdated toys from movie tie-ins that failed go? You (and Buzz Lightyear) will find out here.

"Day and Night" is a wordless piece - as is "Partly Cloudy" - and what I'll call the "serious" ones. This is a case where you'll get more out of it after you hear the commentary track.

While "Small Fry" was close in the "funniest short in the set", the hands-down winner is the opener: "Your Friend The Rat". Two characters from "Ratatouille" present - in about seven minutes - the "History of the Rat", just like the old Disney Educational cartoons of the 1950s did. Director Jim Capobianco uses 2-D, hand drawn animation as well as other "old school" techniques along with CGI in a short you'll watch a few time just to catch the jokes and clever satire.

As fellow reviewer N. Schoenfeld pointed out in his "review" (actually a "preview" since he had not yet seen the collection) the Bluray set is pricey, but I'm not reviewing price here. The images are sharp - even on my 30 year-old standard def TV screen - and there is an amazing amount of creativity here. The "Cars" and "Toy Story" shorts will appeal to small children (but they won't get a lot of the "inside" jokes"). They'll probably be bored with the "serious" ones and the less flashy "Student Films" too. But adults who love great animation will find a lot in this set to enjoy!

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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