Pixar Short Films Collection - Volume 1
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Experience these masterpieces of storytelling from the creative minds that brought you TOY STORY, MONSTERS, INC., FINDING NEMO and many more. With revolutionary animation, unforgettable music and characters you love, these dazzling short films have changed the face of animation and entertainment and are sure to delight people of all ages for years to come.
Pixar's unprecedented string of hit animated features was built on the short films in this collection. John Lasseter and Ed Catmull used these cartoons the way Walt Disney used the "Silly Symphonies" during the 1930s: as a training ground for artists and a way to explore the potential of a new medium. Although it's only 90 seconds long, "Luxo, Jr." (1986) ranks as the "Steamboat Willie" of computer animation: For the first time, audiences believed CG characters could think and feel. (It was also the first CG film to make audiences laugh.) When the artists began work on Toy Story, they had learned so much from the shorts, they were ready to undertake that landmark creation. In the later shorts, the viewer can see the artists continuing to experiment: with a more realistic human figure in "Geri's Game" and with new ways of suggesting atmospheric effects in "Boundin'." Some of the more recent shorts continue the adventures of the characters from the features. "Jack-Jack Attack" reveals what happened to the hapless baby-sitter while the Incredibles were off fighting Syndrome, while "Mater and the Ghost Light" shows that life goes on for the inhabitants of Radiator Springs. When Sully from Monsters, Inc. tries to adjust his seat in "Mike's New Car," the animators prolong the moment to wring every drop of humor from the situation--just as an earlier generation of animators milked Wile E. Coyote's antics for all they were worth. The long-unseen films for Sesame Street are an unexpected bonus. A delightful collection of entertaining shorts, and a significant chronicle of the growth of computer animation. (Rated G: suitable for all ages: cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon
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1. "THE ADVENTURES OF ANDRE AND WALLY B." (1984, Lucasfilm). After blue humanoid André is awakened in a forest by a pesky bee, he tries to escape. But the bee (named Wally B.) chases after him, and both characters run off screen. Finally, Wally reappears with a bent stinger. Interesting only for its historical value
2. "LUXO JR." (1986). When a large desklamp watches a smaller, younger desklamp play with a ball, he can't quite manage to do it himself.
3. "RED'S DREAM" (1987). Propped up in the corner of a bicycle store, Red the unicycle dreams about a better place.
4. "TIN TOY" (1988). When a wind-up one-man-band toy sees just how destructive a baby can be, he does everything he can to flee -- until the baby gets hurt.
5. "KNICK KNACK" (1989). A snowglobe snowman wants to join a party of other travel souvenirs in a hot party, but his glass dome gets in his way. (This is the well-known version with the less-endowed bathing beauty.)
6. "GERI'S GAME" (1997). A man plays a game of chess against himself, 'becoming' each player by moving to the other side of the chessboard and taking his glasses on and off.
7. "FOR THE BIRDS" (2001). A group of small birds perched together on a telephone wire reject a larger, awkward-looking bird, and pay the price for it.
8. "MIKE'S NEW CAR" (2002). When Mike (from "Monsters Inc.") shows Sulley his new six-wheel drive car, everything that can go wrong does.
9. "BOUNDIN'" (2003). A shearing leaves a dancing sheep humiliated until a jackalope passes by and demonstrates that it's what's inside that counts.
10. "JACK-JACK ATTACK" (2005). Baby Jack-Jack is thought not to possess the superpowers of his siblings or parents (Mr. and Mrs. Parr of "The Incredibles") until an outsider is hired to watch him.
11. "ONE MAN BAND" (2006). Two one-man bands vie to win the attention of a young peasant girl.
12. "MATER AND THE GHOSTLIGHT" (2006). A mysterious blue light haunts the "Cars" town of Radiator Springs and its residents.
13. "LIFTED" (2007). A bumbling young alien student tests the patience of his instructor as he attempts to abduct an innocent farmer.
Bonus features include a terrific documentary featurette on Pixar and some brief segments the company produced for "Sesame Street."
THE ADVENTURES OF ANDRE AND WALLY B. Not, strictly speaking, a Pixar short, but produced and directed by John Lasseter. It's a very VERY early computer-animated short which, though it definitely shows its age, is still very cute.
LUXO JR. The first REAL Pixar short and the reason there is a hopping lamp in the studio logo. I want a Luxo lamp, but they're really expensive now.
RED'S DREAM. A very early attempt at human animation (making the already creepy clown that much creepier) mars this otherwise delightful cartoon about a unicycle that wants to be a juggler...you read that right.
TIN TOY. This one is a sort of early forebearer of 'Toy Story.' Again, the human baby is a little creepy, but Tinny himself (and his fellow toys) are adorable [NOTE: These first four are not available on any other DVD or Blu-Ray]
KNICK KNACK. Famed vocalist Bobby McFerrin lends his unique style to the story of a snowman living in a snowglobe who tries to escape. This one shows that while Pixar and Disney may be partners now, the animators are clearly influenced by the great Warner Brothers shorts as well (an extended sequence in 'Monster, Inc' parodies a popular Looney Tunes cartoon).
GERI'S GAME. An old man plays a game of chess against himself in this bittersweet cartoon, the first one in which a human is the main protagonist...or rather BOTH of the main protagonists (Geri himself reappears as "The Cleaner" in 'Toy Story 2').
FOR THE BIRDS. A snooty group of little blue birds give the cold shoulder to a tall, goofy stranger only to be punished for their elitism.
MIKE'S NEW CAR. Originally produced for the DVD release of 'Monsters, Inc,' John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprise their roles as Sully and Mike in this entertaining short which paved the way for other "Short sequels" to Pixar feature films.
BOUNDIN' The animator who, according to John Lasseter, "Made Woody a cowboy," Bud Luckey, wrote, directed and narrates this little fairy tale about a jackalope who teaches a recently sheared sheep a new way of dancing...have you noticed that when you actually write or say the premise to a lot of these cartoons, they sound utterly ridiculous?
JACK-JACK ATTACK. In 'The Incredibles,' Kari the babysitter has a lot of trouble looking after baby Jack-Jack while the Parrs are away fighting Syndrome. This short tells the full story of how this enthusiastic teen became the first person to witness the youngest Incredible's powers.
ONE MAN BAND. Two poor (and highly creative and talented) musicians compete for the charitable offering of one little girl.
MATER AND THE GHOST LIGHT. Mater the Tow Truck from 'Cars' lets his imagination get away from him after hearing a scary story. The first time Mater was placed in a starring role and, evidently, popular enough to spawn an entire series of shorts, "Mater's Tall Tales" and the sequel to 'Cars.'
LIFTED. An inexperienced space alien tries to abduct his first human, but keeps goofing up. Luckily his instructor is there to pick up the slack.
My favorites are "Knick Knack," "Boundin'" and "One Man Band." But that's just me.
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a perfect gem.