Luxo Jr. (1986)

Genre: Animation, Short, Family

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★½

The second ever Pixar Short and now the iconic logo. Luxo Jr. is just another simple animation with no adventuress storyline or lots of characters but nevertheless it’s rather funny and quite magical. John Lasseter’s creation features a two minutes animation of a baby lamp trying to play with a ball all under the watch of his father, a bigger lamp. The way the movement is captured is brilliant and how obvious it is to see the emotions displayed by the lamps are remarkable considering they’re just everyday objects. Bearing in mind this is a 1986 production the animation  quality is outstanding.

In 1986  Luxo Jr. was the first film released by Pixar and this is now to the present day the hopping lamp that is in the logo and opening titles. No wonder it got so popular with its cute behaviour. The noises he squeaks and the body language portrayed really does make you get attached to this lamp and you find yourself smiling and laughing. This was at the beginning of Pixar but from this you could have easily predicted a mountain of success was on its way. John Lasseter writer and director deserves credit for such an inventive idea and brilliant execution, Luxo Jr. also went on to get nominated for an Oscar and eventually got released with feature film Toy Story 2 (2000). Simplistic but quite simply fantastic all once again with that magical “Pixar” feel.

Let me know what you think of Luxo Jr. and check it out here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmhZm5FRV4s

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The Adventures of André and Wally B (1984)

Genre: Family, Animation, Short

Director: Alvy Ray Smith

Writer: Alvy Ray Smith

Rating: ★★½

The Adventures of Andre and Wally B was Pixar’s first ever short film that was made in 1984 and unlike others wasn’t released with a feature film. It is also the shortest out of the series made, lasting a little under two minutes, despite the shortness and simplicity it still has that fun feel attached to it. It follows the story of Andre a clueless android waking up in a forest, Wally a bee decides to taunt Andre obviously becoming irritating. After a quick distraction Andre attempts to escape but Wally is quick on the case leasing into a funny chase sequence.

You can obviously tell both Pixar and the writer and director Alvy Ray Smith were playing around with creativity and as their first short animated film credit should be given. The characters aren’t as cute and colourful as recently released productions nor is the general picture. The story Is short and simplistic, it just shows how far Pixar and technology itself has progressed since 1984. Despite it not being no academy-award winning contender the special “Disney Pixar” feel is still very much present.

Let me know what you think? View it here and enjoy! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doT5t51HGs

Day & Night (2010)

Day & Night (2010) Poster

 

Genre: Short, Animation, Comedy

Director: Teddy Newton

Writer: Teddy Newton

Rating: ★★★★½

Day & Night was attached to the feature film Toy Story 3, another one of Pixar’s short films its adorable and rather funny. Two characters, a sunny joyful “Day” and a rather dark moody “Night”, each with their own unique characteristics and qualities. When Day accidentally stumbles over Night sleeping he’s confused, he looks like Day but he doesn’t have the same qualities. Both are confused and angered but after getting off on the wrong foot the two become friends, realising with each other they can see their worlds from a whole new perspective.

They are just simple drawings and its simple cartooning but flawlessly achieved, the characters being outlines but it’s the inside that’s wonderful showing the different scenes. Day has daylight scenes whilst Night has night-time, showing the wonders of both and how butterflies turn into fireflies. The director and writer Teddy Newton deserves so much credit, not only to think of such a great concept but to execute it with perfection showing its loud and bold message. With only the expressions of two faces the message is clear, to embrace people’s differences and enjoy them. No wonder such a beautiful, amazing creation got nominated for the 2010 Oscars, once again simply magical.

View it for yourself and let me know what you think? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRuURW_UXfw

Paperman (2012)

Genre: Short, Animation, Comedy

Director: John Kahrs

Writers: Clio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer

Staring: Kari Wahlgren, John Kahrs

Rating: ★★★★

Disney’s Oscar winning short animated film is brilliant. A collaboration of a series of black and white hand-sketched images merged together with animation shows a interesting story that has that magical “Disney” touch and feel. The short film of just over six minutes showing a boy meets girl story. After a meeting at the train station following an incident with some paperwork young urban office worker George (voiced by John Kahrs) falls for Meg (voiced by Kari Wahlgren) but just like his paper she flies away on the train. After seeing her across his office George attempts to attract the attention of Meg by letting fly a series of paper-planes but faces obstacles, will he meet her again?  

The way that director John Kahrs and writers Clio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer captures such feel and emotion with limited dialogue, colour and characters is purely amazing. The feeling is something that you are used to and expect from Disney and so are the animation, absolutlely flawless. No surprise it won the 2012 Oscar, a six minutes of your life you can easily afford to waste watching a wonderfully crafted piece of short animation. Simply magical.