A week has passed and that means I only have one week left, so far I haven’t failed my challenge and I hope you’ve been following along. I have so far managed to review and watch 10 Pixar animated shorts, here are the links to my reviews and my current ranking, I hope you enjoy and I do really appreciate it if you’ve been following along.
Another three years had passed for Pixar without a short being made but that was once again going to change but this time due to a new creator, Bud Luckey. With Pixar’s last two shorts winning Oscars expectation and pressure was both high but the inventive director and writer didn’t fall too short creating a funny, happy and heart-warming story that’s very lovable. The story follows a young sheep happy and dancing around he has not one care in the world however one day being plucked out and sheered naked he becomes depressed, shy and a laughing-stock and with this the dancing stops. One day a cheerful Jackolope appears spreading his wisdom as well as cheer, he teaches the sheep how to leap around proudly with no shame and with that the sheep cheers up and dances away but more prouder and happier than ever. The story is very lovable and cheery and is simply a work of brilliance from Pixar.
Boudin’ is very bold, it has a somewhat simple message that reads its only what’s on the inside that counts cause appearances can easily differ with that in mind it makes the brilliance of the animated short even more brilliant. Pixar hadn’t created a short with a message since Day & Night and I think it was good for them to do so. There’s also other reasons Boundin’ stands out from the rest, it has a narrator telling the story in a cheerful rhyme, it’s the first time Pixar included voices and for me it was very successful and a very nice addition. The animation as usual was amazing and so was the storyline and execution however surprisingly Boundin’ didn’t win the academy-award. The short standing at around five minutes is one of my favourites and that’s just due to its cheerful and all round happy feel and lovely message, not to forget about the brilliance on the creative side too. Pixar keep on providing and for me they get better almost each time.
Geri’s Game was Pixar’s return to short films after an eight year gap without making one, with that came a new writer and director in Jan Pinkava that made a change due to John Lasseter’s dominance previously. The story itself is different and in a whole Geri’s Game is refreshing and unique. You can certainly see that in those eight years a lot had changed, with the quality of the animation taking a huge leap forward furthermore our main character is actually human. We follow Geri an old lonely man with a passion for chess, we see him in a tough game against his biggest opponent himself. It’s completely different and in a way bizarre but it works and is absolutely hilarious.
Jan Pinkava deserves a lot of credit for an inventive idea that is superbly executed from sound, story and animation. Geri sitting in a completely empty park begins the game and switches seats physically moving from black then white, as the game looks to heading to only one conclusion Geri makes an aggressive move that changes the whole game. It’s crazy to think that there’s a film focusing on an old man playing himself at chess but its even more crazy to think that it’s so entertaining and funny. The short film lasting just under five minutes was released with Pixar’s very popular feature film A Bug’s Life and deservedly won an Oscar. It was definitely with the eight year weight as its simply brilliant, one of my favourites.
Watch Geri’s Game here and tell me what you think?
Knick Knack is another Pixar animated short, again the ever so talented John Lasseter playing creator. In my opinion this is the most hilarious and funny story yet providing many laughs, its also accompanied by a fun feeling score only adding to the entertainment. This time Pixar bring a bunch of holiday souvenirs to life as the story follows a snowman trapped in a snow-globe who attempts to escape in order to attend a hot party with the other souvenirs however the dome around him causes more than a few problems. As the other souvenirs watch on the snowman attempts to smash the dome, drill through the globe and even blow it up but that only leads to more trouble as the globe frantically leans over the edge of the shelf. The attempts provide us with many laughs and the persistency of the snowman only makes it more entertaining.
Knick Knack is certainly funny with a good inventive story by John Lasseter but for me the adding of the fun score is why this animated short stands out from those previously made. More so the addition of more “characters” and those extra details just show how amazing Pixar have progressed. The short film of just over three and a half minutes was released with the feature of Finding Nemo (2003) but surprisingly didn’t win an academy-award nor get a mentionable nomination. Out of those watched so far I think that Knick Knack is my favourite just for its fun feel, it also has more of that modern Pixar touch. Simply brilliant and unique.
Let me know your views on Knick Knack, watch it here.
Pixar and more so John Lasseter by 1988 had started to get the hang of making animated short films and in their latest edition Tin Toy it well and truly showed. Just falling short of five minutes long it shows how a one man band tin toy has to choose between survival and doing its job. Fun, Inventive and simply brilliant Tin Toy shows the life from a toys perspective bringing objects to life once again. A one-man wind-up toy finds trouble with a big destructive baby, doing everything to flee and survive he hides under the sofa however when the baby falls to the floor and begins to cry he chooses to do what a toy does and risk his safety. Its hilarious and at the same time adorable due to the behaviour of both our characters and the expressions shown by the fantastic animation.
The animation for a 1988 production is unbelievable and the progress from their first “The Adventures of Andre and Wally B” is remarkable and this was deservedly noticed as it won an Oscar. The expressions and from the characters is amazing and so is the detail surrounding them, something that’s improved. The sound also plays an important role in the film. Tin Toy was released with Toy Story in 1995 one of Pixar’s biggest features and names. It will make you laugh and chuckle, and the whole thing together has that special feeling, simply brilliant.
In 1987 came Pixar’s third short film and with that they decided to be more adventuress than those previously made. Red’s Dream is funny and adorable with “Family” written all over it, once again bringing life to most common objects this time Pixar choosing a bike. Sitting in a shop we see Red the unicycle hidden away in the for sale corner, sleeping away we enter his dreams of a better place and life. This is where the humour begins as we see Red’s dream about becoming a circus act juggling away and stealing the show from a clown. The animation of this short is again amazing for 1987 with improvements on those previously made.
John Lasseter also behind Luxo Jr. is the man behind Red’s Dream writing and directing once again. This time the short is four minutes long, twice as long as previous films made giving Lasseter the chance to produce more magical stuff. Red’s Dream is a simple story but once again it has that brilliant execution and although simple it makes a lot of laughs and even some sympathetic “awww’s” from the audience as poor old Red sits there in the for sale corner. Although not released as part of a feature this short film has made cameos in many Pixar films over the years. Fun, inventive and again simply brilliant showing the progress Pixar have made and foreshadowing those great things to come.
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.
Reviewing films and TV (sometimes other things) while doing a degree in Film and Literature. Find me elsewhere on tumblr: http://skruffreviews.tumblr.com Blogspot: http://skruffreviews.blogspot.co.uk Twitter: @SkruffReviews