Knick Knack (1989)

Genre: Animation, Short, Family

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating: ★★★★

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.

Red’s Dream (1987)

Genre: Family, Short, Animation

Director: John Lasseter

Writer: John Lasseter

Rating; ★★★½

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.

Let me know your views on Red’s Dream – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA1vZ8wJTys

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