Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: Pixar Short Films Collection v. 1
Release Date: 6 November 2007
Length: 54 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“Enjoy some of the most inventive and entertaining animated short films ever made in this comprehensive Pixar Studios collection, with each wonderful tale featuring memorable characters – from a mischievous bumblebee to an unwanted unicycle. Academy Award winners “Tin Toy,” “Geri’s Game” and “For the Birds” are included, as well as a special behind-the-scenes look at Pixar with founder and chief creative officer John Lasseter.” — Netflix.com
“The Adventures of Andre & Wally B.” (1984) – A little bee chases weird looking guy through the forest. This one is short and funny. It is interesting to see Pixar’s starting point and where it all began.
“Luxo Jr.” (1986) – Pixar’s desk lamp icon is in this short feature. A little light is playing with a ball and accidentally pops it. I believe this cartoon is the inspiration for the Pixar Studio’s classic title introduction see at the beginning of most of their feature-length films.
“Red’s Dream” (1987) – A little unicycle dreams of being in the circus.
“Tin Toy” (1988) – A wind-up drummer toy tries to escape the baby he belongs to. This is a cute cartoon short and reminds us that it is not the most expensive gifts that give young children the most entertainment. The baby does look pretty weird in this short, but the toys look great. This short cartoon helped launch Toy Story, which is all about life from a toy’s perspective as they interact with humans.
“Knick Knack” (1989) – A snowglobe snowman tries to get out to play with the hot Miami bikini girl, but finds that it is difficult to get out of his bubble. I love this cartoon short and it always brings a smile to my face. There is no speaking, but a bubbly little soundtrack and some adorable animation.
“Geri’s Game” (1998) – An elderly gentleman plays chess against himself and really gets into the “rivalry.” This is a funny cartoon short where you see an old man on both sides of the table and it is not until the end that you realize he is “playing” against himself. The old guy has some adorable facial expressions and his little sounds of glee and triumph are perfectly timed.
“For the Birds” (2001) – When a strange-looking bird visits, all of the other little birds make fun of him and then live to regret. This is arguably my favorite Pixar cartoon short. There is no dialogue, but it is so easy to follow what is going on as all of the little birds make fun of the tropical stranger. This one always makes me laugh and I enjoy watching it again and again.
“Mike’s New Car” (2002) – Mike buys a new car, but cannot get the annoying beeping sound to stop. This is a great extension to the Monsters, Inc.. story and features Mike and Sully, the two main characters. It is absolutely hilarious! I would love to see these 2 guys in a sequel as they are just so entertaining and can make the most mundane of tasks – getting in the car to go for a ride – a memorable experience. I dare you to watch this one without laughing!
“Boundin'” (2004) – A small sheep is happy until he gets sheared – and then he doesn’t know what to do! This is the start of Pixar using vocals in their short features as a narrator sings the story. I thought this one was a little weird as it is very creative, but just bizarre. The little animals in the movie are adorable and dance to the music as the narrator sings along.
“Jack-Jack Attack” (2005) – This cartoon short tells the story of what happened to the baby of the family while the rest were battle evil doers and is an extension of The Incredibles movie. Baby Jack starts displaying his own superhero powers and the babysitter doesn’t know quite how to deal with it. This cartoon is great and is also informative as it plugs a gap in the movie as you realize now how Jack was able to take out the villain in the movie. Really well done and the babysitter is hilarious!
“One Man Band” (2006) – Two bards try to earn a coin from a young child by putting on amazing performances as one-man bands in a small medieval town’s central plaza. This cartoon is interesting and creative with beautiful graphics. The two performers are astonishing in what they do and we just don’t see entertainers like that anymore.
“Mater and the Ghostlight” (2006) – All of the other cars decide to get back at Mater for all of his pranks by telling him the story of a ghost light that follows cars and steals their parts – little does Mater know that it is all just an elaborate joke! Mater is my favorite character from the Cars movie and he is always good for a laugh. In this one he is pretty hysterical as he gets all freaked out over a ghost story. Full of laughs and charm, this short launched the series of Mater short films that can be found on other DVDs and in between special feature length presentations on TV.
“Lifted” (2007) – An alien in training tries to remove a human from his house, but gets confused with all of the buttons on the spaceship. This animated short goes back to the non-verbal communication, but it is very easy to tell what it is going on. It is a funny cartoon about alien abduction, or lack there of, as a spaceship tries to pick up a farmer from his bedroom, but cannot get the angles right. I admit, I have absolutely no coordination on those coin-operated machines where you try to pick up a stuffed animal and this cartoon definitely reminded me of that.
This DVD allows you to watch all of the cartoon shorts together or one by one. I think that they assumed that you would watch these one at a time as there is a bit of downtime between the shorts while you wait for the next one to come up. It would have been nice if they could make it a faster and smoother loading DVD. There is an optional audio commentary that you can turn on and watch all of the shorts with Lasseter and the other creators talking about their inspirations or little things that they love about it or whatever. I am assuming that these commentaries are for the hard core fan as I did not think they were super interesting and most of the cartoons are so short that you really don’t have a lot of time to say anything anyway. Still, some of the information was informative and funny to listen to. The one other feature that I did not like was that the first short was in full screen mode and everything else was in widescreen. If you are watching this DVD on your TV at home, you will not a problem with the formatting as your TV will do it for you. I was watching this DVD on my laptop and did not appreciate having to resize my DVD window.
This is a fun DVD to watch if you want to see all of the Pixar short films in order from creation to inception. I found it interesting to see the huge strides Pixar has made in CGI animation and thought it was great that they put the shorts on the DVD in order of release. I was also happy to see that this DVD is labeled as disc 1 as I believe that means that more DVDs will come out featuring the Pixar shorts that are on later DVDs. While almost all of these shorts are available on the feature-length DVDs that Pixar has released (there is one in front of every movie in the theatres and is on the special features DVD on the movies including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, etc.), but it was nice to see them all together on 1 DVD.
This DVD is appropriate for viewers of all ages.