Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 2 Blu-ray Review
In my opinion one of the best thing that PIXAR studios does is include a short subject before each of its theatrical releases. I think it takes older viewers back to the fun times of going to the theater, when you got a cartoon or two before the film and didn’t have commercials drummed into your head. PIXAR has released a set of (12) short films, many of which have been seen on other disc releases but compiled here for the first time. Some are original stories while others use familiar characters from the PIXAR family. The films are:
YOUR FRIEND THE RAT – 2007 (11:16): One of the best featured in the set, the film finds RATATOUILLE characters Remy and Emile giving a hilarious and in depth history of the rat. Noted for being the first PIXAR short to include traditional (drawn) animation.
PRESTO – 2008 (5:14): A short but entertaining film featuring a magician, a magic hat and a bunny that refuses to perform until he’s had his dinner. If you look quick you can see THE MUPPETS Statler and Waldorf sitting in their familiar balcony. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film.
BURN-E – 2008 (7:36): From the same filmmakers who did WALL-E, this short tells the story of BURN-E, a repair robot who has trouble trying to replace a simple lamp post.
PARTLY CLOUDY – 2009 (5:45): A tale of storks and the clouds that create the babies of the world. While other storks get cute puppies and children, one stork gets saddled with everything from a baby alligator to a shark. Funny and touching.
DUG’S SPECIAL MISSION – 2009 (4:40): The beloved dog from UP is back. It’s Dug’s birthday and his fellow dogs give him a special mission to help track down Kevin the Bird. Of course things go wrong as only they can. Dug is one of PIXAR’s best creations and this short helps continue his legacy.
GEORGE & A.J. – 2009 (4:05): The two male nurses that were sent to escort Carl to the home in UP return in the worse short of the lot. Crudely done in what could kindly be called “South Park” lite animation, the short begins with Carl’s house floating away on balloons and then other senior citizens rebelling against the pair.
DAY AND NIGHT – 2010 (5:57): Two separate entities, Day and Night, wander the Earth, bringing their respective powers with them. After a brief tussle they resolve to work together. Another gem here, bolstered by beautiful animation. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
HAWAIIAN VACATION – 2011 (5:53): The first of two TOY STORY themed shorts, this one finds Bonnie going to Hawaii on vacation and Ken and Barbie mistakenly thinking they were going with her. Seeing how depressed Ken is the other toys create a vacation for he and Barbie at home.
AIR MATER – 2011 (5:48): Here’s the first of two shorts featuring the loveable tow truck from CARS. After towing a car to Propwash Junction Mater decides he’d like to learn to fly. Signing up at a school that guarantees he will fly he finds himself eventually rebuilt into an airplane. Humorous with a lot of fun. Obviously the well spring for the idea that launched next year’s PIXAR feature film PLANES.
SMALL FRY – 2011 (7:00): TOY STORY short number two opens when a kid’s meal version of Buzz Lightyear is taken home from the Poultry Palace leaving the real Buzz locked in the restaurant. While the other toys, led by Woody, begin a search for the full sized Buzz, Lightyear finds himself participating in a meeting of abandoned fast food toys. Very funny.
TIME TRAVEL MATER – 2012 (6:20): The second short based on CARS finds Mater and Lightning McQueen time traveling to make sure Radiator Springs remains on the map. Like Dug the dog, Mater is one of the sweetest and most honest of the PIXAR characters.
LA LUNA – 2011 (6:53): A young boy is finally allowed to accompany his father and grandfather to work. When he discovers what they do he needs to decide whose footsteps to follow in. As the boy moves about around the moon and stars the film takes on a special light. Visually stunning. Nominated for the Academy Award as the Best Animated Short Film.
Video: The high definition 1080p transfers pretty much jump off the screen. Which is nothing less than I would expect from PIXAR.
Audio: The Audio transfer is fine. Not the best but clean in a mixture of DTS and Dolby processes.
Each short is accompanied by an audio commentary featuring the director and often other talents involved in the production. The commentaries are full of fun facts and small bits of trivia.
Also included are seven shorts made in college by the PIXAR 3 – John Lassiter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Doctor. They also provide commentary tracks. While some of the work is crude compared to today it’s easy to see the talent that was already there.
There are also two trailers for upcoming PIXAR features MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and the aforementioned PLANES.