DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Pixar Short Films Collection, Blu-ray + DVD (2012)

A mostly enjoyable dozen films from the leading Pixar animation studio, plus some student films from the same directors.

Published on November 15, 2012

Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 2, Blu-ray + DVD (2012)

Films: La Luna, Your Friend the Rat, Presto, BURN-E, Partly Cloudy, Dug’s Special Mission, George & A.J., Day & Night, Hawaiian Vacation, Air Mater, Small Try, Time Travel Mater
Directors: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
Studio: Pixar/ Disney/Buena Vista 109132
Video: 16:9 1080p HD color (4:3 & 16:9 on Extras)
Audio: English/French/Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1 or 7.1, French/Spanish DD 5.1, DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: Filmmaker commentary tracks on each film, The short student films of John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter
Length: 75 minutes (feature only)
Rating: ***½

Pixar is now the most successful animation studio in the world, and here are a dozen more of their current shorts plus seven student films in which three of their directors first tested their animation skills, preparing to eventually do a feature. Three of the main shorts received Oscar nominations. I think the best one is La Luna, which Pixar must agree since they made it the last of the main shorts. It’s about a small boy being confounded between his grandfather and father but eventually finding his own way to perform a very magical job. It’s even better in 3D but that version only comes as an extra with the 3D of Brave.

Some of the shorts feature various characters from Pixar animation features, such as Remy the rat from Ratatouville, Dug the adorable dog from Up, the old trucm Mater from Cars, and the entire Toy Story gang.  There’s a wide range of expression and style in the dozen shorts. Some seem to be almost too closely allied to their feature film. I must admit I didn’t understand BURN-E at all, which has a tie-in with the feature WALL-E. Those who haven’t seen the animated feature Up would wonder why the lead Doberman in the short speaks with a high-pitched voice. The Toy Story shorts are great fun. In one the rest of the toys create a fake Hawaiian resort holiday for Ken and Barbie when Ken is disappointed that the human little girl didn’t take them on her trip to Hawaii. Day & Night and Partly Cloudy are somewhat more artistic and serious; they are especially interesting when hearing the directors talk about what they were doing on the commentary tracks. There is some cartoon violence, but I think the youngsters of the family can handle it. The student films are rather crude, but it is interesting to see where some of the directors’ ideas originally came from.

I found it frustrating to view the short films because I couldn’t find a “Play All” option; had to stop and separately select the next film after one ended.

—John Sunier




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