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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz

 

A Little Background     Openers     

 

    Modus Operandi     The Scorecard:     

Emotive Connection      Audio     Operations    Extras     The Movie     Equipment

 

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Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1 - BRD

Directed by John Lasseter, et al

1984-2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studio: Pixar Animation / Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (USA)

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: Variable

Feature film: 1080p

13 short films ~ total: 54 minutes

Supplements: 1080p

 

Audio:

English 5.1 or English 2.0 Uncompressed (48kHz/24-bit)

English, French, Spanish DD 5.1 or English DD 2.0

 

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish

 

Extras

The Pixar Shorts: A Short History

• Audio Commentaries

• Sesame Street appearances

 

16 chapters

Standard Blu-ray case:

1 disc: 50GB single layer

Release Date: November 6, 2007

 

 

Pixar Short Films ~ Comment

What we have here is a short history of Pixar animation, beginning with John Lasseter's first experiments as part of Lucasfilm in 1984.  Pixar's original interest was in computer imaging tools, rather than the end product that we know so well; but the dedicated group of animators and computer imaging software designers found a symbiotic relationship that would support the rather costly short films venture.  It eventually became a tradition that Pixar would bundle one of their short films with one of their new feature films for the theatrical run.  If so, or if not, one would appear on the DVD.  Thus Jack-Jack Attack was not shown theatrically with The Incredibles but did find its way onto the DVD - ditto for Mike's New Car on the Monster's Inc. DVD.  A few others, like Mater & The Ghostlight  were made independent of either the corresponding movie or the DVD, and have their first video release here.

 

 

 

It took Pixar's animators and software designers twelve years from the release of their short (and I mean, short) demonstration film, The Adventures of André and Wally B., to arrive at Geri's Game and what remains the pinnacle of computer animation in terms of everything coming together in sheer magic and perfection.  This DVD serves as a pretty good study in how computer animated art got its wings.

 

 

Pixar Short Films Collection, Vol. 1 ~ The Score Card

 

The Shorts

The Adventures of André & Wally B. (created at LucasFilm by Lasseter & friends)

Movie:  (6) A very short experimental film that demonstrated what might be possible with basic computer rendering tools.  Image:  (6)

 

 

Luxo Jr. (directed by John Lasseter)

Movie:  (6) Another demo short that showed the possibilities of expression from inanimate objects in computer rendered animation.  You'll recognize the main actor as the fellow who would soon kick off in every Pixar film.  Image:  (6)

 

 

Tin Toy  (directed by John Lasseter)

Movie:  (7) Pixar's first true short movie.  Rudimentary, but gains made in all department.

Image:  (7) Widescreen and starting to demonstrate resolution density.

 

 

Red's Dream (directed by John Lasseter)

Movie: (7.5) Red is a unicycle that dreams of being a circus juggler.  Image: (8)

 

 

Knick Knack (directed by John Lasseter)

Movie: (9) A snowman, trapped in a snow-globe, heeds the call of sun worshippers and tries various methods of getting out – to the music of Bobbie McFerrin.  Very funny.   Image: (8.5)

 

 

Geri's Game (directed by Jan Pinkava)

Movie: (9.5) A dynamic and heated chess game between alter-egos.  Brilliant.  Image: (10)  Pixar's first truly high resolution short film.

 

 

For The Birds (directed by Ralph Eggleston)

Movie:  (9) A subtle example of Pixar's ironic touch.  Image:  (9)

 

 

Mike's New Car (directed by Pete Docter)

Movie:  (7) A short film starring the team from Monsters, Inc. Mike shows off his new car to Sulley with expected results.  For younger audiences.  The commentary is, in fact, by two young kids.  Image:  (10)

 

 

Boundin' (directed by Bud Luckey)

Movie:  (8) A whimsical lesson in looking at the glass half full.  Image:  (8.5)

 

 

Jack-Jack Attack (directed by Brad Bird)

Movie:  (9) The youngest member of the Incredible Parr family tortures his baby sitter.  Image:  (10)

 

 

Mater & the Ghostlight (directed by John Lasseter)

Movie:  (6.5) An awful lot of talent is wasted on this uncharacteristically predictable short that pokes fun at Mater's gullibility.  Image:  (10)

 

 

One Man Band (directed by Mark Andrews & Andrew Jimenez)

Movie:  (9.5) a near perfect short story about two one-man bands competing for the coin of an urchin.  Image:  (9.5)

 

 

Lifted (directed by Gary Rydstrom)

Movie:  (10) Relentlessly funny satire about an alien learning how to abduct a human from his bed in the middle of the night.  Image:  (9)

 

 

Audio & Music : 6~10/6~10

As you would expect from such a survey, audio quality varies considerably, but settles down to pretty damn good and always appropriate for the drama by 1989 for Knick Knack.

 

Operations : 5

Easy to use and understand menu functions.  But considering the length and breadth of the contents, I am baffled as why it took so long to load.  (see also Extras, below)

 

Extras : 7

There are two groups of supplements: the first is an inspired 20 minute docu-featurette on how Pixar came to be through the history of its short films, experimental and theatrical.  The second are a series of very, very short excerpts of Luxo shorts as used on Sesame Street.  Besides having a very low-fi image (I'd score these in the neighborhood of 3), there was no way to play them in succession without returning to the menu – what a bore!

 

 

 

Recommendation: 7

I really expected this to be a killer disc.  Not so, really.  It is certainly indispensable for observers of the art of animation. The shorts, though short, are variable to brilliant in substance and image quality.

Leonard Norwitz
LensViews
November 9th, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMING SOON:

Enter the Dragon

 

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