Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3
Now that the feature-length Pixar movies are more focused on sequels and known quantities, the short films are where the most exciting concepts and animation techniques are found, in my opinion. Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3 has a mix of original ideas and cartoon shorts with Pixar favorite characters. It contains the following, each of which can be played with or without a filmmaker introduction and/or commentary.
- Bao – by Domee Shi, 2018, shown with Incredibles 2, about a dumpling boy
- Lou – by Dave Mullins, 2017, shown with Cars 3, about a lost-and-found box creature
- Piper – by Alan Barillaro, 2016 (Oscar winner), shown with Finding Dory, about a shorebird, with music by Adrian Belew (who participates in the intro). This is so amazingly done that it’s hard to believe it’s animated instead of live-action.
- Sanjay’s Super Team – by Sanjay Patel, 2015, shown with The Good Dinosaur
- Riley’s First Date? – by Josh Cooley, 2015, from the Inside Out DVD and featuring those characters
- Lava – by James Ford Murphy, 2014, shown with Inside Out
- The Radiator Springs 500 1/2 – 2014, featuring the Cars characters
- Party Central – by Kelsey Mann, 2013, shown with Muppets Most Wanted, featuring the Monsters University characters
- The Blue Umbrella – by Saschka Unseld, 2013, shown with Monsters University
- The Legend of Mor’du – by Brian Larsen, 2012, from the Brave DVD and referencing a legend from that film
- Partysaurus Rex – by Mark Walsh, 2012, featuring the Toy Story characters
Two additional are labeled mini-movies (which means they’re only 2 or 3 minutes instead of the 7 or so of the shorts above):
- Marine Life Interviews – by Ross Haldane Stevenson, 2016, from the Finding Dory DVD and featuring those characters
- Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool – by James Ford Murphy, 2017, from the Cars 3 DVD and featuring those characters
The disc also includes the “Making Bao” special feature (6 min), also found on the Incredibles 2 disc, and “Caricature: A Horrible Way of Saying ‘I Love You'” (4 minutes), which is about Pixar artists drawing each other in exaggerated form.
The introductions are mostly insightful, and I loved hearing the directors talk about their shorts (although there were a couple, mostly involving the movies with female characters, where the guy directors seemed to have missed the point of the main feature with their tie-ins). This is a great overview of how far animation has been taken with the aid of computers. The newest ones, in particular, are astounding in the scope of their techniques, viewpoints, and subject matter. (The studio provided a review copy.)