PIXAR needs no Introduction. If you like movies then you already have seen many of Pixar films and short animations. Pixar seems to be making a simple statement about what they can do with computer animation, and they have been tremendously successful. Many of you must have remembered that how a standard desk lamp watches a small ball roll across the table beside him, closely followed by a small desk lamp chasing it and pushing it all over the place.
Since Starting Pixar managed to come straight out and begin their career with a flawless animation film.
When I took computer animation classes in college. We were shown some of Pixar’s shorts, including: Luxo, Tin toy, and Red’s Dream. The range of emotion shown in these early films is amazingly wonderful. So we decide to present A Collection of Pixar Short Films in this showcase which helps you to know PIXAR better.
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Pixar Animation Studios is a CGI animation production company based in Emeryville, California, United States. To date, the studio has earned twenty-two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, and three Grammys, among many other awards, acknowledgments and achievements. It is best known for its CGI-animated feature films which are created with PhotoRealistic RenderMan, its own implementation of the industry-standard Renderman image-rendering API used to generate high-quality images.
Pixar started in 1979 as the Graphics Group, a part of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was bought by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986 and given its current name.
If you want to read More about PIXAR or want to know PIXAR’s history then please follow the link below for detailed Introduction.
The Adventures of André and Wally B. is an animated short made in 1984 by the Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Project, which was later spun out as a startup company called Pixar. Although it is technically not a Pixar short, the animation was by John Lasseter, who was working on his first computer animated project and would move on to be a pivotal player at Pixar.
The short involves a character named André being awakened in a forest by a pesky bee named Wally B. André distracts the bee so that he can run away. Wally B. chases André and eventually catches up with him then stings him off screen. Wally B. later reappears with a bent stinger. Soon though, Wally B. gets hit by André’s tossed hat.
Luxo Jr. is the first film produced in 1986 by Pixar Animation Studios, following its establishment as an independent film studio. It is a computer-animated short film (two and a half minutes, including credits), demonstrating the kind of things the newly-established company was capable of producing.
It is the source of the small hopping desk lamp included in Pixar’s corporate logo. In a subsequent re-release after Pixar became popular, a pretext was added to the film reading, “In 1986, Pixar produced its first film. This is why we have a hopping lamp in our logo.
The only characters are two Anglepoise desk lamps, one large and one small, inspired by a Luxo brand task-light on John Lasseter’s desk (hence the title). Luxo Jr. (small) plays with a small inflated rubber ball, chasing it and trying to balance on it, as Luxo (large) reacts to these antics. The ball eventually bursts due to Luxo Jr. jumping on it; Luxo Jr. is admonished by Luxo, then finds and plays with an even larger ball, taken from a desk globe.
On the technical level, the film demonstrates the use of shadow maps to simulate the shifting light and shadow given by the animated lamps. The lights and the color surfaces of all the objects are calculated, each using a RenderMan surface shader, not surface textures. The articulation of “limbs” is carefully coordinated, and power cords trail believably behind the moving lamps. On the cinematic level, it demonstrates a simple and entertaining story, including effectively expressive individual characters.
Nominated for Oscar 1987 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Red’s Dream is a short film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by John Lasseter, which was released in 1987. To date, this is the only short that has not been attached to one of Pixar’s feature films, the only Pixar Short to be rendered on the Pixar Image Computer, and the first Pixar Short to feature an organic character: the circus clown known as Lumpy.
The setting is a lonely city on a rainy night. No cars or humans are present. Somewhere in the city is a bike shop called “Eben’s Bikes”, which is closed for the night. In the corner of the shop sleeps Red, a red unicycle who languishes in the “clearance corner”, waiting to be purchased. As the camera zooms on him, the sound of rain falling turns into a drumroll, and we go into the dream-sequence. In his dream, Red is being ridden by a crude looking circus clown (which was nick-named ‘Lumpy’ due to his appearance). The clown enters the ring, accompanied by a fanfare, expecting a huge applause, but instead receives a few scattered claps from different parts of the (unseen) audience. Nevertheless, Lumpy starts juggling three balls whilst riding Red, occasionally dropping them as he does. However, Red will slide out from underneath Lumpy (while the clown stays afloat) and spike the balls back to him with his bike pedals. The confused clown ponders this for only a second and continues on with his act. At this point, Red is forced to catch another ball which Lumpy unintentionally throws across the ring. Lumpy continues to ride in the air while juggling the other two balls while Red bounces the green ball on his pedal. Eventually Lumpy comes to a sudden realization, and looks between his legs, only to discover he’s been riding on nothing before he falls on the ground (Lumpy is never seen afterward). Red catches the other two balls and begins juggling all three of them, and then balances them on top of each other, after which he receives an uproarous applause. But then the sound of clapping turns into the sound of rain, and Red awakens, left to face bleak reality. Depressed, he returns to the corner where he was previously resting, and goes back to sleep. The short ends with the final image of the neon sign for “Eben’s Bikes”.
Tin Toy is a 1988 Pixar Animation Studios short film using computer animation. It was directed by John Lasseter and won the 1989 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. In 2003, Tin Toy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The film takes place in one room and stars the toy of the title, a mechanical one-man band named Tinny, and a baby named Billy. At first the toy is delighted at the prospect of being played with by Billy, until he sees how destructive he can be. Fleeing beneath the couch, he discovers dozens of other toys who are too terrified to come out as they went through the same experience. But then Billy falls flat on the hardwood floor and starts crying, and Tinny decides he has to help no matter what. His antics succeed in cheering Billy up, to the point where Billy picks him up and shakes him violently before throwing him away. Once the toy has recovered from this ordeal, he is annoyed to see that Billy has forgotten about him and is now playing with the cardboard box and bag he came out of. The bag of which has the original Pixar square logo on it. Billy walks off with the bag on his head, wandering around the room with Tinny following while the credits roll. At the end of the credits, Billy and Tinny walk out the door of the room and a few other toys are seen running across the floor. They had apparently come out from hiding, now that Billy was gone.
Won Oscar 1989 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Knick Knack is a computer animated Pixar short film released in 1989. It was directed by John Lasseter.
A snowman stuck in a snow globe (named Knick, Frosty’s cousin, according to the audio commentary) wants to reach a pretty “Sunny Miami” knick knack at the other end of the bookshelf. He tries many unsuccessful but funny methods to get out of his globe, (including a blowtorch and high explosives) but when he finally breaks out he falls into a fish bowl. He is mad only momentarily, as he sees an attractive “Sunny Atlantis” mermaid knick knack and immediately tries to run to her. Suddenly, his globe falls on him and traps him inside once again.
Geri’s Game is a five-minute animated short film made by Pixar in 1997. It was written and directed by Jan Pinkava. It was the first Pixar Short created after the creation of Toy Story, the previous short being Knick Knack in 1989. The film won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
The film is set in an empty park during autumn. The title character, Geri (voiced by Bob Peterson), is an elderly man who plays a game of chess against himself, “becoming” each of the players in turn by moving to the other side of the chessboard, where he changes his personality and either puts on or takes off his glasses to show this change. As the game progresses, it seems as though there are two people playing; at one point, they are both in frame. Black Geri (without the glasses) soon gains the upper hand over White Geri (with them), capturing every piece except his king and putting him in check. However, White Geri outsmarts Black Geri by faking a heart attack to distract him and turning the board around. Finding that now he is the one with only his king left, Black Geri resigns the game and hands over a set of false teeth as the prize. White Geri puts them in, then he chuckles and grins, and the camera pulls back to reveal that there is only one Geri.
Won Oscar 1998 under Best Short Film, Animated.
For the Birds is an animated short film, produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released in the year 2000.
A group of small birds land on a telephone wire. When a much larger and awkward-looking bird arrives and lands on the telephone pole, the smaller birds reject him with taunts and insults. Eventually, the larger bird moves from the pole to the wire, heavily weighing it down and causing the smaller birds to slide inwards and crowd together, much to their dismay. The large bird persists in trying to win their friendship, until at last the smaller birds decide to shove him from their perch, eventually ending up with the larger bird upside down. The birds decide to peck at his toes and shake the wire to loosen him off. While doing so, smaller ones notice one-by-one the telephone wire’s low altitude with the weight of the large bird, which would sling all of themselves upwards should the bird fall. By the time the last two birds (who were pecking at the toes) realize this, it is too late, and they end up losing all their feathers. Realizing they are now completely nude, the birds all crowd behind the larger bird to hide themselves. The larger bird can’t help but laugh.
Won Oscar 2002 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Mike’s New Car is a 2002 Pixar animated short, starring the two main characters from Monsters Inc., Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan. Directed by Pete Docter and Roger Gould, it is the first Pixar short to utilize vocal performances and the first to take characters and situations from a previously established work.
Mike is obsessed with his new six-wheel drive car, and insists on showing it off to his pal Sulley. Unfortunately for Mike, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Sulley plays with the ultra-adjustable seats until an annoyed Mike asks him to stop. Mike starts the engine and the seatbelt reminder tone sounds. He finds his seatbelt stuck and accidentally locks himself out of the car while trying to unstick it. Sulley, trying to be helpful but confused by the massive amount of buttons on the dashboard, pops the hood open. When he closes it, he ends up trapping Mike in the engine compartment. Mike manages to escape, re-enters the car, and is exasperated by the continuous seatbelt reminder tone. Sulley reaches for another button on the dash. Mike shouts, “Don’t touch anything!” and pushes a button that launches the entire car into chaotic malfunction. Mike finally ends the chaos by pulling the key out of the ignition, and Sulley adds insult to injury when, in an attempt to realign the rearview mirror, he breaks it off. Mike gets angry, orders Sulley out of the car, and speeds away, wrecking the car completely. Sulley mutters, “The airbag didn’t go off.” Right on cue, the airbag inflates, and its force sends Mike flying back up the street. Sulley catches Mike, who mourns for his old car before agreeing to walk to work while the credits roll.
Nominated for Oscar 2003 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Boundin’ is a 2003 Oscar-nominated short film, shown at the start of the Disney-Pixar film The Incredibles. The film was written, directed, narrated and featured the musical composition and performance of veteran PIXAR animator Bud Luckey.
The film features a desert-dwelling sheep whose elegant dancing is very popular with the other animals. One day the sheep-shearers arrive and shear it for wool. Having lost his coat, the sheep becomes shy and loses the confidence to dance so elegantly. It is whilst in his bare state that a jackalope comes across the little lamb and teaches him the merits of “boundin'” rather than dancing (that is, getting up whenever you fall down). The sheep is converted and its joy in life is restored. The sheep’s wool eventually grows back in the winter, only for it to be cut again, but his pride is now completely unshaken and he continues to “bound”.
Nominated for Oscar 2004 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Jack-Jack Attack is a 2005 short produced by Pixar based upon their film The Incredibles. Unlike many of their previous shorts, it was not given a theatrical release, but was included on the DVD release of the film. The idea for this short came from an idea for a scene originally considered for inclusion in The Incredibles film; it was cut from the feature and subsequently expanded into this short. The short is based on the youngest member of the superhero Parr family: the baby, Jack-Jack. From The Incredibles film, the audience knows that Jack-Jack’s babysitter Kari McKeen started experiencing difficulty with him shortly after hanging up the phone with his mother, Helen Parr (a.k.a. Elastigirl/Mrs. Incredible).
This short film shows Rick Dicker, a government agent assigned to aid “supers” in maintaining their anonymity, giving Kari an interview about what happened when she was babysitting Jack-Jack.
After Mrs. Parr hangs up, Kari plans to watch Jack-Jack play while she plays Mozart music, purportedly to stimulate his mind. Jack-Jack then teleports himself to the kitchen counter, and then the fridge. Kari tries to call Mrs. Parr again, but nobody answers. While she leaves a message, Jack-Jack sits on the celling. Kari then sees him teleporting himself from his crib to a high location. She goes downstairs and finds him floating around. Kari simply decides to show flash cards to Jack-Jack. When Kari holds up a card with a campfire on it, Jack-Jack bursts into flames, but Kari puts him out in the bathtub. The next day, Kari is utterly exhausted but seems to have mastered anticipating his powers (armed with a fire extinguisher, mirror, etc.), when Syndrome comes to the door; Kari assumes he is a replacement babysitter, and eagerly places Jack-Jack in his care, not, of course, realizing that this man is a supervillain with the intent of training Jack-Jack against his family (as stated in the finale of The Incredibles).
Rick Dicker askes Kari if she has told anyone, and she says that she has told her parents, but they thought she was joking. Kari then wishes she could forget the whole incident; to her fortune, and for the sake of the supers’ anonymity, Rick proceeds to erase Kari’s memory of it.
One Man Band is a Pixar short film. The film made its world premiere at the 29th Annecy Animation Festival in Annecy, France, and won the Platinum Grand Prize at the Future Film Festival in Bologna, Italy. It was shown with the theatrical release of Cars.
The short was written and directed by Andrew Jimenez and Mark Andrews and produced by Osnat Shurer, head of Pixar’s Shorts group. The score for the short was written by Michael Giacchino, who also composed the scores for Pixar’s animated feature films The Incredibles and Ratatouille.
In this animated short film, we see Bass, a street performer playing a routine tune on a deserted Italian village square one fine afternoon, waiting for a pedestrian to tip him in his rusty iron cup. Soon, he spots Tippy, a humble peasant girl clutching a big gold coin, with the intention of dropping it in the piazza fountain to make a wish. Bass, seizing the opportunity, immediately plays an impromptu track, capturing the young girl’s attention. Just when Tippy is about to drop the coin into Bass’s cup, a newcomer steps onto the scene. Treble, a suave and flamboyant street performer, plays a more attractive sound, effectively stealing Tippy’s attention, much to the anger of Bass. Not to be outdone, Bass ups his ante, with Treble daring to take it even further. As the two rivals unleash their arsenal of musical weapons, trying to vie for the attention (or rather, the tip) of Tippy, the girl cowers in their wild musical cacophony, and in the process, drops her sole gold coin, which falls down a drain and gets lost in the sewers of the village.
Heartbroken, Tippy sheds a single tear, but then angrily demands from Treble and Bass a replacement coin for the one they made her lose. When the two musicians come up empty-handed, Tippy insists she take one of Treble’s violins and Bass’s iron cup in an attempt to get her money back by playing solo. She then tunes the violin and begins to play it like a true virtuoso, prompting a passing pedestrian to drop a large bag of gold coins into her cup. Elated, Tippy hugs the bag and approaches the fountain, but not before she pulls two coins out of her bag and tempts Treble and Bass. But as they eagerly reach out to grab them, she tosses the coins into the top of the fountain, out of reach, to the dismay of the two one-man-band units. A post-credits scene shows that it is now nighttime, with Treble standing on Bass, trying to reach for the coins in vain. As the two start to fall backwards, the film ends.
Nominated for Oscar 2006 under Best Short Film, Animated.
Mater and the Ghostlight is a 2006 Pixar computer animated short created for the DVD of Cars, which was released on October 25, 2006 in Australia and in the United States on November 7, 2006. It is about a mysterious blue light haunting Larry the Cable Guy’s character, Mater. As it shows a brand new story using characters from previous films, it is similar to Mike’s New Car (with characters from Monsters, Inc.) and Jack-Jack Attack (with characters from The Incredibles).
Mater as usual was up to no good he was playing pranks on people. His first victim was Red. He was pulling his flowers away when he was watering them. Next was Chris. She was painting a picture of Fillmore’s Organic Fuel Shop when he snuck up behind her and scared her making her fall on to her back. Next was Fillmore. Mater kept replacing his tanks when he went to store them. When Fillmore came out for the fourth time there were so much organic fuel tanks he just went back inside his shop. After Fillmore was Sally. He scared her by being a road cone vampire. Next was Stella. He spooked her by surprising her. After Stella was Lizzie. But that prank had failed. After Lizzie were Guido and Luigi. He scared by surprising them too.
Later everyone was at Flo’s V8 Café. “Gosh is sure a nice night,” Lighting said. There was a sound. “Ha ha, it sure is a nice night,” Sally said pointing to a tow hook. Lighting laugh and said, “I sure hope Mater isn’t around trying to scare me ‘cause I’ll freak out.” But Mater had jumped off the roof of the café and roared and scared Lighting to death. Everyone was laughing very hard. “Oh buddy you look you’ve just seen the ghostlight,” Mater had said. “Mater! Don’t mock the ghostlight,” Sheriff said scolding Mater. “What is the ghostlight?” Lighting asked out of curiosity. “The ghostlight is a blue orb of transact light. It so happens that on a night like a young couple was headed down the mother road and they the ghostlight and followed and all that was left was an out of state license plate. Well good night,” Sheriff said. Everyone followed except for Mater who said, “Uh…good night.” He was singing as he was headed back home. He got scared when he a light bug. But he got really scared when he saw the ghostlight right behind him. “THE GHOSTLIGHT AHHHHH!” He screamed. Lighting and Guido gave each other high fives as Mater was acting crazy all over town. As he was finished Mater realized that the “ghostlight” was a lantern not the actual thing. Everyone was laughing and Lighting said, “Gotcha.” “Shoot I knew it was a joke the whole,” Mater said embarrassed. “You see son the only thing to afraid out here is your imagine,” Sheriff said. “That of course and the Screaming Banshee,” Doc said. Everyone left and Mater said, “The Screaming what?” “You better run they say there a Banshee around but I haven’t him yet good night,” Mater said to the Screaming Banshee itself.
Lifted is a 2006 Pixar computer animated short film directed by Gary Rydstrom. This is the first film directed by Rydstrom, a seven-time Academy Award winning sound editor and mixer.
The film was released theatrically with Pixar’s Ratatouille (June 29, 2007). The short also received a sneak peek at The 42nd Chicago International Film Festival.
A young alien, Stu, is inside a spaceship taking an examination in abduction. He must snatch a sleeping farmer named Ernie under the watchful eye of his imposing instructor, Mr. B. To accomplish this, Stu must, from memory, utilize the array of thousands of unlabeled toggle switches on the giant console before him. Using the correct switches, Stu must manipulate the tractor beam, lifting the human from his bed, out the window, and into the ship. With a few hesitant flicks of the wrong switch, and eventually a frustrated swipe at the array, he mistakenly propels the human into walls and occasionally the ceiling, but never waking the farmer from his slumber. After repeated failures to successfully lift the human into the ship, Mr. B takes over and, wielding the massive bank of switches with ease, returns the farmer to his bed and cleans up the mess inside the farmhouse.
Ashamed over his failure, Stu starts whimpering, trying to hold back his tears. In a rare moment of compassion, Mr. B generously offers Stu the opportunity to launch the space ship back home. Full of glee, Stu takes hold of the steering apparatus and starts to lift the ship into the air, but the flying saucer plummets to the ground, crushing the farmer’s house. When the spaceship finally departs, its underside covered in debris, all that remains is a crater with a tall pillar of dirt in the center, left by the tractor beam’s cargo entry, atop which the farmer is still sleeping soundly in his bed.
Nominated for Oscar 2007 under Best Short Film, Animated.
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