Written and Directed
Running Time: :52
Pixar over the years has created many short films. Most of the ones on the Pixar Short Films Collection - Volume 1 DVD have been seen before, either before theatrical releases or as extras on other DVDs. Now for the first time, you can see all of them in one shot. It is truly fascinating seeing them in the order they were created because you can see just how far computer animation has come over the years. The DVD starts with a pre-Pixar film called "The Adventures of Andre and Wally B." which was made when the Pixar group was still part of LucasFilms. It was done way back in 1984 and is a simple story of a goofy creature trying to stay away from a bee. Compared to today, the animation is crude, but for those of us who remember 1984, it is amazing to look at. From the start the one thing Pixar had that even today a lot of animators don't have, it the ability to create a story that is engaging. The entire short is maybe only a minute and a half long but you get a feel for the characters in that time span.
The second short is the one that really started the company we know today, "Luxo Jr." a story of a baby lamp, a mama lamp, and a ball. The story is very simple and you'll notice, the camera never moves, but the ability to show emotion from a lamp is incredible. From there we see classic shorts such as 'Tin Toy' which introduced the first 'human' character to 'Mike's New Car' which, I believe, was the first Pixar short that was spun off from a feature film. I'm not sure I can pick one as a favorite, but the ones that aren't spin-offs and can stand on their own two feet are usually the most fun. "For the Birds" and "One Man Band" are the most fun because the story is told without the need for conversation. In fact you'll find most of the non-spin offs don't bother having people talk. And as the years go on, the animation gets stronger and stronger and the awards keep piling up. But most importantly, the heart never goes away. This collection is called Volume 1, which means that Pixar plans on making these tremendous shorts for years to come. If you've ever had more fun watching the short film before the feature presentation, then you will definitely want to pick up this DVD. These shorts are things you can watch over and over again and not get bored. There are a couple of extras on here, including audio commentaries and a look at the history of Pixar that is extremely interesting, especially seeing how John Lasseter's clothing hasn't changed at all in the last 20 years.
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