I still remember the very first Pixar short film I ever saw, way back in 1986. It was called Luxo Jr. and told the story of two lamps playing with a ball. Such a simple story, from the little start-up animation company that grew big.
Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and Disney PIXAR feature films are now among every kid’s favorites, but the short films are no less compelling. Which is why this new collection makes a fabulous holiday gift.
Pixar Short Films Collection 2pulls together a dozen animated shorts for your family to enjoy in one place, along with such cool “historical” pieces as John Lasseter’s student films.
Unlike Collection 1, in which only a few of the shorts were based on full-length movies, more than half of Collection 2’s shorts are based on the characters and storylines from familiar movies like Toy Story, Cars, Wall*E, and UP. Which is both good and not-so-great, depending on your perspective–this Blu-Ray/DVD collection is primarily a way to get a bunch of shorts together in one place, not as a way to introduce brand-new material to your family.
In fact, I was surprised by how many of these shorts I’d seen already in theaters as pre-film bonus material, especially considering how infrequently I get to the theater. More frequent movie-goers may be familiar with almost all of the shorts already.
But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t delightful and neat to have all in one collection. Among those based on full-length movies, I love Dug’s Special Mission, featuring the lovable pooch from UP, and the very funny Small Fry with the characters from Toy Story. And my kids giggled constantly during both of Mater’s special appearances in Time Travel Mater and Air Mater.
We also really liked the educational film Your Friend The Rat which opens the DVD and features a pair of Ratatouille rats. But keep in mind that the story covers the rat’s role in the Black Plague, which may not be a history lesson you are ready for your three-year-old to watch, animated or not.
My heart, though, is always with those lesser-known, more tender shorts such as Partly Cloudy, about a sweet friendship between one hapless stork and a storm cloud. And I could watch La Luna over and over again, so beautifully sweet is the story of three generations working together. This is when I’m reminded of the Pixar that captured my heart more than 20 years ago, and I’m so excited to seeing them do the same with my kids now. –Christina