Pixar Short Films Collection (November 6/07)
Long before Toy Story was even a glimmer in John Lasseter’s eye, Pixar was making short films; their first, The Adventures of Andre B & Wally, proved to be an ideal showcase for the computers Pixar were selling (it wasn’t until a few years later that Pixar went from a company that sold computers and made films on the side, to a company whose sole focus is making movies). The employees at the fledgling company, Lasseter in particular, wanted to prove that computer animation could be used for more than just tech demos and showcases for an impressive new technology – it could be used to tell a story. Over the course of a few more short films, they more than proved that this was case, eventually coming to the attention of executives at Disney. Of course, we all know what happened next – 1995 saw the release of Toy Story, which showed the world at large what computer animation was capable of, and which almost instantly made Pixar a household name.
The Pixar Short Films Collection contains every short film Pixar has made, up to Lifted, which played alongside this year’s Ratatouille. What’s really impressive is that even in the earlier shorts -- which look primitive and crude when compared to what Pixar is doing today -- that creative spark and charm that has made all of Pixar’s films so endearing is still obviously present. Pixar is somewhat of an oddity in that they continue making short films to accompany every feature film they release, but certainly, this is not a bad thing. At this point, part of what makes seeing a new Pixar movie theatrically so great is also getting to see a new short film – it’s pretty much part of the Pixar moviegoing experience, and it should continue to be this way for the foreseeable future.
Though any Pixar fan has probably seen most if not all of the short films contained in this collection, and most are already available on other Pixar DVDs, it’s still nice having them all in one convenient location. It pretty much goes without saying that people who love Pixar are going to buy this DVD. But what about someone who is unfamiliar with Pixar’s work (I suppose such a person must exist somewhere)? Well, these films are all entertaining and fun (with the exception of the oddly depressing Red’s Dream, which is also good, but in a different way) so, fan or not, pretty much anyone should be able to get a kick out of this collection.