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Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 1 (DVD Review)

28 Oct, 2007 By: John Latchem

Street 11/6/07
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Not rated.

Regular collectors of the Pixar animated films already will have many of the award-winning shorts contained in this collection. But that doesn't mean this DVD is devoid of value to fans.

Included are some earlier works that haven't yet been released on DVD. These include 1984's The Adventures of Andr? and Wally B, made when the studio was still under the auspices of Lucasfilm, and 1987's Red's Dream, about a lonely unicycle.

A highlight is the hilarious Knick Knack, about a snowman trying to escape a snow globe so he can hang out with some warm-weather souvenirs. The set also includes Lifted, which is included on the Ratatouille DVD released the same day.

A featurette outlines the early history of Pixar animation. The shorts served as test-beds for new animation-rendering programs developed with the intent of producing feature-length films. The 1988 effort Tin Toy, about a toy soldier who falls prey to a slobbering baby, inspired Pixar's first movie, Toy Story.

The shorts can be watched separately or together with a Play All feature, and include optional commentaries.

Watching the shorts in sequence, it's interesting to see the evolution of the CG craft over the years, as animators learned more about the possibilities of the medium and the programs started to get longer. It wasn't until 2001's Monsters, Inc. that Pixar began making shorts based on their feature-length efforts.

An added treat is the inclusion of several segments from “Sesame Street” starring the lamp characters from Luxo Jr., which became the Pixar mascot.

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